Posts

Limiting Work in Progress

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In many organisations being busy is valued more than delivering the results. At first sight, it may sound quite reasonable – after all, we’re all paid for having hands full of work, aren’t we? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In a vast majority of cases, the more tasks we try to complete, the less we really accomplish. And pushing yourself to work even harder...

Agile Assessment

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Many organisations and teams that adopt Agile come to the point when knowing how agile they are becomes an important question. It’s especially important when first stages of Agile transformation prove to be successful, teams finally work at a sustainable pace and it becomes more difficult to identify obvious areas for further improvements.

Salary formula

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This post was inspired by Management 3.0 and a very nice reading about Buffer’s policy. Salaries are classified Employees’ compensation is a very sensitive topic. In most organisations it’s also the most secret and the least openly discussed one. My experience says that people don’t necessarily need to know the salaries of their colleagues, but they definitely want to know...

Time-boxed sizing

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Creating a long-term product-roadmap or release plan for a large project is a challenge. Features that are going to be implemented in many months ahead aren’t probably well-defined and, therefore, it’s very difficult to size and estimate them reasonably. Moreover, if you’re laying out an early version of the plan it doesn’t make any sense to invest significant time to...

Relative Value Points

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Product backlog should be DEEP – detailed appropriately, emergent, estimated and prioritised. Everyone who learns about Scrum should be familiar with these key attributes of a good product backlog. But how is the product backlog ordered? Well, most Scrum practitioners would probably say that it’s Product Owner’s decision, but the business value seems like a fair attribute to be...

Performance appraisals

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Traditional performance appraisals Most organisations have a formal process for evaluating the performance of its employees. Usually, it has a form of an annual performance review where employee’s work performance and behaviours are assessed, rated and documented by direct managers. The ultimate goal of a performance review system is to reward and retain capable employees by keeping them...

Meetings can be destructive

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I’ve just read an interesting article about meetings Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule which reminded me about 37signals statement that “meetings are toxic” Meetings Are Toxic. While I understand that meetings can’t be eliminated I also agree that many of them require urgent changes. The main issues I find destructive in far too many meetings are: No clear purpose. No...

Setting goals: OKRs

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I’ve recently come across a great video by Rick Klau about setting goals at Google. OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results and are used at Google for setting goals at company’s, teams’ and individuals’ level. A great advantage of this system is that individual goals are aligned with company’s goal, therefore, everyone is rowing in the same direction. Key points...

Good Retrospectives

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Overview Retrospective is one of the inspect-and-adapt opportunities provided by Scrum framework. It’s a time-boxed event for the team to analyse their way of working and identify and plan potential improvements. Sprint retrospective is one of the most important, but probably also the least appreciated practices in the Scrum framework. Therefore, retrospectives have to be carefully taken...

Managing Product Adaptability

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Overview Creating reliable and adaptable software is not straightforward even if the team embraces Agile practices. In most cases, however, it’s not lack of technical capability or poor performance that prevents the team from achieving this goal. My experience says that the teams are aware that constant refactoring, automated tests, design spikes, etc. are required to keep the system...