Posts

Inter-team Commitment Stories

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Managing complex and lengthy projects is a challenge. When dozens of people are working on the same product in parallel there has to be a mechanism for identifying and resolving dependencies and cross-team blockers. In traditional projects, it’s a PM’s task to ensure that all the team members are working on right tasks in right order. She is the one who decides about priorities...

Estimating software projects

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Couple weeks ago I came across a great article about software estimation by Pawel Brodzinski which made me think about how my approach to estimating software projects has evolved over time. At the moment I work in product development where Agile approach is used to deliver new increments of software. We have stable teams and we use Story Points and Velocity to estimate and plan our sprints and...

Rewards and recognition

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Introduction An effective reward system can motivate employees and increase their work performance. It can have a very powerful influence on people’s behaviour and, therefore, many organisations implement it as an integral component of their compensation strategy. However, not all reward programmes are beneficial. Moreover, inefficient systems are counterproductive, destroy creativity, hurt...

100% utilisation myth and slack time

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In my recent blog post I covered a topic of limiting Work in Progress. I briefly mentioned that in many companies working on many tasks in parallel is somehow more important than accomplishing them. 100 utilisation myth Many organisation believe that their employees should always be busy with work which results in aiming for their constant 100% utilisation. At first glance it may sound reasonable...

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...