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 ...


24

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://...


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 ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


9

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 on real-world blogs and talks by real people speaking in their own name or their company's (i.e. take advice from those who've already succeeded at what you ...


9

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 building Conflict Mediation There are books and certifications on this - far more than fits in a Stack Exchange answer, but a starting point is to talk to them ...


9

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 purist). The scrum answer would be: as PO, you are responsible for the product backlog and priorities, not for process improvement. If you see an issue, you ...


7

A remark first: this person is not "less competent", they simply have a different job than yours. Their job requires communication. The question is how to get them to communicate in a way that does not disturb you. You have told them what you prefer. They did not listen. The next step is to bring that up in whatever improvement process you have in ...


7

Notwithstanding my comment about the proper exchange, you are dealing with a normal problem of 1) prediction of future performance, and 2) how to attract good employees. The first problem is a huge problem. Predictive indicators that we tend to use are not that predictive. One of them is experience. Experience is one of the most widely used criterion, ...


7

There are a few pieces to this answer: 1) Define Productive: Unless you are in a factory getting parts out the door, productive is a fairly vague term. Be careful that people aren't looking at busy-ness as a stand-in for effective or productive teams. Henrik Kneiberg's "Utilization Trap" video illustrates this beautifully. 2) Cross-functional teams: Are ...


7

Stop Abusing Velocity I know it is not common for management to rely on velocity as a measure of productivity. But in this company, velocity and individual points are how teams and individuals are evaluated. So, you know the company is doing the wrong thing and following an anti-pattern, and yet you're expecting a different outcome. That isn't reasonable....


6

TL;DR If your employee truly is bored, and one or both of you think this is actually a problem that needs to be solved, ask her for solutions that suit the both of you. The path to professional self-actualization for both of you starts with communication, collaboration, and alignment. You need to address those dynamics before you can properly measure or ...


6

Just to give a different perspective/possibility than David Espina's Answer... What I'm reading happened is this: Problems occurred You assumed (without talking to the contractors?) that more planning, updates, and roadblocks would fix the problems. The contractors didn't agree with you. The contractors are doing everything they can to ignore the new ...


5

The typical answer would be to ask the team. Many of the methods built around agility favor self-organizing teams, where the teams would assess the knowledge and skills that they have and determine if they are missing something important or relevant for the team to be able to do their work. As far as methodologies that go that have a similar role, both DSDM ...


5

TL;DR You don't describe your role on the Scrum Team, but the solutions require the active collaboration of all members of the team. In particular, the Scrum Master role is the process referee, and not simply a bystander separate from the rest of the Scrum Team. This is often obscured by a misunderstanding of the "servant leader" paradigm. As a coach and ...


5

I would recommend having a discussion with the whole team, the development manager and the Scrum Master present. The topic is: How much autonomy should the team have? Scrum typically gives the team a great deal of autonomy. This is because: Teams that make their own decisions tend to take responsibility for those decisions and adopt them better Teams tend ...


5

The answer to this question depends a lot on the people in the team and on the boss. Normally, a Scrum team should not contain people with special roles, especially a boss. The balance of power gets messed up and you can kiss self-organization goodbye because a boss will have a tendency to decide on matters, and want to have the last word in various ...


4

I can share a dialog schema that I use to solve issues such as the one that you have. The schema consists of four essential parts. Prepare your arguments well. Agree on the problem definition. Work on the solution. Follow-up. Let me go through these steps one-by-one. First, your preparation. This is the most important step, so invest time and effort into ...


4

This answer is inspired in the work of Tom Graves understanding perspectives and resolving conflicts in enterprise architecture. Things work better when we work together, on a purpose. If you don't act upon this, things will tend to follow the same consistent pattern. You've done great so far by exposing the assumptions each side have. That's the initial ...


4

In order to know how to reach the place you want to be, you first need to know where you are now. Structure You don't necessarily need a hierarchy for people to work better. A 20 people company can function well with a flat structure. Introducing intermediate management layers might benefit the work or might harm it. So you really need to understand the ...


4

To me it sounds like there is too much going on at once. Instead of trying to figure out how to structure multiple projects at once and organize everyone into cross-functional meetings, etc, I would instead try to figure out how to create more focus. Here's the thing: people do not multi-task well. The more they are required to context-shift (for example by ...


4

TL;DR There are a number of ways to accommodate team changes in your Sprint Planning. I detail three of them below. Use normed/smoothed/adjusted velocity as a planning value, not a management target. Most importantly, focus on tracking Sprint Goal completion rates (not velocity) as your key performance indicator (KPI). Change has Impact Imagine your ...


4

I would strongly suggest you ask the team. The team understands the domain, the way they work, the personalities involved and the nature of your organisation. They are in a much better place to determine the team structure than anyone outside of the team. This is what we mean when we talk about self-organising teams. Also, don't be afraid of making the ...


3

I will answer your question with reference to Scrum. In Scrum there are just three roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner and Development Team member. There is no stated leader, which is done deliberately as leadership is seen to be distributed across the whole Scrum team. For example, when working on a particularly database-heavy project one of the team ...


3

You are not describing good performers. A good performer is not someone that knows how to just turn the wrench, it is all facets of work behavior an organization requires in order to produce the best output. This includes wrench turning, of course, but also includes team work, planning, reporting, the politics, communication, reliability, attendance, and ...


3

Why not both? Most decent Kanban softwares (e.g. Jira) will allow you to separate boards so that you can have one task appearing on multiple boards. Thus, each team has its own board, and then you can combine them into an 'overview board'.


3

TL;DR You probably don't want to hear this, but the developer is probably right about your lack of experience, although based on what you've said they are addressing it in a very unconstructive way. From your own description, you clearly lack effective authority, influence, and delineation of roles on your project, making this more a question of fitness for ...


3

Are you working on a multi-cultural environment? If the answer is NO: You may be facing problems because of unclear roles and responsibilities. There's no Development Manager role in Scrum. I assume that's some sort of architect, responsible for the more complex decisions... nevertheless, if the fact you're challenging decisions is being considered ...


3

If the environment is as you describe, there is no chance whatsoever you can change your team's dynamics for your project, not in the time frame you are supposed to finish the project. What you are describing is an extremely disorganized, immature, ad hoc, and chaotic organization. And this is what was built from the organization's founders / leaders. And ...


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