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Conversation is Not Inherently Disruptive I work with a team of developers who are talented but often distract each other with chit-chat. You say they are "talented but distracted." What makes you think they are talented? Why do you think they are distracted? What is your metric for determining that the team or the process is operating at a sub-optimal ...


25

Manager-Tools.com has a couple of great podcasts on effective note taking. Really changed how I took notes and made them a lot more effective. The really simple boil down is that business isn't college and you're not taking notes to study for a future test. Instead your notes should focus on two things. 1- What was decided: If everyone agreed that you'd ...


22

No, don't even think about taking someone's phone. If they're looking at their Facebook account or personal Twitter account during a meeting, then you have a bigger problem, and the solution most likely would involve possibly trying to recruit and hire the right kind of people; ideally, those who are capable of acting like adults. However, one thing ...


21

1.How to communicate with them so they can be follow my instructions? The team shouldn't be following your instructions, they should be following a plan that they contributed to and signed off on. As a PM your job isn't to do or manage technical work, it is to make sure that the people who are responsible for the doing and managing are following the plan. ...


20

I think Retrospective is more appropriate name in this case Imho, project is dead when it has been aborted (or abandoned), if it has been successfully deployed then the project is very much alive (the code is there and it works!).


18

that's a very pertinent question! I'd rephrase it in a slightly different way: Why people don't pay enough attention to meetings? The usage of mobiles (or any other gadgets) just for distraction (at least in the meetings I've been to) is mainly because people don't believe the meeting is useful. So, instead of trying to solve the consequence, I'd suggest ...


15

To answer the question in a different way, I find that employee motivation varies dramatically from person to person and generational tags have little value. When dealing with younger workers, there are a few common traits, however, and I have had some success with: Explaining the big picture: A lot of younger workers want to be part of something that ...


14

When I was a new project manager, I had trouble separating my previous role as a developer from my new role as a project manager. What compounded my problem was that it was a gradual move, as the project I worked on started out as just me as a developer, and eventually led to me working as a project manager and leaving the technical details to the team. ...


14

You are actually in an enviable position in that you have a client who is engaged enough to get involved. My problem is usually one of getting that kind of attention. Depending on the complexity of the documents and the size of the team you are probably saving more time (outside of travel) going through this FTF than dealing with it through email because: ...


14

Person-month is politically correct synonym for Man-month. It's mean amount of work performed by the average worker in one month. So, if: project requires 12 persons-months of development time all team members do only pure development activity (i.e. they are telepaths and they don't need to spend time for communication with each other). [note: this is not ...


13

First, every appraisal, no matter who does it, is arbitrary to some point. If someone isn't fine with that they should find a place where there's no appraisals at all. Second, for someone who is looking for feedback, more feedback should be always better than less feedback. I mean, even when I don't fully agree with someone's opinion it can still be very ...


13

Duck First, introduce the equivalent of a stuffed duck in the office. Questions should always be asked to it first. This one depends on the level of trust you have from that other team, and their own technical level. Make sure they don't take it as poking fun at them for not being able to work on their own. Question ticket board Then, introduce a question ...


12

Bugs: Programming generally involves taking many vague or abstract concepts and then tying them together to build something great. Judging developers based on the number of bugs in the code perhaps one of the worst ways an organization can shoot itself in the foot. In a world where everything is so pro-Agile, there is no blueprint to follow. We're not ...


12

How should one go about it? Very very carefully. The politics around this are huge. What you do not know is if the actions by senior management are at the direction of senior leadership. Decision are being made based on information to which you are not privy or of which you are not aware. So what may not make sense to you may make perfect sense based on ...


12

As Thomas Owens noted, one of the solutions to scaling up Scrum is the Scrum of Scrums. What you describe in the OP, however, is different: We've tried that each team delegates an "ambassador" who participate on the others' stand-up too but in that case the info flow was not the best. Instead of each team sending an ambassador to other teams' daily Scrum,...


