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 ...


27

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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


13

Hat tip to Nvoigt, Nvogel & D. Espina - all good comments, with particular emphasis on D. Espina's "sometimes, knowing one of your team is overly optimistic, you simply add your own margins to their input." I'll just add one more frame to the question - this is a problem is in risk management. The core, fundamental responsibility of the PM is ...


12

checking SVN in a daily basis to review codes and to assess how much codes have been committed by each developer is a good way. is it fair and used in industry? The proposed metric is utterly unfair, regrettably is used in some organisations and is in my personal opinion a recipe for disaster. HasaniK and Jakub have already identified some very valid ...


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 ...


11

My answer will focus on the type of authority you have and the process of teaming. As the newly minted leader of this team, on which you served as a peer, you have an interesting dynamic at play where the others are likely to test your authority and abilities. This can be a natural consequence of the change and trying to figure out whether you have the ...


11

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 ...


11

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 to prioritize the highest-value items at the top, to express their vision clearly to the Scrum Development Team, and to ensure that high value is being produced....


11

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 you want to optimize for is collaboration. Co-location improves collaboration / communication opportunities, but I reckon for the question it's given. Then ...


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 ...


11

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 suggest you could stop trying to lead, stop estimating and allow the team to self-manage. A team of three people is quite small however, and one problem may be just ...


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

I don't know why aclear16 deleted his answer. His answer is perfect. There are a ton of positives with idle, unproductive time by way of teaming. It matures the team and you want that. I'd even go as far to say that, if you are running behind, let the social time continue because the positive aspects of that will help, not hurt. And likely the down time was ...


10

Your Capacity Planning and Prioritization Processes Need Re-Engineering You appear to be attempting to solve the wrong problem by treating this as an individual-availability issue. This is most likely because you have a weirdly-matrixed organization that isn't based around project teams or team capacity planning, but apparently based on the notoriously ...


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