Rotting aura of a Bottleneck Superhero

Rotting aura of a Bottleneck Superhero

Have you ever met a Bottleneck Superhero (BS)? I guess you can't tell as the term doesn't tell you anything. No surprise as I've just coined it for the sake of this blog post :> Yes, people who know me in person do know how I like naming things (or people) ;) Hero of the (every) day Ok, let's start with the description of such a "role model". Imagine a person (in a company / team / project) who: has got the most knowledge / experience (relevant to the overall context) or just the "broadest" perspective (his/her knowledge is…

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Where do you belong? Straddled between teams

Where do you belong? Straddled between teams

Once in a while I try to catch up on some classics I've somehow omitted to read. One of them is (was) Lencioni's "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". Title may cause setting some wrong expectations, subtitle is crucial here - "A Leadership Fable". Why so? It's written from executive's perspective & its intended audience is mainly executives (of various levels). Don't flee just yet, I'm not going to review it here :) but there's one particular observation / remark I've found particularly interesting, so I've decided to turn it into a blog post. Straddled At some point,…

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Productive conflict: why some degree of discord is essential

Productive conflict: why some degree of discord is essential

I've recently read Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team - widely recognized classic on leadership & executive management. I'm not going for a full review here (you can easily find my review on Goodreads), but I want to refer to one of book's key output thoughts (paraphrased for the sake of brevity): Conflict in a team (or any other kind of collaborating group) is not something to be afraid of. Quite the opposite - productive conflict is an essential element of creative processes within each team, required for its real, healthy growth. Yupp, software delivery journey shouldn't be like Ponyville…

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Body-leasing: self-imposed trend to make team shaping even harder

Body-leasing: self-imposed trend to make team shaping even harder

This blog post is some sort of a supplement to my previous post on building teams organically - you can find it here. As we all know, software developer job market is terribly twisted by huge disproportion between demand (crazy) & supply (barely dripping). Huge gap between these two has resulted in uncontrolled boom of a particular trend I find strongly harmful: developer "body-leasing" (or "talent outsourcing" - as some prefer to call it). It's basically about hiring developers in companies that work pretty much as intermediaries / work agencies who offer their employees for Time &…

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Trapped in a groupthink

Trapped in a groupthink

Have you heard about groupthink before? If you didn't, this blog post is for you - better to know such vicious enemy before you actually encounter him ... The most clear (& still concise) definition I've found goes like that: "Groupthink occurs when a group values harmony and coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. It causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the consensus." src: https://www.psychologytoday.com It's a psychological phenomenon that turns smart people into flock of apathetic, mindless drones -…

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The first hurdle - making key technical decisions

The first hurdle - making key technical decisions

It usually looks like this: there's already a decision about new product / project, people are extremely happy & eager to start straight away, silently expecting to "do it all perfectly" this time, avoiding all the mistakes from the past. But before they get into actual work, there's the sweetest & the most pleasant work to be done ... Visiting the armoury to pick the optimal selection of libraries, frameworks, architecture patterns & other tools. Fasten your seat belts, new toys ahead! :) And then the quarrel starts: this testing framework or the other one? which DI container is the best?…

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"A camel is a horse designed by a committee"

"A camel is a horse designed by a committee"

The way people tend to twist the idea of self-organization & bottom-up team empowerment is both scary & fascinating in the same time. But the amusing part fades away quite quickly when you realize all the inefficiency & impotency that happen as a side effect. One of the most common (& most fatal ...) anti-patterns is known as design by committee. I guess everyone has seen that at least once - it's an evil twin of "power to the people" approach, that usually happens when: people can freely select what they want to do & it's unclear who can…

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The Iron Law of Oligarchy

The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Have you heard about The Iron Law of Oligarchy (TILoO)? No? There's no shame, I haven't (until recently) either, but now since I did, I have some remarks hopefully worth sharing. OK, but first - what's the TILoO about? Here's the briefest version: Rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is inevitable as an "iron law" within any democratic organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization. Robert Michels, "Political Parties", 1911 Don't freak out (just yet), I'm not bothered by the most obvious, political aspect of "democracy" :) What I'd…

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