56

If you aren't paying people, you really shouldn't expect them to stay around. If you want to give someone equity in exchange for payment; it should be a large amount of equity, and it should be spelled out in a contract, that stipulates the vesting period (if they aren't getting any money it should be an accelerated vesting period tied to milestones), but ...


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 ...


10

Lots of good answers already, but one thing I think may be missing is customer feedback. Developers will initially be enthusiastic at solving technical problems, but to sustain their enthusiasm they need to feel what they are doing is worthwhile. The best way to give them that feeling is to ship your product to real customers and to get regular feedback. ...


9

TL;DR Gamification is inherently competitive, which is contrary to the "succeed or fail as a team" concept that underlies many agile methodologies. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea; it just means it's not well-suited for use with frameworks like Scrum or Extreme Programming. Your mileage may vary with other methodologies. Competitive Nature of ...


9

Get the team committed to the business goals In the long run, you should get the team committed to the business goals so much that they voluntarily step up to do what it takes to accomplish them without worrying too much about what their job position is. In the short run, here are some things you can try: Challenge the development team to automate part of ...


9

You've identified a risk, and a possible solution. I'd refrain from considering your solution (more documentation) as "the" solution and ask them to apply it straight away. You're working with a team of experts, which will likely have a different point of view on the matter, so do not expect to be able to "motivate" them into doing what you want... engage ...


9

Equity only? Well, you haven't made it clear just how "good" (your word) the equity is, but yes, likely the lack of anything tangible in terms of compensation is one of the factors involved here. But it's probably not the only one. It also sounds like you are running a virtual team, so it makes it easier for the individuals to fade into obscurity because ...


8

You are creating a cause and effect between a lowering morale and motivation with doing certain tasks. My first reaction is you are creating a cause and effect that does not exist. Every job in the world has tasks no one likes, or tasks with which one might feel less competent, or tasks that causes some anxiety or worry. They may not like it but it does ...


8

Robert Austin wrote a short, devastating little book, Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, that neatly demonstrates why and how most personal measurement systems are doomed be either at best distortionary or at worse actively dysfunctional. The problem is that you're introducing personal measurement. Under selected circumstances, that can ...


7

TL;DR While Kanban practices can be used successfully for discrete projects, the Kanban framework is best suited to ongoing, queue-based processes. To be used properly in iterative development, you need to implement effective feedback loops for your processes and raise the visibility of your project's input queue. Kanban in Manufacturing Kanban has its ...


7

@Mamoo is right. A new and junior project manager does not have the authority or influence to jump to a solution and ask the team to implement it. Even as a two decade project manager I wouldn't try to impose a solution on the team. As PM you have to help them to find their own solution. To do this you first need to get them to identify the problem. Until ...


7

I'm a manager of a software development team who was a designer. I started with almost no prior knowledge of writing code, other than simple html and CSS. My initial view was that they are the experts in their field and I am an expert in mine. I am just using my PM expertise to help them become more efficient and better organised, so that their skills can ...


7

Stop Abusing Velocity I know it is not common for management to rely on velocity as a measure of productivity. But in this company, velocity and individual points are how teams and individuals are evaluated. So, you know the company is doing the wrong thing and following an anti-pattern, and yet you're expecting a different outcome. That isn't reasonable....


6

The good news is that money has been shown to be a very weak motivator in many studies. The increase one may exhibit by money is short lived. A guy named Daniel Pink argued that motivation is intrinsic and can be divide into three factors: autonomy mastery purpose Start your research here. This doesn't mean you can ignore the money. You need to meet ...


6

TL;DR If your employee truly is bored, and one or both of you think this is actually a problem that needs to be solved, ask her for solutions that suit the both of you. The path to professional self-actualization for both of you starts with communication, collaboration, and alignment. You need to address those dynamics before you can properly measure or ...


6

Just to give a different perspective/possibility than David Espina's Answer... What I'm reading happened is this: Problems occurred You assumed (without talking to the contractors?) that more planning, updates, and roadblocks would fix the problems. The contractors didn't agree with you. The contractors are doing everything they can to ignore the new ...


6

First of all i really enjoyed your question Sergey Yakovlev to the point of giving an upvote. It appears to me what you really try to understand is How are people motivated to do their work at work? I assume if you found out money is really a game changer, you would do all the possible efforts to get that into the hands of your workers. From that point ...


6

I liked Todd A. Jacobs', Tiago Martins Peres' and some others' answers, but I wanted to add to them. While this isn't a complete answer I think it is too much to place in the comments, so perhaps consider this a supplement to the other answers. Startups, especially unfunded startups, are not the same as established businesses. Equity, especially in such an ...


5

Focus on accomplishing the Sprint goal Scrum is not just about completing stories. It is about delivering business value. So, you should start by discussing and agreeing on the Sprint goal. And then, the development team can have further discussion and negotiation with the Product Owner. For example, the development team can propose dropping some bells and ...


5

It is a poor workman who blames his tools. The false premise underlying this question annoys me; I have rewritten this answer several times to try to take out the withering sarcasm and the ire, but I think that ultimately it is more honest and effective to admit that I am working hard to be respectful while I am annoyed. I have worked on teams that rely ...


5

Documentation is always the stepchild of development. Although you could simply order them to do it, there are a few points to take care of when you want to motivate them: Demonstrate the problem Have they ever seen the problem? Right now it's an abstract problem. You think something might happen in the future. You will have better chances if you can provide ...


5

How to keep the team motivated Ask the team. Chances are, the team knows both: What they want to do What improvements to their process would help most ...far better than you (or, most certainly, strangers on the internet) ever could. So ask them, discuss, and then ensure they're empowered to actually carry it out.


5

Frankly, I don't see how it can be done. Specifically, I don't see what you could do, considering the constraints you have (and some of them are assumptions): No real-world contact to your and between your (co-)workers. The software you're developing is probably given, you can't just do something completely different all of a sudden. No money. I see three ...


5

From what you are describing, it looks like: You want your team to be (more) self-organizing and proactive in doing the work, and engaging in conversations with you (the PO) when they spot something missing. You want them to be more Agile. Your developers are more accustomed to being told what to do and to receive detailed task for which they don't really ...


4

The Scrum Master Isn't a Team Mascot or Cheerleader As a Scrum Master, what actions or steps do I need to take when team members are not engaged or motivated, especially when the team members realize they don't have to report to me and that I don't do their appraisals? You and your organization have failed to understand the role of the Scrum Master. The ...


4

I have had a similar problem to what you're describing; when I first began working with my current team I was very direct and it resulted in a lot of resistance from the team. After running into the brick wall enough times, I hit a period where I would make an attempt to do something or a suggestion just to say "Hey, I tried" and then would give up and let ...


4

This is a change management issue. Unfortunately, successful management of change - particularly negative change like what your organization is going through - has to start well in advance of the change. If this hasn't been done then you are looking at picking up the pieces. And you can't pick up the pieces by yourself. The key is getting several levels of ...


4

Many interview questions are less about the answer you give and more about your thought process. I didn't do your interview, so I don't know what the interviewer was looking for, but I could guess that they wanted to hear more about your management style. Your answer is sort of the standard safe answer. Boiled down, it sounds like "People have many ...


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