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
“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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
“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
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
In April 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull’s dramatic eruption caused an ash cloud that kept the travel industry in its vicious hands for several days. The closure of the european airspace resulted in 100,000 cancelled flights…
Seven years later, one morning in March, two meetings take place.
Meeting 1: Replanning of Enterprise Project X
Project X has been running for more than two years and has reached a serious state. The implementation involves 10+ teams and an external vendor. Not only are the budget, plans and scope dark red from a traditional PMO RAG status view, but energy and motivation are drained, teams are exhausted, and project management is lost. Continue reading
Our web development department needed to be reorganised and we wanted to try a new approach for this: self-organising teams work great, why not gather everyone and try to self-organise the whole department? Continue reading