Just a few days ago I got an inspiration driving my intellectual curiosity to the point that I finally decided to write a blog entry about it. It’s been a long time since I wrote regularly here, so bare with me.
The source of the inspiration stems from Virginia Satir’s The New Peoplemaking book and my observations over the years that workplaces sometimes are put into family metaphors. That triggered a thought while reading from Satir about troubling vs. nurturing families to adopt her words to organizations. I will probably invite you to join in my thought experiment while I keep learning from Satir’s almost 50 years old work in the following blog entries – I hope.
Continue reading Troubling vs. Nurturing Organizations
Last year, I interviewed Jerry Weinberg on Agile Software Development for the magazine that we produce at it-agile, the agile review. Since I translated it to German for the print edition, I thought why not publish the English original here as well. Enjoy.
Continue reading Interview with Jerry Weinberg
In my courses, one or more of the participants almost always raise a question like this:
How do you set up a team across many sites?
Almost always when digging deeper I find out that they are currently working in a setting with many sites involved. Almost always they have a project organization set up with single-skill specialists involved. These single-skill specialists are almost always working on at least three different projects at the same time. In the better cases, the remote team members are spread across a single timezone. In the worst cases I have seen so far, it had been a timezone difference of ten hours.
I will leave how to deal with such a setting for a later blog entry. Today, I want to focus on some tips and tricks for working with remote team members and remote colleagues.
Tripit reported that I was on the road in 2012 for 304 days. I hardly believe that since I stayed at home for our newborn son Nico the whole June back then. (I think they have had a bug there.) But it was close. I have worked with remote team members and remote project teams in distributed companies since 2006. I hope I have some nuggets worth sharing.
Continue reading Working in a distributed company
The agile community is full of stuff on generalists. Ideally, you should be able to juggle coffees for your developers while riding a one-wheeler, and playing the guitar to “Master of Puppets” from Metallica at the same time. Oh, and you really should have found that bug while doing all that.
That’s a task close to impossible. Let’s take a step back, and take a look into another field of work: cooking. How do you react to generalists there? Let’s see.
Caution: Before reading on, make sure, you had enough to eat. (Or didn’t, depending on how fast you can get weak.) This blog post includes references to lots of yummy meals, and contains itself 2000 kcal.
Continue reading The generalizing cook
In his book, Thinking fast and slow, Daniel Kahneman explained the concept of Sunken Costs to me. I found this concept powerful and interesting. But only recently I discovered the many costs that can be sunken. Here’s a brief summary for costs involved in software development.
Continue reading Flavors of sunken costs
My blog entry from last week on coaching questions triggered some responses, mainly asking for a definition of a coaching question. I am not good at defining, but maybe at providing examples. Let’s explore the concept of a coaching question with some examples.
Continue reading On coaching questions
While attending conferences, sometimes some folks approach me. I can sense they are nervous, I can sense that they have some questions to ask, and I can sense that they look up to me – and I always get the impression that I am frightening some of these folks. The bottom line is: all of us “celebrities” are only human. You can contact us, and you can have a chat with us most of the time. Here are some things that I did in the past.
Continue reading Only human
During DEWT4 I reached the conclusion that there are different learning styles, and they have different levels of effectiveness, at least for me. I think it was Alistair Cockburn that triggered the thought with his model on communication effectiveness. I think there are various levels of learning effectiveness related to Cockburn’s communication effectiveness as well. I think the axes for learning styles are the amount of interactivity, and its effectiveness for the student.
Continue reading Learning styles
Over the weekend, I came to the conclusion that we humans are masters of disaster, and – at the same time – masters of improvisation. We have the tendency to fix things by putting up signs, by coming up with work-arounds, and often these work-arounds make things better for some people, or worse for other people. Let’s explore this idea, and I hope you have found one instance of this or the other.
Continue reading Masters of Disaster and Improvisation
Over the past few years, I noticed a pattern for myself. Whenever I found myself in a group situation, there is usually this one guy, the one that asks a lot of mystique questions. Do you know that guy? Sometimes there are a couple of them, sometimes there is none, sometimes it’s myself. That mystique guy (or gal) asks a lot of questions that drives you nuts. Within a second I can spot a coaching question coming up. Sometimes I project lots of meaning on why he’s asking that question. I think I developed some kind of resistance to that.
Continue reading Hard(ly) to coach