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46

In every point below I aim to provide usable options for "How can I avoid team burnout?" Although there is often no single cause to this, given "extremely burnt out on a project after 150 hours or so.", I would look at all possible areas. Make it a "project" and present it up (mgmt) and down (team) to get both resources and buy-in. I have found that ...


22

No, don't even think about taking someone's phone. If they're looking at their Facebook account or personal Twitter account during a meeting, then you have a bigger problem, and the solution most likely would involve possibly trying to recruit and hire the right kind of people; ideally, those who are capable of acting like adults. However, one thing ...


18

that's a very pertinent question! I'd rephrase it in a slightly different way: Why people don't pay enough attention to meetings? The usage of mobiles (or any other gadgets) just for distraction (at least in the meetings I've been to) is mainly because people don't believe the meeting is useful. So, instead of trying to solve the consequence, I'd suggest ...


17

To introduce a new team member, I wouldn't especially set up a meeting to do that: as you say, it gets tedious for everyone and as @Thomas rightly points out it has a cost to it. A good introduction is important though, and you should aim at making sure the new team member is comfortable and at ease with not only the team but how they will fit in, and that ...


12

Uncontrolled scope creep - the project starts with the best of intentions. It is well defined and understood, but somewhere along the way, someone asks for an extra bit of functionality, or a new interface, or some additional management information. Sure, it's not in the original specification, but it is only a small change... But unfortunately it is one of ...


12

I don't think there is going to be an easy answer to this question. From my perspective, the critical factors are: Team is not meeting the development goals QA runs late, but does not want help from developers as it is currently offered/supplied Developers complete the work that they perceive is necessary, and don't perceive any need to do additional ...


11

Command-and-Control vs. Self-Organizing Teams Should I collect all the phones before a meeting? ...I don't want to punish everyone just because a few people can't pay attention[.] It depends. Are you facilitating a meeting between adults, or babysitting kids? If you treat adults like kids, then you abandon all hope of creating teams where people step up ...


10

Interesting question. Before I could take action, I'd need to know two things (at least): 1. What is the impact on the project? 2. What are the duties of the team lead? What is the team lead accountable for? 90% of the PM's job is assessing the impact of an issue/risk/change/ on the project and communicating that impact to the relevant stakeholders. ...


10

Your asking many questions here: component teams (platform, front end ... ): You are correct, that goes against Scrum. If you want to lose time with handover then do this :-) shared team members Also goes against Scrum. Multitasking slows people down, makes them lose focus. Good for bad quality :-) How to deal with a really large and really small team? The ...


9

Some common reasons for this may be (one or more of the following): Developers are not fluent enough in the technologies used and they spend time learning on the job, so they have to work more to deliver as expected Lack of good analysis and lots of re-work The customer keeps changing the requirements Unrealistic goals/time set by Project Management or in ...


9

Some good answers, but the most important one seems to be missing, the one that addresses al of the others - the main factor that causes projects to fail is weak project management. Looking at all of the answers so far, all of them can and should have been addressed and controlled by the PM. Scope creep, change control, project kick-off, assumptions, ...


9

Ideal The best thing would be of course to have a separate moderator. Now, considering that if you could do this, you would have already, here is a proposition, which should be considered in all such cases: cycle. Abstract That is: when an important role needs to be regularly taken by some group member, but that assuming this role prevents him/her to ...


8

I personally wouldn't feel the relationship is better if I contributed to putting out a crappy product when I know the solution is suspect. So option 2 -- going with a less than ideal solution -- is something I would have a lot of trouble with and might likely make me feel a bit resentful for having to work with someone who is unteachable. With that said, ...


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

David was right on the spot when me wrote that the output matters (delivered values), so I have nothing else to share than a story. The company I'm working for have several sites, and I'd like to write about two specific sites: one, where the discussions can be as long as they needed and the other where the sponsors behave as you described. Both sides are ...


8

From your story it sounds like the current teamlead is not very good at being a teamlead and excels as a Senior Developer. I would suggest he is relieved of the task of coordinating work to his fellow developers and have the Project Manager appoint someone with more personal skills who will likely enjoy it more, ensure that the work this powerhouse leaves ...


8

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 ...


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

It's great to hear that Code Reviews went smoothly and you are seeing results soon, you have seen it's effective and that means the junior programmer is keen to learn (All good stuff) Few things I would like to suggest which can be done at your end Good code samples from existing code base - You probably have some star quality code in your existing code ...


7

Whatever you do, do not micromanage! That is the single worst thing you could do. You will put a lot of stress on them, on yourself, you will kill the potential productivity of the team, and you make yourself the bottleneck on the team. I am not saying your team is a bunch of whiny kids, and I certainly am not saying that they are useless, but my ...


7

I've three games to propose. One. The first one is really easy to play and the objective is to explain the team auto-organization. Follow this steps: Organize a room with chairs and tables causally arranged Form teams composed by two members One is the manager and one is the worker The manager can give the following commands: turn left, turn right, step ...


7

If I should pick one it would be poor or/and infrequent communication in as many aspects as you can name. Poor or/and infrequent communication with client leads to poor requirements, problems with scope, issues with prioritizing, decreasing feedback loop and many more, delivering different from what the client wanted within the team leads to code ...


7

Your interactions with team members are the key part of being a PM. You will always have some sort of relationship with them, good or bad. In the common case where a PM has zero real power in a company, having a good relationship with those who do have power becomes overwhelmingly important because if you don't have someone who is willing to back you up you ...


6

There is not tremendous evidence out there that team building exercises actually do anything. So while your team is going through its first steps in its evolution, spending time and money on extra activities will likely have no value in terms of bonding faster, going through the first stages of team development, or having any real change in performance. ...


6

I think there can't be any formula. The size of the team can depend on experience and skill of particular members. For example I have a friend who can deliver 4 times more and better quality code than many good programmers I know. Another thing is that 9 women won't bore a child in one month, so increasing size of the team won't solve all problems you may ...


6

From experience turning around too many messy situations: Weak vision - poor understanding of the end goal. (Symptom: focus on features over the business case) Undocumented requirements - too much in peoples head. (Symptom: new requirements in testing) Poor metrics - lack of rigorous quantifiable progress updates. (Symptom: late slips of large magnitude ...


6

If you want to build consensus, tell the new team members that this how the team currently operates. Over time, as the new team members become more integrated and you each learn more about each other, you may want to revisit the choices. If consensus doesn't work or it doesn't fit other constraints on the project (e.g. time), tell them that that's the way ...


6

there are a select few that cannot seem to take their eyes off of their phone imho, it's quite common for creative people to get bored during all those endless meetings perhaps you could change the way you run meetings? I've seen too many project managers who just loved all kinds of meetings and couldn't understand why developers would find these ...


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