13

Misusing a Metric No one else has really covered this, so I'm going to point out that this appears to be a misuse of a management metric. Specifically: He did a semi-good job this year, completing a number of complex tasks and people seem to get along really well with him and he is always willing to help. That's the summary of the actual management ...


13

There are consequences to his behavior. For one thing, (assuming he as an at-will employee and your live in an at-will area) there is nothing stopping your company from cutting string with this person immediately. From the sound of things, he is in sabotage mode so it would be in your company's best interest to mitigate that and send him on his way. That ...


11

I have seen highly effective teams full of junior developers and disastrous teams full of senior developers. Rather than focusing on seniority and experience, I recommend: Hiring highly collaborative people Looking for a good mix of personality types (starters, completer-finishers, etc.) Hiring people with good leadership skills - willing to step up and ...


8

The criteria you will use for assessment depend on what you, as a boss, value, on what's for you, as a boss, important. You may create a long list of them (communication, honesty, humor, transparency...) , but people will get confused, so I'd limit to few, like 5 or 7, choosing the most important for you. In my opinion more important than a list itself, ...


8

Summary Does it make sense to hire a product owner from outside the company? If I do what skills should they have? Maybe. A better question is whether someone from inside the company or outside the company will have a better vision for a given product. I've personally been successful as an outside Product Owner, and have seen inside Product Owners both ...


7

TL;DR The loss or malfeasance of key personnel is always a project risk. You can often mitigate such risks through technical or administrative controls, separation of duties, and cross-training, but the risk level will never be zero. Once a risk is actualized, preventative controls are rarely practical. Instead, you will need to trigger (or create) ...


6

EI and conflict management goes hand in hand. EI will be useful in all areas - Negotiations with client during inconvenient situations Motivation to resources who may not be happy with their role/responsibilities or senior management Conflict between team members Your team member may not be happy with you as well, you dont have to take it personally and ...


6

There are three key things that a PO should have to be successful: Authority, Time, and Knowledge. So, to your point, without having domain knowledge, the Product Owner's job becomes very difficult. I've worked with some very good Product Owners who are great at connecting to people with the knowledge and asking the right questions. This can bridge the ...


6

TL;DR: Probably not, unless they bring some key expertise you did not already have in your company. It depends, most product owners I have seen on teams are what I would call a proxy product owner. Translating business needs into stories and helping stakeholder prioritise between them. Shielding the team while understanding what technical debt means, and ...


6

TL;DR Your job as a Product Owner (PO) or Project Manager (PM) is not to have all the answers. Your job is to have a vision, and to communicate options to stakeholders and business decision-makers. Analysis and Solutions What if somebody is asking a salary increase? if I keep him, I have higher costs. Hence probably my budget will blow up. I can try to ...


5

Project Success is the Metric, All Else is a Proxy Measuring skills or teamwork (whatever that actually means, assuming you can measure it at all) is really just a proxy for measuring whether someone is supporting the project and making a valuable contribution to the project's process. Even assuming that you're measuring something vaguely relevant (e.g. a ...


5

There are a few really hard problems to solve that relate to programmers in the workplace. In my opinion, it's your job as part of management to solve some or all of them. If you are doing so, you could say you are indirectly responsible for the efficiency of the programmers, overall. You may also take account of a few things compared to other companies, ...


5

In my organization many PMs get very little say in Human Resources decisions for their projects. The functional manager says who they can spare that fits the criteria and that is who the project manager gets. This said I don't think there is anyone who doubts our PMs are in fact PMs. I think the same holds true for costs. If you are managing projects you ...


5

TL;DR you aren't selling the right thing Is there a way I can prove, on paper at least, that we need to have more resources? It doesn't look like your goal is to prove anything. Even if it was, it would be rather pointless: in most cases a person who you have proven a point to won't like you after that. You aren't going to get more resource by proving ...


5

No, it can't. In the RACI format, the Accountable person is the one ultimately answerable for the correct completion of the task. It is also the one who delegates the work to those marked as "Responsible". As such, there has to be only one accountable specified. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix


4

Don't Perform Bad Science The fields of computer science and project management currently have no models that can accurately predict software errors. There are various theories and models, but none of them will provide you with guaranteed results. See cyclomatic complexity as just one example where there is disagreement about the measure's correlation to ...


