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 ...
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  • 13.6k
38 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 ...
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  • 7,550
27 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 ...
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26 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 ...
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  • 13.6k
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. ...
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19 votes

How to handle a slow developer?

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
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 ...
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  • 8,689
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 ...
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  • 5,687
16 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 ...
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  • 47.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Why management is more concerned of JIRA hours than of following Scrum values?

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 ...
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  • 4,046
15 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 ...
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15 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, ...
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  • 47.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Interview question on "convince your programmers to work that hard"

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 ...
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  • 3,414
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 ...
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  • 241
13 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 ...
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  • 4,046
12 votes

Best way to evaluate software engineers' performance?

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, ...
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  • 473
11 votes
Accepted

How to form scrum teams

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 ...
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  • 376
11 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 ...
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  • 904
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 47.4k
10 votes

Best way to evaluate software engineers' performance?

checking SVN in a daily basis to review codes and to asses how much codes have been committed by each developer is a good way. is it fair and used in industry ? This is definitely not a correct ...
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  • 434
10 votes
Accepted

Giving PMs a view of developer resource

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
10 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 ...
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  • 17.3k
10 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 ...
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  • 131
9 votes
Accepted

Advice for a Non-Technical Newbie Scrum Master

I would take great care diving straight into being a Scrum Master, as you risk being perceived very negatively by teams. I am a Scrum Master who has come from a development background, which makes it ...
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  • 879
9 votes

How do you ensure code quality when having a weaker programmer on your project?

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 ...
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  • 434
9 votes
Accepted

Scrum uneven distribution of work hidden in a unified effort

trying to wrap my head around this question, so forgive me if I go off base. I'm going to tackle this assuming your billing as a team. I'm going to also assume a designer is a UI person. The team has ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Can one developer be included to several Development Teams at the same time?

If skills are very rare assign another person to shadow If technical skills of developer are very rare and specific and this developer hasn't full-time employment on one product, can he work with ...
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9 votes

Do project managers use RAID Logs?

Absolutely keep logs and absolutely bring them to the surface and work them on a strict cadence. Especially risks. Without the logs, people will happily ignore them. There is a resistance in ...
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  • 36.6k
9 votes

How to manage remote developers?

Managing remote developers: There is sound advice here already, with respect to JIRA and frequent calls to stay in touch. Having managed distant development for the last two years here are a few extra ...
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  • 91

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