61

Dissecting a Status Pull No, what is happening in your meetings is not a Scrum stand-up meeting, it's a status pull. In fact, it's probably worth dissecting this particular status pull to see why your "Scrum" process is failing. The first two elements that your project manager (not Scrum Master, evidently) is asking are: The Original Time Estimate ...


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 ...


42

Conversation is Not Inherently Disruptive I work with a team of developers who are talented but often distract each other with chit-chat. You say they are "talented but distracted." What makes you think they are talented? Why do you think they are distracted? What is your metric for determining that the team or the process is operating at a sub-optimal ...


40

Very short term solution: Based on my experience, there is always somebody who'll do anything for money. Money is the worst motivator ever, but if you are in trouble - such as losing a customer - you have to do something. If the money motivation works, think about the why and start thinking about hiring a new team, because they kind of put upon the situation ...


35

"but as we approach a deadline on a major product, we really should have all members dedicated to staying late to see it finished." If a PM is doing their job efficiently, this would be exactly the opposite of true. Your team should be working about the same amount of hours every week. If they have planned their project properly, and continually monitored ...


26

It sounds like you have team members from high power distance cultures. People may not speak up when the boss is in the room because their values require them to listen and follow, not to advise or lead. You may even notice it happening between junior and senior team members or between yourself and team members. Read more about power distance here: https://...


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 ...


21

While we all like to trust that our team is going to do what they're supposed to, it doesn't always work that way. Given your previous comment to Zbigniew about automation and firing, this is a good instance to institute checklists. Write up a simple checklist of the steps that have to be followed (including what/how info to update), and make the employees ...


21

1.How to communicate with them so they can be follow my instructions? The team shouldn't be following your instructions, they should be following a plan that they contributed to and signed off on. As a PM your job isn't to do or manage technical work, it is to make sure that the people who are responsible for the doing and managing are following the plan. ...


21

when pushed to do 60, they will deliver 60. This is a pretty meaningless measure in these circumstances. A team could drop quality to deliver more points or simply game the estimation of stories. Story points and velocity were designed to help teams estimate their capacity in a sprint. They are not intended to be measures of performance. If you want to ...


18

If there was a cog in your manufacturing machine that was well worn and slips and causes the rivets on your widget to be out of specs and tolerance levels, what would you do with the cog? rbwhitaker: "but people aren't cogs...." This is the challenge, isn't it: treating people well, making them feel needed, wanted, valuable, while make the unpopular, non ...


18

Things that have prevented me doing any more than I'm contracted to do include: Habitual requests for extra time, if it happens every deadline, then the project manager is not pulling their weight. Lies. If you tell me you need it tomorrow, you'd better be using it tomorrow. If I ask you about it a week later, and you say you haven't looked at it, you can ...


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 ...


18

TL;DR You can use tools like gitk, GitStats, or the GitHub graphs tab for a visual representation of repository activity. However, this is usually a bad idea from a project management perspective. The Wrong Metrics In general, measuring lines of code (LOC) or commit activity is the wrong way to measure a software project. You get what you measure, after ...


18

According to Fred Brooks, author of "The Mythical Man-Month", the practice of adding more people to a project at the last minute may not yield the results you want. From Wikipedia, this is known as Brooks's Law: "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" Software isn't like manufacturing. When I was a lumber stacker, it took me a little ...


17

No matter how many times I read this, this line slaps me across the face "we really should have all members dedicated to staying late to see it finished." It is dripping with false expectations. When an employee accepts a job, at least in North America, a 40 hour work week is standard. Some overtime is expected, but only in exceptional situations. ...


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, ...


15

The meeting you're describing (well, the meeting you should be having, see below) is a Scrum, sometimes called a stand-up. Scrum - the methodology - is a set of practices, of which the Scrum meeting is core. You can think of Agile methodologies as different toolboxes, where the tools can be used together very effectively. Agile is the term we give to the ...


15

Value Judgements vs. Flow Analysis Considering a self-organized team where no individual work is ever reported, how do you spot the lazy team member? This is the wrong way to ask the question, but it's understandable since people are social animals. The question is being asked through a social filter that imputes motives rather than analyzing the process ...


15

Knowledge hoarding (relactance to share knowledge) is irrelevant from the development methodology. It is a problem regardless of agile, waterfall or any other methodology. Some knowledge hoarding reasons : Lack of time. Knowledge sharing can take time, which obstraces the completion of other duties and tasks assigned. Lack of trust. “The more an employee ...


15

Analysis There is a chilling effect when he is here. Am I overreacting? Should I just try to build up the confidence of the team? or should I ban my boss from the retrospective? In my experience, this is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, and mistaking process problems for interpersonal ones. Let's enumerate some of the issues that ...


14

Have you asked them why they get it wrong so frequently? Do they think they're just careless when they do it or do they believe there is an underlying issue that causes them to not pay it as much attention as they should? It could be that they're frequently task switching or feel under a lot of pressure to get these sort of tasks done quickly to move onto ...


14

When I was a new project manager, I had trouble separating my previous role as a developer from my new role as a project manager. What compounded my problem was that it was a gradual move, as the project I worked on started out as just me as a developer, and eventually led to me working as a project manager and leaving the technical details to the team. ...


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). ...


14

I'll answer as if I was a project manager actually in that situation. I'm also going to assume you're looking at a normal sized project team (4-8 people) rather than a programme of work spanning multiple teams (and perhaps 50+ devs). Being in a situation where you have 500 bugs to fix in two weeks is a sign of a project in failure mode. There's no easy way ...


14

I can feel the frustration in your post. As someone who made the transition from a PMO to an Agile role I can understand both sides of the coin. Your question has multiple components which I will take in turn but all of them have effective communication at their core. Why are management more interested in logging hours? This could be a number of things but ...


14

TL;DR You have already decided, a priori, that team member C is the problem. This is based on information you have not provided in your post. As a result, this appears to be a false conclusion that papers over a process problem that you (as the project manager) are responsible for uncovering. The Problem Given a task X, developers A and B would each ...


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

As the PM, you need to make a power grab play; build a case with your management that, as the PM, you need to have the authority to move resources around, including changing them out, in order to increase the likelihood of success. However, accept that fact that you may not get the power you need to really run the project. Many of us are in that very same ...


13

Let the team decide. It's their Sprint goal. It's a short answer because it's a simple problem. Eventually you have to step away from being a Scrum Bouncer and simply let the team make their own way. They have a goal, they have a task outstanding. Simply watch and observe and take notes on the dynamic then approach the retrospective with the ...


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