Heavy e-mail overdose

Heavy e-mail overdose

Being an Internet old-timer has some cons. I miss ol' good times when the word netiquette had some significance. Times have changed and [ ... long, sour rant here ;) ... ]. Nowadays people tend to use some Internet tools mindlessly, without caring how it affects other people work / time. E-mail is a great example. Why a blog post about e-mail in particular? I've seen software dev projects screwed because of faulty architecture, wrong tech assumptions, lack of dev experience - and I think I've already written about all of those reasons. But bad communication can silently & gradually choke whole projects & organizations as…

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Workslayer: the less you do as a manager, the better

Workslayer: the less you do as a manager, the better

This blog post is some kind of post-scriptum to something I've written quite recently: http://no-kill-switch.ghost.io/antipattern-attracting-the-work/ Not something completely new, just an additional remark, an important point I think I've missed then, but I find it important enough to shape another, short blog post just about that. I'm probably stealing it from someone (may happen if you digest tons of books like me), but as I don't remember the exact author, I'll just slap my own paraphrase: "To be a good manager, it's crucial to focus not on picking new work, but on getting rid of…

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Subliminal apathy AKA the highest form of procrastination

Subliminal apathy AKA the highest form of procrastination

It usually looks like that: Discussion seems fruitful, brainstorming normalizes & catches "the flow", people sync well & come up with a shared conclusion. Verbal statements happen. People nod in ecstasy. Deductions appear. People nod in ecstasy (again). And people diverge with a sense of a job well done ("We agreed. Totally.", "Great idea.", "Good that we're on the same page."). Days pass, nothing happens. Review / feedback session takes place: A: This one is a bit wrong, you should be more explicit. B: Right, I agree. A: You should split this one…

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Always clean your mess first

Always clean your mess first

Change is what I do. This is what I get paid for. Usually it's not just "you're at A, get to B" but more like "we think you should be somewhere there, go figure out for yourself, then carve a path towards a better place, but make sure we'll think it better too" which I'm cool with, of course. Changes may be very, very different, but they have 1 thing in common - they very rarely go as smoothly as you'd wish for. Obviously there are tons of reasons: people's habits & anxieties (of getting our…

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Antipattern: attracting the work

Antipattern: attracting the work

Few days ago I've written a blog post about feature teams - I wasn't hiding that it was inspired by C. Larman's book about scaling Agile. Or rather by one of the chapters that I've found very interesting & thought-provoking. There's another excerpt I keep coming back to, because I've found it very genuine & important: "The project manager became responsible for the coordination among teams and even for the communication to the Product Owner. He became stressed and overloaded with work. When we told him that his role is not needed, he laughed, and pointed out the amount…

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A good sergeant is worth three generals

A good sergeant is worth three generals

Let's start with some bold statements: Team that did shitty waterfall work will most likely do a shitty agile work too (you can freely substitute the word 'agile' with Lean Six Sigma, CMMI3+, XP or whatever) Nice tools can make a noticeable impact (by improving morale, increasing dev agility, etc.), but even the best tool won't solve the actual, root problem you have with software development quality / efficiency / etc. No business product owner / manager / CxO (even the brightest of visionaries) will make your team successful, if it's your development team that is lacking something Live with it. You're just floating…

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"Trust, but verify"

"Doveryai, no proveryai." ("Trust, but verify.") Ronald Reagan (to Mikhail Gorbachev) Developing an enterprise-level software product is never easy ("thanks, Sherlock!") & clearly doesn't depend on pure programming skills only ("now you tell me?!"). That's why we have all those "processes", "activities", "methodologies", etc. Their shared (& sometimes indirect) purpose is to control whether things are proceeding in a correct direction, with a suitable speed, without excessive risks, etc. We all know about current trends in making them: lighter, leaner, based on direct interaction rather than…

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Does open & transparent means losing the chance to gain competitive advantage?

Honestly, I like to speak to a wider audience about cool things we (my team(s)) do. I don't think it's a typical show-off, even if it helps me, my collegues & my employer to strengthen personal or enterprise brand. What I love most is diving into details of solutions where we went for something really innovative and / or ambitious (that wasn't even tried by anyone else we know). Typicaly it makes a story about how we've: identified the need proposed a solution validated some kind of PoC matched costs, risks & expected outcomes ... and in the end executed what…

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