Skip to main content
46 votes

Toxic culture - I'm putting in more resources to help the project move faster, but people are slowing down

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 ...
Bogdan's user avatar
  • 15.2k
39 votes

Developers can't see what they're doing wrong

I would like them to understand why I want to do something. [...] Any advice? Don't theorize, show them. Their current state of mind is that they know what they do works. And you come over and tell ...
nvoigt's user avatar
  • 8,515
28 votes
Accepted

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

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 ...
Jake Vosloo's user avatar
28 votes

Which is better: large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items?

There is a lot to unpack in your question, but from what I read I see two main issues: the old guard (as you name it) doesn't want to change their way of working. What they did might have worked ...
Bogdan's user avatar
  • 15.2k
21 votes

How to motivate offshore teams and trust them to deliver?

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. ...
Barnaby Golden's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Hat tip to Nvoigt, Nvogel & D. Espina - all good answers, with particular emphasis on D. Espina's "sometimes, knowing one of your team is overly optimistic, you simply add your own margins ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 8,728
17 votes

Which is better: large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items?

Long-Lived Feature Branches and Infrequent Merging are Anti-Patterns Which is better large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items? This question ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.5k
16 votes

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

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, ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.5k
16 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

In Scrum the team aims to complete the sprint goal by the end of the sprint. It shouldn't be necessary to estimate day-to-day deadlines since the delivery date is always the end of the sprint. I ...
nvogel's user avatar
  • 6,305
15 votes
Accepted

Both of my developers are stuck on one task, now what?

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 ...
Venture2099's user avatar
  • 4,075
14 votes
Accepted

Agile and teammates that don't want to share knowledge?

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 ...
DesignerAnalyst's user avatar
14 votes

Toxic culture - I'm putting in more resources to help the project move faster, but people are slowing down

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 ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 241
11 votes
Accepted

Optimal seating arrangements for scrum team

There can't be a universal answer for such a question. The fact, that a team is a Scrum team or Kanban team or Agile team is negligible. I go with an assumption that one (probably not the only) thing ...
Pawel Brodzinski's user avatar
11 votes

How to guide a team to be self-organizing?

The question is general to management roles and speaks about "building people up". Just Googling these 3 words lands countless views and advice — please avoid theoretical and commercial docs, focus ...
ΦDev's user avatar
  • 141
11 votes

Toxic culture - I'm putting in more resources to help the project move faster, but people are slowing down

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 ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.5k
10 votes

How to manage stakeholder expectations when they keep on raising the bar

I actually have to disagree to some extent with David Espina. It is essential in Scrum to understand who owns which piece of the process. The Product Owner owns the Product Backlog. It is their job ...
JDRoger's user avatar
  • 904
9 votes

How to efficiently manage a Scrum team when one member is much less productive?

First, stop measuring individual velocity. Velocity should be measured on a team level for a Sprint, and not for individuals. Your team delivers a potentially shippable software product after even ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 19.5k
9 votes

Strategy for whole team switching tehnologies

Don't do this. Speaking as a developer, this sounds great. We get to rewrite that horrible old spaghetti code from scratch! We get to paid to learn a new language! There's a mandate for quality, so ...
Sarov's user avatar
  • 14.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Delegating Work and Dealing with Poor Results?

A few suggestions: Don't delegate & disappear until the deadline. Check in with them once or twice, just informally to ask how it's going, do they need any clarification from you, are they having ...
Vicki Laidler's user avatar
9 votes

How to motivate offshore teams and trust them to deliver?

Velocity Isn't a Productivity Metric In other words, when they are left to decide how much is too much, they will say commit to 40 points, whereas when pushed to do 60, they will deliver 60. If ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.5k
9 votes

Conflict between senior and junior members

This may seem pedantic, but you don't solve this. They can solve it, but you can't make them. There are two approaches that come to mind on working through this: actual conflict mediation team ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 16.9k
9 votes

How to manage a failed sub team inside a scrum team

You asked in terms of scrum, so that is how I'll answer. However, there are a number of red flags in your question that lead me to believe you aren't actually doing scrum (and I am far from a scrum ...
Vicki Laidler's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Management wants to start doing "1 on 1"s as "2 on 1"s. Good or bad idea?

Group Discussions Don't Replace One-on-One Communications While there's a place for more leadership involvement, I certainly wouldn't replace one-on-ones with larger meetings. Especially in IT, this ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Agile: Work on PBI Stories By Backlog Priority

Unlike the Product Backlog, which is an "ordered list of what is needed to improve the product", the Scrum Guide does not specify if the Sprint Backlog is ordered or, if it is, how it is ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 19.5k
9 votes

Developers can't see what they're doing wrong

Simply telling your subordinates to do something they can't see the benefit from is a recipe for disaster, which you already acknowledge, so make it fun for them. Gamification may not be easy for you ...
computercarguy's user avatar
8 votes

Both of my developers are stuck on one task, now what?

The first step is to understand why the team cannot progress. What is the challenge? Help them resolve it by removing obstacles, facilitating help/support/knowledge transfer from people or teams. ...
Mincy George's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Assigning features to teams rather than assigning front-end or back-end work?

Working software is the primary measure of progress. A front-end without a back-end is not working software in my book, ofcourse you need a single team that creates a fully working piece of ...
Niels van Reijmersdal's user avatar
8 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Notwithstanding your approach and whether you are performing it properly, research the affects of planning fallacies. A planning fallacy is a specific form of Optimism Bias, where we have a tendency ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k
7 votes

How to spot low/high performers within team

Read this answer with enthusiasm and an open heart :) I'll answer the question “how to ensure that developers voice slow developers -or. In general any issue-“ instead of “how to detect slow ...
Roberto Anzaldua's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Earning Respect of Team Members When I Know Very Little About the Topic?

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 ...
Simon's user avatar
  • 248

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible