55

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 ...


45

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 ...


15

If this is a project that people are currently getting paid to work on: ABSOLUTELY NOT! First of all, the goals on the project should be plain and obvious, and on a software project, those goals can already be complicated. Get thorough designs in on time, get code completed on time with as few defects as possible, incorporate feedback from code reviews, ...


14

Your primary job is to manage expectations. It's your fault to have such high expectations, so negotiate with the client. You may have tight deadlines only if they are connected with external factors (like media promotions, legal regulations, etc.) and not just because the client wants it as soon as possible (the client always wants it as soon as possible). ...


13

I've served as a project manager on several software development teams, and the analogies I like best are these: I'm the sweeper on the curling team. Or: I'm downriver from the team, clearing the big logs that are going to slow down progress. Think about it this way: Software developers bring a set of very specialized skills to the table, and when ...


13

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

First: A Few Words About Velocity Velocity is most useful as an estimating tool, and as a measure of variance. However, it is often misused as a management goal or external commitment target. Wide variance in velocity is certainly a good reason to inspect the current project, though, and look for flaws in estimation, procedural impediments, process issues, ...


11

The key to motivation is to remove the money from the table. So you have to pay enough so the developers don't think about the money, and then to rely on intrinsic motivators such as recognition, self-development, etc. If you use percentage or even mixed model, you focus people on the money, and not on the product. On the other hand, it's great to share with ...


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

There are already a lot of theories and studies about motivation. Extrinsic motivators, like badges, awards, and money, have been studied and I believe the results show they are marginal at best, do nothing, or maybe even decrease motivation. The strongest motivators are intrinsic and are mastery, purpose, and autonomy. Follow the science....


9

Updating is another accounting tasks for people, thus sometimes the attitude you describe pops up. What more, pretty often information that is on the board is duplication of data that is somewhere in this or that app. If the answer to "What's in it for me?" for most of the team is "nothing" don't be surprised. Then it's another "beloved" system like that ...


9

This sounds less like a GenX/GenY problem to me and more like a maturity level issue. I would be very wary of continuing to invest in someone who constantly threatens to quit. When you threaten to leave an organization, you permanently and radically change your relationship to your employer and colleagues. Employers, and colleagues, may look at you as ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


7

This generation x, y, z, and whatever else are not much more than a broad-bush sweep of attributes based on stereotypes, generalizations, and very little science. It is about as reliable as trying to predict work behavior difference between men and women, introverts and extroverts, black and white, and the religeous and atheists. In other words, a big ...


7

I was working with a similar setup and it wasn't that bad at all. We knew what to expect, and somehow we felt that our work has a purpose, because we needed the money at that time. Unfortunately, when one brings up the money based motivation topic up, the other immediately pulls Daniel Pink's book, which is excellent book, but how one interprets is very ...


7

Similar to other answers, they key thing to understand here is that: Money is a motivator, but only up to a certain point. Once people's basic needs are taken care of, money is no longer a major motivator. Other factors (such as esteem and self actualization) become more important progressively. Contrary to some of the other answers, this thinking is not ...


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 first question I have back at you is, what benchmark are you using to establish "average." You say, 'most are below average.' I would bet the performance of your most is your average. I would further bet that your population of workers fits nicely into the standard performance curve, which means your MODE = Median = Mean. I am going into this not to ...


6

Value is Not Automatic What value do project managers provide a software development team? In practice, project managers may or may not provide any value to the development team. Just like any other role in an organization, the PM role is just as much a victim of organizational hiring practices and the bell curve as any other role (such as "software ...


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 ...


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