26

It sounds like you have team members from high power distance cultures. People may not speak up when the boss is in the room because their values require them to listen and follow, not to advise or lead. You may even notice it happening between junior and senior team members or between yourself and team members. Read more about power distance here: https://...


23

compare to other colleagues and feel insulted. The other two answers are good - but this confuses me. When I've done stakeholder analysis, the process has been open and participatory. There shouldn't be any value judgement. Power and influence are closely related to budget and participation. If a given stakeholder feels that the graph shows them as less ...


15

I personally don’t like tools you have to hide. This leads to mistrust and if it leaks (for whatever reason) you are in trouble. So we started 20 years ago to use a technique which is called project environment analysis (AKA extended stakeholder analysis). The tool is simple and efficient and is part of the open accessible project handbook and is also used ...


15

Analysis There is a chilling effect when he is here. Am I overreacting? Should I just try to build up the confidence of the team? or should I ban my boss from the retrospective? In my experience, this is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, and mistaking process problems for interpersonal ones. Let's enumerate some of the issues that ...


6

There are actually two questions here: What went wrong? From the short description, it seems that there has been no training but the person was just given the job title (maybe with a copy of the scrum guide). SM is a demanding role which has to be learned and which requires exquisite interpersonal skills, it's not just about holding ceremonies and pushing ...


5

The answer to this question depends a lot on the people in the team and on the boss. Normally, a Scrum team should not contain people with special roles, especially a boss. The balance of power gets messed up and you can kiss self-organization goodbye because a boss will have a tendency to decide on matters, and want to have the last word in various ...


5

I would recommend having a discussion with the whole team, the development manager and the Scrum Master present. The topic is: How much autonomy should the team have? Scrum typically gives the team a great deal of autonomy. This is because: Teams that make their own decisions tend to take responsibility for those decisions and adopt them better Teams tend ...


4

All the team members can agree on some set of guidelines to help. We are following these fun guidelines that are working very well for us: No person can talk for more than 1 minute at a time. Every person in the team must talk. Every person must nominate the name of another person in the team, at the end of his/her turn. The nominated person will then talk ...


4

One possibility would be using a tool like Slack. Create a team news channel. Anyone who hears any relevant news or notes any significant comments/events during the day will add them as a message on the channel. People returning to work after having been away can scroll back through the news.


4

I see two parts to your question, and they have very different answers: How can I get the most accurate estimates? There's a huge amount of information on this question, including techniques like smaller tasks (as you correctly proposed), relative estimates, team estimates, planning poker, and more. How can I trust the estimates I am given, since I don't ...


3

It's interesting that you are questioning the role of the SM but not the PM. There is no Project Manager role in Scrum and the PM shouldn't need to assign roles and tell an experienced team how to work. I would start by having a word with the PM and seeing if they are happy that the team should self-organize. If not then the PM is the real problem, not the ...


3

A few additional suggestions that we've tried with some success: To specify seating order, you can do things like: have everyone roll dice (slack has a D&D dice roller app, use /roll d100 to get a good dynamic range) have everyone say their favorite color then go in spectral order choose the first person by something lighthearted like oldest car, or ...


3

It's best to avoid using group titles like defenders and apathetics. The map in ProjectManagementBlueprint conveys the same stakeholder analysis but without the labels. It also uses the phrase engage and consult instead manage closely.


3

If the presence of any team member is reducing the performance and productivity of any activity, remove the problem. To expand on my answer a bit: a chilling effect brought on by a "superior" in the room is not uncommon. A lot of factors play a part in that, including the degree of "rank" gap between the boss and the team, cultural ...


3

Ask the developers for relative estimates rather than absolute ones. With relative estimation the development team put a points value on each deliverable item which measures its relative size and complexity, not its expected duration. You can then measure the actual number of points completed over a certain time (velocity). Velocity is an evidence-based ...


3

Are you working on a multi-cultural environment? If the answer is NO: You may be facing problems because of unclear roles and responsibilities. There's no Development Manager role in Scrum. I assume that's some sort of architect, responsible for the more complex decisions... nevertheless, if the fact you're challenging decisions is being considered ...


3

The first item in the Agile Manifesto is: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Your question lists a bunch of tools and asks about more tools, some that are more flexible to use given your new situation with people working remotely. How about turning the problem on its head and think about improving the interactions between people? At ...


3

I've experienced similar issues with literally every team I've worked with. I've learned that the problem is not the lack of a great tool to solve it. Daily standup meetings are pretty common and useful if executed correctly. The most common problem I've seen in dailies is that everyone is rushing to express himself/herself and make sure that he/she has ...


3

I might suggest that talking about this at the retro might be in order. Retrospectives and the action items that come out of them are often focused on process and how to improve it. However, it can be easy to forget that retros are a part of the process as well, and it is worthwhile to tweak them if they're not working the way they should. Now, it may a ...


2

This and other stakeholder analytics need to be tightly controlled and viewed only by those that need to view it. Changing the words can alter the tool's intent and in an unfavorable way. So do it as prescribed and protect it as if your job depends on it. EDIT: Segmenting stakeholders into one category or another is necessary so you know how to ...


2

As a Scrum Master, the only time when I would look to ban somebody from a retrospective is if the team asked me to do it. My recommendation would be to first coach the team and the boss on the importance of making the retrospective a safe space. The team (or the boss) may then act of their own accord. If that doesn't help I would make the team's behaviour ...


2

This is a tough place to be in. You have an inexperienced Project Manager and an inexperienced Scrum Master. The team is also new to Scrum. Chances are that the team will follow the Scrum Guide mechanistically, because that's usually what happens when inexperienced people need to put something in practice which requires experience (and that's valid for a ...


2

Honestly, Duncan, I think that you should simply present it to everyone and presume that all concerned are "at work right now" and thinking about the project ... not their fragile egos. This four-square diagram is functional and descriptive, and anyone's free to disagree with you -- if they care in the slightest. Show them this diagram if there is a ...


2

You are right to be concerned about how the chart would be perceived by your stakeholders. The best answer, in my opinion, is to not publish it - there's no rule stating every document you produce has to be provided to the project team. This document is meant to be an analytical tool so you, as a project manager, can make decisions on how to handle each of ...


2

Self-checkup First of all, I would suggest you do a self-checkup. You seem to be handling a lot of things all of a sudden. If you juggle with to much stuff, you will inevitably drop some on the floor. So first thing you need to do is to sit down with yourself and see how much you can realistically do, which are the things you need to handle, and which are ...


1

I would propose - in addition to other methods - that you send around a weekly status report. It should have as paragraph headings the Team Name and then a few bullet points of what they recently achieved and what they plan on doing. The introductory section can highlight issues that will affect more than one team. Your example of shutting down functions ...


1

You will have to realize that video conferencing is a far cry from a face-to-face meeting. Almost all the non-verbal communication that takes place in a face-to-face meeting goes out the door in a video conference. It is also harder to interrupt someone or to detect when someone is about to begin speaking, so people tend to speak more in turns and wait a ...


1

Key aspects of a task list I am seeking recommendations on how to manage an individual (my own) task list or how best to create a work management plan. Identify urgent vs important tasks: Urgent tasks tend to crowd important tasks to the background. Deadline: When do the stakeholders say they need it. Delivery commitment: When are you able to deliver ...


1

But also, let it be said that most of the software teams that I have worked with over many decades are entirely or partly "remote." (Even within the USA, which is a very big country.) Some people who work in the same city work from their homes and have done so for decades. Many different types of collaborative software, project management hubs, and so ...


1

You can take a look at https://funretro.io/ service. You can share the board in advance so that team adds their points in advance. This will speed up the retrospective. This service offers several popular retrospective templates. Another tool worth exploring is Miro (previously RealtimeBoard): https://miro.com/blog/features/realtimeboard-is-now-miro/. ...


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