Tagteam management

Effective delegation

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Effective delegation is a core management skill that every leader should master. In essence, delegation is an act of transferring responsibility for specific tasks to others (teams or individuals). Delegation should result in freeing the manager up for more strategic work, but it goes beyond just getting stuff off the manager's plate. Delegating empowers the teams, builds trust, encourages...

Dunbar’s Number

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In the 1990s British anthropologist Robin Dunbar performed an interesting research and suggested that humans can comfortably maintain about 150 contacts. It’s now best known as the Dunbar’s Number and it’s a measurement of the “cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships”. Stable relationships mean that you know...

Recommended Books

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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.

Team Pulse Check

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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...

Innovation is easy, isn’t it?

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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...

Transparency

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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.

Art of Delegating

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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, it's easier said...

Rewards and recognition

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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 morale and disrupt...

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...