Offshore Development Anti-Patterns

Cost of connection, Group intercommunication formula: n(n − 1) / 2

“The Mythical Man Month” – Fred Brooks, 1975

Like most people I am currently working from home. The Corona pandemic is upon us and everything has changed. When we emerge from these hard times, we will see a new normal. I hope this new normal can also be better.

Because of the situation, our development teams are now 100% distributed, an unwanted but interesting experiment to study. Suddenly we are more equal, there’s no onsite and offshore, everyone is alone.

This post is about offshore development, or rather some learnings and “don’ts” from my own experience from the past seven years, through different setups. Continue reading

Challenging the Enterprise

“You don’t need to fire people and hire new people: you need to create an environment where people can learn” – Jez Humble

How would you describe your typical working week? This was mine: taking a deep breath outside the main entrance Monday morning – “Attack!” and then tumbling out  Friday evening.

But after almost two years, my colleague and partner in enterprise battle and I agreed, we could be proud of what we had accomplished.

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From Push to Pull, My Summary

I have chosen to write about From Push to Pull because I think it’s one of the most important as well as difficult shifts to make in an organisation. You can find signs of a push culture in many areas and on many different levels: that’s why I think it’s critical to start change here.

Basically, it’s only about whether you assign tasks to people or let them pick up work when they’re ready. Can’t be that difficult or important, right?

Well, I think it defines the workplace. Here are some typical characteristics in different areas. Continue reading

From Push to Pull, Lesson 3: Performance Development Plans

Managing is improving – Toyota Kata

This time of the year, I guess a lot of companies are working on performance development plans. We are. As a base, we have the company’s vision and strategic goals, along with the employee and leadership model. The leadership model reflects the company’s Lean values, something very important to me. So far so good.

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The Planning Fallacy

For the last six months I’ve been reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It took me a long time to read, not only because I’m a slow reader, but because every chapter could have been a full book itself, given all the shared experience and the thoughts it triggered.

In short, our fast thinking is automatic and jumps to conclusions (impulses and intuitions), while our slow thinking is more systematic and requires effort and concentration.

For this post, I have taken theories and ideas mainly from the part Overconfidence and reflect upon my own experiences.
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The Agile PMO’s Dictionary

Seek first to understand, then to be understood – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

For some time, I’ve been collecting expressions that often lead to misunderstanding, confusion, or even frustration and conflicts. And these expressions clearly stand in the way of organisational and process improvement.

You always have a choice to either try to understand and find a way, or to spot flaws and come to a dead-end. Even though it’s the message that matters most, sometimes using a different word or expression will help carry your message further without confusion.

This Agile PMO dictionary should help you choose alternative expressions for some commonly misunderstood ones.

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From Push to Pull, Lesson 2: Ownership

In August, I started a new journey and also a new blog series: From Push to Pull covers my first observations and reflections at my new job. The first post is about communication: how basic habits negatively impact a workplace and contribute to create a Push system. This second post is about the importance of Ownership.

The Observation

Our product has received seriously negative customer feedback for a long time. One could therefore expect devoted engagement and a strong drive, but it wasn’t there. I wondered why? Continue reading

From Push to Pull, Lesson One: Enterprise Communication

One of my first observations at my new job was that I had come to a very meeting- and mail-intense workplace. After one day my calendar was fully booked and my inbox flooded. I realised my big plans for fast changes would soon be shattered, since I would be so busy running to important meetings and reading even more important emails.

Having coworkers enthusiastically filling each other’s calendars and inboxes creates a destructive Push culture. These basic actions form whether someone else controls your time (Push) or you decide yourself how to make the best of it (Pull). Continue reading

True Grit

“Individuals high in grit are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Their passion and commitment towards the long-term objective is the overriding factor that provides the stamina required to “stay the course” amid challenges and set-backs.”

Most of my posts have played a part in a long story about a web development program, the people in and around it and a crucial overall transformation.

Last week we agreed we are done with the transformation in the sense that we are in a good enough state to switch main focus to new areas. It took two years. While erasing our large, now paid-off, tech debt board I thought about what was really the key to getting to the very pleasant state where we are today. Continue reading

The Enterprise and Mob Programming

This post is about learnings and reflections of our mob programming teams from an enterprise perspective. Not so much about the benefits for the team itself, but the impact on the organisation and its processes, the obstacles that may appear, and the ways to navigate around those obstacles. Continue reading