Today, I learned about the psychological consequences of money during the keynote presentation by Robert Sutton at Agile 2012. In summary, if you are posting pictures of money symbols or displaying Monopoly notes in a room where you ask people to collaborate, they will have a tendency to be more self-centered, selfish, and less willing to help others. This is the result of the work by Kathleen Vohs who published a paper on the topic. Photo by images_of_Money
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For a while now, I have wondered how you can combine Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is a good lightweight method that, if applied properly, can improve productivity, and more importantly, transparency for all stakeholders. On the other hand, Kanban seduced me for its simplicity and its ability to streamline your development. However, I never read anything about combining the two and most articles I have read so far seems to portray those two methodologies as oil and water. This article take a different approach and shows how a well lubricated and performing Scrum team can benefit from Kanban.
This is food for thought.
In Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey describes the concept of circles of control, influence, and concern. Succinctly, this concept states that you should only focus on the few things you can control and influence, and not on the many for which you are powerless.
This article describe an innovative retrospective process that one can use to help focus a Scrum team on the items they can control or influence.
This is a nice idea.
How can one improve competency in a software development team? This is a critical question for a software development manager and this video of a presentation given by Jurgen Appelo at the 2010 Norvegian Development Conference provide an insight that attempt to answer this question.
You may also want to view the slides for this presentation.
I believe that Agile is a great tool to help development teams achieve more, improve, and reach their next level in effectiveness, productivity, or creativity. However, like any tool, it can be misused or misapplied. You can shoot yourself in the foot if you are not applying a certain level of discipline or hygiene.
Mike Griffiths posted a short and sweet article on this subject that he entitled Agile anti-patterns. He classifies those anti-patterns as follow:
- Agile as a silver bullet
- Agile as an excuse for no discipline
- Agile without explanation
- Shallow Feedback
You may have seen the video below as it was quite popular in the last few weeks. If not, I really encourage you to watch it as it is food for thought if you hold a job where you have to manage other individuals. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
Linkedin is a marvelous tool for professionals. This is nothing new and given my limited readership, we probably are connected via Linkedin already. Here are some personal rules I follow when using the tool:
- Don't collect connections
- Only Connect with people you discussed or corresponded with and whom you feel are professionals
- Connect with co-workers and former colleagues
- Ignore invites from people you don't know
- Import your list of contacts to reconnect with former business partners
- Recommend former colleagues but not current colleagues
- Rarely ask for a recommendation and only if you already gave one some time before
- Use a personal e-mail address for logging in, not a work e-mail address
- Register any new e-mail address that you expect people to use now or in the future
- Provide a summary and complete profile. Vendors, customers, former colleagues, future colleagues, and prospective recruits are likely to examine it before engaging in business with you.
I don't see much value in groups or discussions. Unfortunately, signal to noise ratio is very low in those forums.
I religiously follow my connections' updates and their new connections. This is great to find common colleagues or out of touch friends.
Please share with me your personal rules for Linkedin. I am always interested in learning new tricks.
As a manager you've been taught, either by your peers, or through hard knocks, to avoid micromanaging your teams. You quickly learn that micromanagement only alienate people. Anyway, I have noticed that delegation appears to be a difficult concept for inexperienced managers that I had the opportunity to mentor. Delegation does not come naturally. Newly appointed supervisors often think “If you want something done, do it yourself.”
Delegation of authority is an investment and you need patience and time to see your investment come to fruition. It may take a few weeks, a few months, or a year but your patience will be rewarded in the end.
This is the theme of Jurgen Appelo's humorous article.
If you are working with teams distributed across multiple timezones, you know how difficult it can be to operate efficiently at times. Over the years, you surely have experimented and tried out different patterns or processes that work in your context. I have been working for ten years with teams that were in timezones seven to thirteen hours away from my own and we have experimented quite a bit. This is fun and frustrating at the same time.
J.D. Meiers exposes some patterns and practices that will work with distributed teams. I have found that those patterns are not appropriate in every circumstances but they are an excellent summary that will prevent you from reinventing the wheel
[via J.D. Meier's Blog]
In his book "Good To Great", Jim Collins introduces the notion of "Bus" as a simple metaphor to describe an organization and its employees. In an ideal organization, you want the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus.
It is a very simple concept but the reality, in most organizations, does not reflect this concept.
What do you think of this metaphor? Do you think it is accurate or simplistic?
I let you read what snowdolphin has to say on this subject.
We are using Agile methodologies at work and I was looking for ways to explain the fundamental differences between those two development methodologies. It turns out that this video is pretty good at doing just this. Enjoy... httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDDO3ob-4ZY