4

There are several studies done in the 80's (Hunter & Hunter, 1982), still relevant today, that examined various job predictors and their validity to job performance. Those studies showed that job testing, simulation, cognitive testing and other psychometric testing were much higher in validity, i.e., they predicted job performance better than the others ...


4

Is the goal to remove the bottom 10%, 15% of those on probation or is this simply a process everyone goes through before becoming a full employee? If the former, then you need measurable, hard criteria, not soft ones you listed. It needs to be tied to what they do, something you can count and measure, and then the bottom 10% gets whacked. If the latter, ...


4

It is best to consult with the managers who have had the probationary resources working for them up to now. Presumably they will be the ones providing you with the ratings based on their experience with the resources to date. Be careful to ensure: All resources are evaluated on the same criteria. As David mentioned, your HR group may have policies/...


4

Wow, huge question! Let's talk about: Capabilities: Personal skills and knowledge Talent: How much effort is necessary to be good at something? Potential: The end of development within a specific domain To identify the next good PM you need to: Identify the required capabilities within your company. I would prioritise leadership and communications like ...


4

Here are some simple practices I use: ask questions, don't point out problems. "Hm, what will happen if X and Y, tho?" rather than "Yeah, but if X and Y, it will all come crashing down." use the first person plural, not the second person. "What if we", not "What if you". get into the fairly-frequent habit of asking "ok, what are the possible pros and cons ...


3

I commend your attempt to "objectify" the evaluation. Setting up the criteria improves the chance that you'll treat everyone fairly and reduce creeping bias. I've got some misgivings about "attitude". I'm not sure I'd want to measure that. Any situation I can imagine in which I would mark a team member down for attitude would reflect negatively on ...


3

Here's the problem for organizations and predicting future job success: What are the attributes and work behaviors consistent with a particular job role's success? How do you observe or test for those attributes and work behaviors that produce both RELIABLE and VALID results, minimizing biases? How do you pay for this? For a job role, if you try to do ...


3

It sounds like your company understands the need for project and operations excellence as it relates to what they manufacture but seems to have a blind spot for other non-core projects. As we all know, change occurs with the right sponsor. You were silent as to who politely ignored you but, if there are higher ranking people above, you need to talk with ...


3

Generally speaking, there is always something for people to do. They can help a colleague with their tasks, learn a new trick, write some documentation, clean up some code, talk with some other team, prepare a presentation on some useful topic, get people coffee, talk to a product owner or stakeholder about goals, learn about some existing piece of product, ...


3

TL;DR: Sure, where else would you hire one? Does it make sense to hire a product owner from outside the company? Sure, why not. You hire all your other staff from outside the company, product owners don't grow on magical trees in the basement. It's a job just like Scrum Master or Member of the Development Team. You need one, you hire one. If I do ...


3

Let's simplify your question down. Feature A is expected to cost $X to deliver and in reality costs $1.2X to deliver. This can be because of a raise, inflation, change in needs, or a ton of other reasons. Let's assume for a moment that quality is a constant and you can't just release shoddy work to meet your deadlines. You mentioned the traditional iron ...


2

Only #4 has any validity of the four reasons you posted. The PM is accountable for the success for the project and, therefore, should have either decision making responsibility or at least a lot of influence on the decisions about who joins the team. That said, a PM would be best served to understand how to get the most of the employees he is assigned. ...


2

Agner Erlang originated queueing theory in 1909 in telephony. In a completely deterministic system, no delays are present until we exceed 100 percent utilization. Erlang showed that because phone calls arrive at unpredictable times and have unpredictable durations, delays rise exponentially BEFORE we reach 100 percent utilization. This math does not only ...


2

My experience has been a bit different from Mark's, as a PM I am often asked to contribute to performance evaluations as I am in a reasonably good position to assess team members from a wide range of functional units. Every organization that I've worked for has tried to objectively document performance metrics of one type or another that are aligned in ...


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