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?
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!
There are thousand of posts for project managers about motivating their teams on the internet. While searching “Motivating Project Managers” I kept coming across the articles about the developers and how PM should behave. You can’t be a great PM without been a good motivator, so PMs are asked about the ways to motivate developers on every interview. But I think we miss some important item here – the motivation of the Project Managers. We assume that they are somehow already motivated and shine bright every day. Otherwise they can’t motivate the team, right? But no one cared about their motivation in software companies I know, they just required the managers to be “self-motivated”. We just don’t take that into account, as we don’t take into account that all our developers are not so brilliant as we think (and this is normal).
Continue reading Project Managers Motivation
I believe that Project manager is here, on this planet, not only for the projects to be delivered in time and on budget. On of the most important things for the Project managers is to care about their teams. In software development I always worked so close with the teams, that I couldn’t imagine I can avoid supporting teams health, mood and motivation.
So, let’s talk about monitoring your team health, so you can see the signs of the death coming or any feed back of the system on your actions. By the way, some Project managers prefer to work with zombie teams, as they are so easy to control. I am not judging, so you can use the check-list the both ways – to prevent your team becoming a zombie team and to make you team a zombie team.
Continue reading Zombie team management: team health check-list
Working as the project manager in outsourcing companies in our country means that you are responsible for almost everything – writing the specification, creating application prototypes, schedules, plans. Sometimes you can even find yourself writing tests or editing designs. As a result, busy and tired PMs completely forget about their teams. They start treating them as resources. 1 item of development resource. “Hmm…Let’s put this 2 items on this projects and that one will go here. They are from the different offices/buildings? No matter…They are professionals! So they just have to write code.” As people are simply the “functions” they provide. And not even noticing we start using all the tips from “How to prevent teams formation” list.
Continue reading Growing incredible teams: some useful tips
Creating good software is all about passion. No matter how good you are, how good you team members are – if they get up every morning and hardly can convey themselves go to the office – you product will be dead. Or may be it is dead already, so you observe only the post-mortem reflex movements of the dead body…
Who can be happier than the PM, who sees the passion in the eyes of the team members? I think, no one) As a real hedonist I try to find ways to help my teams keep that passion. So, let me present my modest observations results.
Continue reading Fun and passion – PM, don’t kill motivation
“Fun is all about our brains feeling good”
Raph Koster, The theory of fun for game design
We all talk a lot about fun at work, fun in life and different activities. But what it is? Identifying it and understanding it will help a lot for those managers, who want not to vanish fun in the working process.
I want to start with a bit of theory.game designers have spent much time on creating their theories of fun. Let’s look at several of them:
Continue reading Anatomy of fun
I have spent a lot of time thinking about working fun, creating that atmosphere of the excitement and strong internal motivation in the teams. So when I watched the lectures by Kevin Werbach on Coursera about the intrinsic motivation I wanted to stand up and yell “Got it!”. After thinking for 5 min more I realized, that there is no silver bullet, but again – smart people have thought about that for a long time and wrote a lot of books, which I should read)). So it is the long way ahead.
It all starts when we are talking about rewards.
Continue reading Intrinsic motivations for PMs and over-justification effect