How unclear roles can damage your teams performance (and what you can do about it)

Roles and responsibilities can cause confusion and upset in our teams unless we take the time to openly discuss them. But, it can be easy to solve when we knew how to shine a light on the issue, here's how.

Coaching is often described as “holding up a mirror”. So that teams and individuals can reflect on what they see. It’s not about impart “right” or “wrong”. Coaching is not limited to only managers or supervisors. Coaching can be ran and facilitated by anyone in a team. 

Beyond scrum: Augmenting agile frameworks to achieve high team performance.

Agile frameworks give us our process, so what can we do to start getting higher performance out of our people - our teams

With 2018 on the horizon, I’ve started thinking about plans for the new year. That means changes that I’m making to my site, updates and rethinking my personal brand. It’s been around 8 months now since I started writing. I started off wanting my writing to be relaxed and then I’d see where it went. But now, I’m starting to think more about where I want to take it as the new year approaches.
 
My bio seemed like a good place to start. After all it is my mini-pitch of my unique take on the world. I never liked my bio because I didn’t have a good grasp of what my target topic (and reader) was. I knew I wasn’t interested in talking on this site about technical topics. Many people are already creating amazing tutorials, videos and blogs on programming and software. But, I’ve always known that the key to good software teams was not more technical skill anyway. I’ve been more obsessed with things like effectiveness. And are we doing the right thing, not only are we doing the thing right.

Do incremental delivery models hinder our ability to deliver on vision?

Many companies leverage an incremental software delivery model. These models are often big on short-term delivery but weak on long-term vision.

Most companies want innovation and many of these same companies utilise an incremental software delivery model to achieve it. These models can be big on short-term delivery but weak on long-term vision. Delivering features to production weekly, yet failing to realise the product vision. These models ensure we build things right, but they can deter us from building the right thing.

On being and hiring an apprentice

When it comes to being an apprentice: autonomy trumps skill.

We are often an apprentice. Whether that’s joining a new team with a new business domain. Or joining a new job that requires new skills. This means that we’re at the mercy of needing someone else to guide us. Leaving us in the dark, trying to make sense of everything.
 
As I move between clients often I find myself in the apprentice space a lot. And then wondering what approach is best. Ask lots of questions or hardly any? What amount of interaction makes sense?

Why so many miss the point of scrum.

A few months ago I failed to explain why we're missing the point of scrum. Now, armed with the works of Tao Te Ching I'm taking another shot.

Communication is at the heart of everything we do. But doing it well can be difficult. One of the goals of this blog was to practice communicating. Trying to make a point in the most impactful way possible. Sometimes I’ve tried metaphors, sometimes lists and sometimes being plain esoteric. I’m not sure which way is best. It’s definitely an art.

Want to become more agile? Ask yourself these 3 questions.

 
Agile is something we are, not something we do. That means in order to be agile, we must embody traits. To keep us on track with these traits, we can ask ourselves questions. These questions ensure our software is easy to change. And hopefully, this means we stand a better chance at delighting our customers.

What the hell is “The socratic method” and why as a developer you should care

Teaching is a lesser flexed muscle of the software developer. Yet, being a strong teacher can enable a strong team and a strong career.

As software developers, we’re always teaching each other. It’s a core part of what we do. Yet, most developers get little formal training in areas outside of software developing. Most developers wouldn’t think to read a book on teaching to improve their career. But, doing just that could make some profound changes to your career and your team. 

Agile is the ability to change, not just the ability to ship.

Most teams are focusing on the wrong metric, are you?

There is one majorly overlooked aspect to agile software: The software itself. We’re always worried about the speed of implementing, not the speed of maintenance. But it is actually the speed of future maintenance that is the essence of agile technology. We simply cannot be agile unless we focus on the technology.

The importance of trust in software teams for disaster avoidance

When a junior developer destroys a production database on his first day it highlights just how essential trust is in software teams

Trust is the foundation of an effective software team. A team that is empowered and trusted is more likely to speak up and address pervasive technical issues that could threaten disaster for a company.