Piotr Nowinski

Software Engineering Manager, Agile Coach, PMP, PSM, SPS

About

Hi, I’m Piotr and I’m a host of this independent blog where I share stuff that I deal with in my professional life. It’s mainly about software development management and team management, though it wanders into other areas at times.

I live in Gliwice, Poland with my wife and daughter, and I consider myself a reasonable experienced software engineering manager with a particular interest in Agile and cultivating strong, self-organizing teams.

More about me

Latest stories

Recommended Books

I am often asked about books I recommend that aspiring leaders should read. Appearances to the contrary, it is not an easy question to answer. I went through what I recall I have read and came up with the following, very narrowed-down list of books I think are mandatory for every software engineering manager.

Agile

Software Development Management

Team
management

Other

Team Pulse Check

One of the software engineering manager’s responsibilities is to understand the team’s dynamics and to know if your direct reports are happy in their jobs. While it sounds easy getting full insights from 1:1s, team meetings, or from your direct collaboration with the team is not always that straightforward. It may happen that your team members wait with raising their concerns or...

Interrupt Buffer

In a perfect world, a Scrum team should be allowed to execute their sprint without being interrupted, and all changes or new requirements should be addressed at dedicated Scrum events. While Scrum teams should aim for a world of no sprint interruptions, it’s not the reality most teams face on daily basis. Customer usually do request new functionalities, users do discover critical defects...

Definition of Ready

Most (if not all) Scrum teams have a more or less formal Definition of Done (DoD) that dictates when a given user story can be considered as completed (done) and ready for shipment. At the same time, only a few Agile teams have a Definition of Ready (DoR) which, if used smartly, can also give the team a lot of benefits and prevent them from wasting their precious time. To be fully transparent I...

To estimate or not to estimate [bugs]?

At some point in time, many Agile teams struggle with how to handle bugs and/or maintenance tasks they are faced with. And the core of this problem is whether bugs should be estimated or not. As always, each approach has its pros and cons, but based on my experience I reckon that estimating bugs is not worth the hassle. Let me explain why. Bug is a waste The main goal of every Agile team is to...

Innovation is easy, isn’t it?

Early this year Harvard Business Review published an interesting article about innovative organizations by Gary P. Pisano. Most organizations perceive innovative culture as a key to their future competitive advantage and therefore something leaders want to establish and invest in. Also, employees value innovative organizations and consider them as a great place to work for. Moreover, it seems...

Too many meetings

One of the most common complaints you may hear about Scrum is that it introduces too many meetings. Let’s have a closer look at this problem. Summary of Scrum meetings Scrum framework defines several meetings that are designed to address 3 pillars of every implementation of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. All Scrum meetings are time-boxed and for a 2...

Confessions of a Change Agent (by Henrik Kniberg)

Recently I’ve come across a presentation “Confessions of a Change Agent” done by Henrik Kniberg at Agile Rock Conference 2018. Highly recommended for everyone who is or wants to be an internal or external consultant helping organizations to improve (well, change). The main points: Attitude not a roleChange is easy if people want itInspire > ChangeSlow down to speed upPlant...

Stack Overflow Developer Survey Results 2019

Few weeks ago Stack Overflow presented the results of their annual Developer Survey. I recommend having a look into that as there are lot of interesting insights in there. Link to the results: Technologies Top 10 of most popular technologies (programming / markup / scripting languages) are: Top 10 of most wanted technologies are: And Python is the fastest-growing major language today. Challenges...