11

Command-and-Control vs. Self-Organizing Teams Should I collect all the phones before a meeting? ...I don't want to punish everyone just because a few people can't pay attention[.] It depends. Are you facilitating a meeting between adults, or babysitting kids? If you treat adults like kids, then you abandon all hope of creating teams where people step up ...


11

The Problems Reading between the lines a bit, it would seem that you have a few related issues. Your "team" is too large to be truly agile. You may want to consider splitting up into cross-functional tiger teams with a focus rather than a multi-project, matrixed organization. The purpose of your stand-up hasn't really been defined. Truly agile stand-ups ...


10

Not an easy situation you describe. In my view it is important to stick to someones values. For me this includes telling the truth and insisting on being honest with the customers. If you - as a company - stuffed up the project then it is just a matter of time that the customer will find out. In my opinion it is better to share the bad news sooner rather ...


10

Redefine the Problem You list several problems that you believe make your projects late. Specifically, you said that: Deadlines are missed because we're adding many functions in that Web application. We have people with not-so-good skills for that project. The people who are freelancers will only have a little time to work. These may be ...


10

Great answers before mine! Let me add this: I see the biggest driver to your schedule woes is feature creep. If you focus on nothing else, focus on this. When features are added like this, you get a new timeline against which to measure your schedule performance. If you are not enforcing an appropriate change process, then being on time is near ...


10

option 1: it might work if you make these standups extremely quick and efficient (15 min is the maximum, standup could be much shorter) option 2: sounds like a disaster to me; having so many people and projects, it would be impossible to process it all in a meaningful way and still keep it under 15 minutes; you might end up with long boring "standups" (I've ...


10

I don't know why aclear16 deleted his answer. His answer is perfect. There are a ton of positives with idle, unproductive time by way of teaming. It matures the team and you want that. I'd even go as far to say that, if you are running behind, let the social time continue because the positive aspects of that will help, not hurt. And likely the down time was ...


10

Great project management is not about hitting your targets 100% of the time. Much of our performance is probabilistic where many of the drivers of our results are out of control and very random. Missing your targets becomes a problem if it became a surprise for you as the PM and your customer. If you were monitoring properly, such as using critical path ...


10

Your Capacity Planning and Prioritization Processes Need Re-Engineering You appear to be attempting to solve the wrong problem by treating this as an individual-availability issue. This is most likely because you have a weirdly-matrixed organization that isn't based around project teams or team capacity planning, but apparently based on the notoriously ...


9

I'll echo what David said with a real life experience. Face to face meetings, with clear information radiators are the hands down best way to do this. If you can't be face to face, then get on a conference call and use Webex (or other similar), really use it to be your information radiator. When I joined a past company, the status report was this mammoth ...


9

Every industry has lingo. It slowly evolves and becomes a sort of sub culture of the industry itself. Even if technically not correct in terms of a literal definition or even proper grammer, it becomes okay and common and accepted. So, no matter how any of us dissect the word, I doubt any of us can say we have never heard anyone use post mortem in our ...


9

The easy solution is to have only one standup which is for the team. My recommendation is to talk about only the upcoming work and focus on those issues which my cause some troubles later on such as cross-project tasks, integration tasks, tasks which are on the board for a long time. With this approach the three personal oriented questions need to be ...


9

The downsides that you mention could just as easily be applied to project teams if you continue to have different groups siloed. It's a threat to productivity and to project success as you can't ask peers from other functional units that you have to interact with a quick question without walking down the hall It's a hit to project team morale as both teams ...


8

More communication? Yes! Always. Especially if you can't come up with any reason not to. The worst thing that could happen is that you actually find problems and have to fix them. As far as estimates, be careful. Don't let non-technical people try to bargain with estimates. (Hopefully)Those estimates were created by the technical people who will be ...


8

"Get closer to the team and solve their problems " Project Manager's key value addition comes from the fact that she is responsible for ensuring the project's success and in addition to reporting,estimating and highlighting , actually solving the team problems,suggesting/soliciting trade offs to ensure success,managing an efficient budget,keeping the team'...


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