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

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...

Benefits of using Scrum [over waterfall]

Agile is probably the best approach when it comes to developing complex IT solutions. It’s widely used in product development, but unfortunately, it’s still not that straightforward when you’re working for external clients. The problem is that in far too many situations it’s the corporate purchasing department that awards the seller with a contract, and fixed-scope, fixed...

Tracking progress of the release

Having a potentially shippable product every sprint lies in a heart of Agile, but in many organisations – especially the ones that don’t work in SaaS model – a product is not released to the market every sprint. Sometimes frequent delivery is not possible (i.e. in case some additional tasks like a translation of a documentation, legal approval, etc. have to be done at the end of the...

Splitting large features into smaller stories – Elephant Carpaccio

Many teams transitioning to Agile struggle with delivering a potentially shippable product every sprint. Producing a piece of software that provides a business value to a client every 2 weeks seems impossible. Usually, teams say that they can deliver either front-end, or backend, or architecture design for a given feature, but not all these together. It’s a common problem for many teams...

Transparency

Transparency is a key value in Agile organisations. It improves employees’ motivation and make the teams perform better. At the same time, transparency is difficult to achieve, because it usually requires serious changes to company’s culture and mindset. You can’t do it overnight, but fortunately, each and every step towards this goal counts. Transparency allows for building an...

Art of Delegating

Introduction Empowering people and teams is critical for organisations to gain competitive advantage and succeed. Smart delegating of responsibilities results in more engaged employees, better culture and improved overall productivity of a company. Knowledge and experience are shared among a larger group of employees which in turn increases organisation’s flexibility and agility. However...

Inter-team Commitment Stories

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

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

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

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...