Tag Archives: management

Make Change Easier

More and more organizations are looking to adopt Agile practices in order to transform their organization.   In my experience, people in organizations are overly focused on how to motivate people to “be more Agile”.

How can we get those pecky testers to “be more Agile?”  How can we can those control-freak PM’s to “be more Agile?”

If we boil away Agile and all the associated methods and tools, we’re left with wanting people to behave differently and many people focus on motivation being the key to behaviour change.  Plenty of people cite Dan Pink’s Drive (mastery, autonomy, purpose) as being the keys to motivation.   Motivation is important, however without ability to do things differently, change isn’t likely to happen. Continue reading

You’re Doing Better Than You Think

Tha agile community is quick to point out what’s wrong with what your organization is doing.

You’re ‘doing scrum wrong’, you’re ‘doing’ agile, not ‘being’ agile and other bullshit like that.

What about what you’re doing right? I worked with a project team recently who was the furthest ‘off agile process’ than other projects yet yet they have the happiest stakeholders because they learned that relationships and communication were the most important factors in executing on a project.

Many other teams, managers and execs are making progress not in the name of ‘agile’ but on terms of what is satisfying their stakeholders.

Sure there is lots of stress and anxiety over late delivery sometimes and mandates that are out of control of the team and other daily drama that can be the daily reality on software projects, but the point is that progress is being made.

I know progress is being made because I see differences in behaviour I didn’t see months ago. I know progress is happening because people tell me stories about life a year ago vs today and how much better work is.

You can’t measure that in a performance scorecard.

I don’t think organizations take enough time looking at what’s going right because at every turn some pundit is telling them they’re doing it wrong. It’s tough when you’re under deadlines and when you feel the pain of doing the day to day work.

The people in the organization I’m at now should feel extremely proud of the progress they’re making and realize that when you stop complaining about problems, you’ve stopped caring and that’s much worse than some pundit telling you that you’re ‘doing agile wrong.’

Keep your head up, I’m proud of all of you.

People Are Not Robots

People are doing the best they can with what they have.  I have mentioned that in some of my older posts and it’s something I live by.  I believe in the good in people and that people in general are not malicious.  I have used this argument with many-a-manager that I’ve worked with either as a full time employee or consultant, usually in vain.

I remember working with a team in a company that had agreed to do their morning standup at 9.30am.  Quickly afterwards a pattern had developed where a couple of team members would be a few minutes late, then they would arrive later and later to the point where some team members would start criticizing the late team members.  “Why can’t he just be on time?  We said we would have the standup at 9.30, what’s wrong with him?Continue reading