Reading the twitter feed over the weekend I came across several posts about the employee engagement. What is employee engagement? To me it sounds like the old-fashion term used by HR managers. They talk about it a lot, they even can attempt to perform some annual surveys to measure it. The definition of it can also a bit different for the HR manager, top manager and the developer, who is working in your project team.
Managers usually think of the engagement as the willingness of the employees to live their life at work.
Continue reading Employee engagement: WTF is this?
Continue reading management books – this time “Management 3.0” by Jurgen Appelo. Chapter 5 on one page.
During the last several months our team came across 3 projects with the same issue – customers had the “almost done” project (usually customers state smth like “85%” or “95% done”) but they could not launch it, because the bug fixing process was endless or the “last crucial” feature was almost impossible to implement. Almost all of them were startups. We performed code review for them to be able to answer if we can handle it. From inside the products looked very similar. I think I even could tell all their development history by looking at these layers of code, covering each other like patches in a crazy quilt. We usually ended up with these clients arguing about one question – “Rewrite or do not rewrite all of that”. So I decided to write this post about the BIG rewriting.
Are you happy on Monday morning? What about Friday evening? We all know how office workers are waiting for the Friday evenings… Because work is hard. Because there is no more joy. Really? How people who are not feeling good about their work can produce something great?
If you ask any of your colleague when they felt joy at work they probably tell you about some challenge they faced and successfully solved or brainstorming, where their team produced a great idea. Also they can point out the time when they worked with a great passionate team of developers. Even if they were creating “one more social network”.
Continue reading The fun is dead, long live the fun!
Show me your burndown chart and I will tell you how the things are going. To be honest I am amazed how simple the things became for the project managers (does not depend whose hat PM is wearing now – scrum master, product owner) now – you need only a few metrics to be able to plan and forecast with the same success rate as it was previously. The burndown (I personally prefer burnup) chart is a very simple thing – easy to explain, easy to maintain. But it is a powerful instrument in the hands of the scrum master and the team.
Continue reading PMs guide to tricky questions: What burndown can tell you?
We are all used to just implement the well-known “best practices”, not even thinking much about the reasons they were created. Especially in Agile. We like all those rituals, as they make us fill as we are going the right direction. Just follow the rituals and you’ll be ok.PMs/Scrum Masters usually hate all these clever questions from the sarcastic developers, as the only thing they can answer is – “It’s obvious, stupid!”.
You can’t even explain, why 🙂 I want to write several posts about the most frequent questions managers can’t answer, so you are prepared and next time your team mentions it – you brains can shine in full managerial glory. Also I will use levels of the answers complexity, so you can always adjust them to your current audience.
Continue reading Do Not Lose Your Face or PMs Guide to Tricky Questions: Why Use Fibonacci?
We all think that we are unique. Even when we make mistakes – they are unique. But it seems we are so predictable, that people already studied and classified all our epic fails – past and future ones. So it is very useful sometimes to read about the issues others suffered and compare yourself to the persons described – you definitely find something common. Project managers are not exceptions – you may think you are a smart project manager, but still you can follow some of the well known anti-patterns. I tried to collect the most common ones – which I built myself or observed in action. I found they fancy names on the internet and now I am prepared to use them in my speech, so I would look as smart as the developers talking about their architectural patterns.
I never had such an issue or was thinking about this topic during my PM career(Not because I was extremely respected by the developers. It was more like…I didn’t care.) But it seems to be an important question for a lot of Project managers. A good indicator of that is the interview question they keep asking you – “How can you get a team’s respect if you don’t have 10+ years of Haskell development experience???”. Looks like project managers really have some issues with respect…Sometimes I even think that developers treat project managers worse than QAs.. Oh my God, QAs!!! How that can be possible?
Continue reading How to Earn Respect of the Team: PM’s Guide
As the project manager I often found myself in the situation when everyone was looking at me and waiting my decision. As they really thought I am an expert or I know what to do. So every project manager should know some facilitation techniques to help team produce the decision or ideas. Because the smartest thing PM can do – allow the people who are really good at thinking to think the problem over and find the decision (I am talking about the team). PM should be a good facilitator and have a list of hand-on practices to help the team.
Continue reading Decision making chaos organizing techniques for Project managers
What? Introvert as the manager? It can’t be true, you say. This will kill you in several weeks! But I can say that there is a successful strategy how to survive for more than several years, not weeks!
Find below my short guide for all project managers who are introverted, as I am.
Continue reading How Introvert Can Survive as Project Manager