Get Something done *every day*

So you already get stuff done every day. But who besides you knows this?

“Get stuff done every day. If the task is too large, break it down and explain what you’re doing. But get something done every day.

It’s too easy for us to say “I’m still working on associating the widgets to the watzits”. But with this level of information the customer only hears ” – still – “.

Continue reading “Get Something done *every day*”

Agile Chronicles Blog: A few good managers

This is awesome..

Development: “You want answers?”
Marketing: “I think we are entitled to them!”
Development: “You want answers?!”
Marketing: “I want the truth!”
Development: “You can’t handle the truth!!!

Son, we live in a world that requires software. And that software must be built by people with elite skills. Who’s going to build it? You, Mr. Marketing? You, Mr. Sales? You, Mr. Finance? You, Mr. Human Resources? I don’t think so.

Agile Chronicles: A Few Good Managers

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Hunting vs. Gathering – our cavemen brain

I’ve spent the last few months implementing GTD and I’m still getting used to it, although I feel I’m achieving a comfortable rythm. One of the big “ah-hah” moments in this process however is the difference between our “hunting” and our “gathering” brains. The basic premise of dividing your time in “collecting without doing” and then “doing without collecting” is what makes you feel like you’re “in the zone” when you’re doing stuff and gives you a relaxed feeling when you’re done collecting your stuff.

After doing this for a little bit and then having a small crisis on a Scrum project (where requirements for the current sprint kept changing during the sprint). I realized that one of the big sources of mental stress is precisely trying to do both at once. Our brains just don’t seem to be able to handle it.

The way I see it, our brains are pretty much still cavemen brains, used to running out and hunting deer for a very long period of time, and then going out and foraging for food for another long period of time. If you get into a “chase” mode when you’re foraging, it means you’re the one being chased, and it automatically fires our stressors.

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Don't try this on a scrum team, kids! provides us with a funny list of things to do to “look busy”.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned in my short time on this earth that have kept me from getting too much accomplished. » How to Do Nothing at Work, and Get Away With It

He goes on to explain his “tips”.

It left me thinking two things. First, I’m very glad he’s not on my team, second, the value of scrum and agile methodologies to get rid of the dead weight. Here’s my response to it:

I’m a lead in a web development team, and I manage and assign work for web developers. This is the behavior that gets you fired from my team.

Let’s analyze it shall we?

Look Busy/Look Stressed: We’re a Scrum team, we meet every day to talk about what we did the day before, what we will do today, and what roadblocks we have in our way. So why aren’t you asking for help? I have no use for web devs with such little people skills that they won’t even ask other members of their peer group for help. If you can’t be on a team, maybe you should go independent and not work on a team.

Speak Quickly/Hide/Break Limb/Make Excuses/Never Leave your office/rearrange furniture,etc: The only thing here that may work is breaking a limb. And even then if that happened to you it would make you a prime candidate for pairing with another developer. All the others, your non-activity would show up on the cvs commit log. In my team we have a great cvs mailer that shows colored differences of what you did, and I check it daily.

Choose a Profession people don’t understand: Your manager is probably not a techie, or he’s as lazy as you are about checking your work. You’re a perfect example why only techies can manage techies, and techie managers need to code at least 20% of their time on the current project so they can keep their skills. Also following the cvsspam list helps understand the issues.

So you see, using Scrum or other Agile methodologies underscores the lack of value of these people and will make it obvious who needs to drop off your team. Either that or they’ll shape up via peer pressure, which in the long run will make the ex-lazy team member happier as well.

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