46

TL;DR: The main problem is the toxic culture of the company. You can't improve the team's behavior without addressing the toxicity of the environment. You need the company's leaders' full support on this. You can present them facts and solutions, but if they don't care (and from your question it is obvious they don't) and don't fully support you, then you ...


14

The team members understand perfectly how the company "works" and have no reason to change their behaviour. Why would they want to work harder for no reward just because you tell them? If the project is has delivered nothing but mission creep in 3 years, its real value to the company is zero. team members are acting like they are doing a favor to me ...


11

Senior Management Owns "Tone at the Top" Modern governance frameworks like COBIT, COSO, and others all describe some variation of "tone at the top". Basically, it boils down to the fact that in business, senior management owns all of the following: Responsibility for the project's success or failure. Responsibility for the design and operational ...


9

The biggest problem is Brooks' Law You did not say why you are trying to add freelance developers to the small project temporarily. If your project is late and you are hoping to crash the time line, remember Brooks' Law, "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later". It takes some "ramp up" time for the resources added to the project to ...


3

It's great that you already have simple Kanban working for you, now probably it's time to look at it and do Value Stream Mapping Basically you visually outline whole process and how the work flows through the board. What will be critical for you is to setup boundaries of the process. You correctly noticed that way external team organizes work is outside ...


3

TL;DR [W]e're also highly dependent on a lot of other teams' output - easily 1/3 of our tasks are at least potentially blocked if those other teams don't provide their pieces. Your underlying question is about how to deal with externalities with a Kanban system. The short answer is that you need multiple processes: one for pulling from vendors, and one ...


3

Agile is a team-based approach. I don't believe there is any way you can selectively coach or in any way differentiate between team members and still have a successful Agile working environment. However, it is important that the rules of engagement of the consultancy are set correctly. There needs to be a clear understanding that every team member is ...


3

I do not invalidate what any of the other said and there is obviously a problem of company culture. Yet I want to jump of this particular sentence you wrote : I am putting more resources such as external freelancers but the more I put the more they slow down. And it seems to me a perfect case of the Brooks law being verified: Brooks’ Law refers to ...


3

If the environment is as you describe, there is no chance whatsoever you can change your team's dynamics for your project, not in the time frame you are supposed to finish the project. What you are describing is an extremely disorganized, immature, ad hoc, and chaotic organization. And this is what was built from the organization's founders / leaders. And ...


2

I think it matters how the consultants are contracted for work. If they are contracted as time and materials and are more staff extension, then a team is a team is a team. If they are contracted to deliver a scope of work under a proposed and purchased method, then training them in anything is inconsistent with that kind of set up. Moreover, if their ...


2

Try to dig into the Bruce Tuckman's Team-Development Model. Based on it I believe that current state of your team is "storming". I won't give you any particular advice as the situation is really complex and only you know all the background, however I feel that trying to understand and going through the techniques of how to move team from "storming" to "...


1

I'm not in your shoes and I can't really judge what is happening. But as a developer, I have plenty of experience with project managers, good ones and bad ones. You have a team of developers working in a niche market, where people with domain knowledge can't just be hired off the street. At the same time, you have unclear, shifting requirements. If I had to ...


1

TL;DR This shouldn't be a coaching question. The real focus should be on how to effectively collaborate with your vendor as a business entity and with their people. It's likely that some critical step was missed when chartering this project, and those initial assumptions should be carefully reviewed to ensure that the project itself is operating as intended....


1

What jumped out at me was the continuous scope change and expansion. I think you could remedy some of the issues creating lots of milestones. Each one should be about a week or 2 long. Track - very visibly - the upcoming 2 or 3 milestones. Post frequent updates, as an email or a GANTT chart or a Kanban board. This will hopefully help motivate the team to ...


1

Can the client be a member of the team? Sure! It's quite possible that the Product Owner role is taken up by someone from the client. If this is the case though, this person will have to physically be near the team for a decent part of the week and will need to take their role in the team seriously. If the customer simply wants to have oversight, what I have ...


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