79

Scrum makes the distinction between supporting the team in WHAT work they do and HOW they do it. Trying to have one person play both of these would create a great deal of conflict. How do you choose in a stressful situation between negotiating features or helping the team grow and reach consensus. A scrum master is a facilitator, how can he/she facilitate if ...


58

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 ...


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 ...


44

He is communicating a message to you that has nothing to do with the self appraisal or what he thinks of himself. You asked him to fill out a form, and he returned it to you with three small, inconsequential items and blanks everywhere else. Mark hit it: he's not happy about something and he is letting you know. It could be as simple as he is not happy in ...


41

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 ...


31

For any measurement you use, programmers will figure out how to game it. The only true measure is whether they are delivering quality software on time. I think you're better off just being an active part of the team. Don't rely on numbers, rely on actual observation of how they perform, perhaps combined with comments from their peers. If you have a well ...


28

I have a set of five core principles that drive my project management/ management philosophy. I've had them for many years, even predating my adoption of agile. They are: People, not projects: If you focus on the team, the team will do better. Better team, is a better product. I spend every day of my job trying to make myself obsolete by enabling the team ...


25

Why can't the scrum master and the project owner be the same person? It's simply the conflict of interests and focus. The project owner's main focus is on the success of the project, and make it happen, however the scrum master's main focus is on the team and its development. Two different things which cannot be done successfully by one person at the same ...


23

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools I would have a conversation with individual, bring it up in retrospective or perhaps even standup. Don't spend too much time trying to figure out how to solve this problem via the process. For all you know this person might be doing all this gold-plating because he thinks it's required to "look good" in ...


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

Deadlines are missed all the time. While it is a badge of honor to hit it, there are acceptable variances where the schedule can still be claimed a success. Further, it will likely have zero impact on your first client because it likely planned for a late delivery as contingency. Your second client is dead in the water. He is being severely impacted by the ...


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. ...


20

By the sounds of it you have isolated this issue to the developer and that (imo) means you need to modify your process to ensure issues like this don't continually occur or modify the interactions with this developer. On a side note, don't count out the tasks / stories on the board as being a potential cause of this scope creep. Scope creep is resulting ...


20

It sounds like you think he did a pretty good job this year regardless of what he said in his self evaluation, so you need to tell him that. Regardless of what he has written, if you believe he has achieved things this year worthy of mention you need to mention them! It may be that he just could not really be bothered to spend the time looking back over an ...


20

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 ...


19

I'm afraid that it won't be that easy. One of the core principles of Scrum is the co-located team. Having a colleague "outside" of the team generates an unnecessary boundary inside the team. I had a similar setup a couple of times and it never ended well, unfortunately. Due to the communication costs and slow reaction times we decided not to do it again. ...


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 ...


17

The Scrum Master is responsible for creating an environment in which the team communicates honestly and transparently and delivers to the best of their abilities. This also provides data on which the Project Manager can act. The Project Manager is responsible for the success of the project. Some projects should not be successful. There is no recipe for ...


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. ...


17

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 ...


15

To answer the question in a different way, I find that employee motivation varies dramatically from person to person and generational tags have little value. When dealing with younger workers, there are a few common traits, however, and I have had some success with: Explaining the big picture: A lot of younger workers want to be part of something that ...


15

Last time I was working with a cowboy coder I let her take full responsibility for the "something more": she had to integrate, deploy and release it alone when somebody else was unable to test, integrate or deploy her solution, the team stopped working, so did she, and she had to fix the problem when management asked us about the spent time she had to ...


15

In trying to avoid duplicating the excellent comments in other answers, I have thought about some of the mistakes I have made, and offer the following - which probably says more about my own flaws than anything else! Check your facts - never assume. It's amazing how often your assumptions will be wrong - especially when you "think" someone is doing ...


15

According to the guidelines for scrum, the ScrumMaster is accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the group to deliver the sprint goal/deliverables. The product owner has other responsibilities, such as conveying the vision, organizing and prioritizing the product backlog, interviewing stakeholders to determine what they need the product to ...


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, ...


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