Tag: Teams

Distributed Development

A recent post on the scrumdevelopment yahoogroup got me thinking about the age-old problems of distributed software development.  The author of the post described having a Product Owner in California, developers in CA, TX, NC, & India, and QA in India.  (No mention if all of the workers in India were in the same place.)  I’m not picking on this individual.  I’ve heard similar stories many times.

It reminded me of something I’d read in Martin Fowler’s book, Patterns of Enterprise Architecture.  On page 88, figure 7.1 shows a common but distressing architectural design of distributed objects.  In the diagram, the components for Invoice, Customer, Order, and Delivery are each deployed to separate machines.  Why do it this way? Read More

3 Legs to Standing Up an Agile Project

Maybe you’re starting your first Agile project.  You’ve read books and blogs.  You’ve had training.  You think you’re ready, but it’s still a daunting prospect.  There’s just so much to remember—so many details.

Here’s a little cheat sheet.  Forget all the details and the various ways you can implement Agile for the moment.  Let’s simplify the picture.  There are just three essential legs that your Agile project needs to stand.  Get those in place, and you’ll do OK.  Keep improving all three, and you’ll do fantastically! Read More

Proficiency and Fluency in Self-Organization

Ever since I experienced the “Where Are Your Keys” language fluency game with Willem Larsen, I’ve been thinking about how to apply the concepts to learning other than languages.  One of the fascinating concepts I gleaned from this game is the separate dimensions of proficiency and fluency.  The proficiency scale that Willem uses is based on the ACTFL guidelines of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, & Superior.  Willem gave a memorable colloquial description of these guidelines in relation to a party: Read More

A corporate benefit to self-managed teams

Thanks to Esther Derby’s amplification on Lining Up Priorities, I came across Tony Tjan’s blog posting, Four Simple Ways to Make Your Employees Happier.  Tony says,

There is a very simple secret to long-term employee loyalty and retention and it is not money, perks, or stock options. It’s giving them meaningful roles.

This is not an idealistic motherhood-and-apple pie dream, but rather a basic condition of human behavior and psychology that many businesses and leaders often forget: people are driven as much or more by intrinsic meaning as they are by extrinsic rewards.

This is, I think, a little-discussed benefit of the self-management that’s found on successful Agile teams–the employees are motivated by creating value rather than just by pay and perks.  People want to do well for you.  Give them an opportunity and an environment where they can do so.

AYE 2008 – The Magic Chemistry of Teams

Wednesday afternoon, at the AYE Conference, I greatly enjoyed Esther Derby’s session, Magic Team Chemistry: Starting and Sustaining Teams. We divided up into small groups, and each person drew a timeline of their career, marking high points and low points. We then mined these timelines looking for the characteristics of the good times and the low points.

Each group built a list, but there were lots of similarities.

Cherrypicking from some of these lists: Read More