Choice

June 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

We all have times when we’re exasperated with the world around us – frustrated or scared or angry at something or someone. We’ll lash out, blame others for our predicament. Sometimes we depend on others for our own validation, relinquishing control to external drivers. In all cases, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall. We’ll rarely get the result we are looking for, and there’s a good chance we’ll fill our heads with negative self-talk, kicking ourselves in the butt for being so stupid. Read more

Working the Fundamentals

October 15, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

With all the time we have watching our kids in their activities this fall, a pattern begins to emerge. All of these activities involve practice and drills intended to improve proficiency in fundamentals of each activity: dribbling and passing in soccer and basketball, scales and chord progressions in guitar, footwork drills and off-ice practice in figure skating. While the kids generally loathe this portion of their activities, there’s a good reason for this: they are working the fundamentals. Read more

Come Together

July 5, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

Conflict in a team setting is one of the natural hazards of the workplace. Unless you are on a project with no schedule pressure, and no technical challenges, and a single obvious way to get the job done, there will be some form of conflict (if you do happen to work on that sort of project, then you’re probably going to have to deal with the challenge of keeping yourself awake). Different perspectives of how to get the work done are healthy, but when we get into situations where it gets personal, trouble is brewing. Listening to how we express our frustrations with someone else on the team can be quite revealing. Read more

Spotting Potential Conflict

May 4, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

With almost any team endeavour, whether it is called a project or not, there will be ample opportunities for stresses to creep in, for decisions to be made that don’t make everyone happy, for things to not go according to plan. Just as with any stresses, if left unchecked there is a really good chance that matters will only get worse. Everyone on the team needs to be able to spot when something is not quite right, and deal with the issue at first opportunity. Read more

Simplify

November 10, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

One of the greatest challenges with conflict is that by the time we deal with many issues, after there has been some unbearable situation that forces us to do something, the conflict has become a gnarly hairball of different issues, some actually related to each other. In many situations, trying to find a solution to the conflict as it presents itself is impossible. Instead, try to divide and conquer. Read more

Cultural Barriers

August 4, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

When I travel, whether it is overseas or to a part of the city I am not familiar with, I come away with the impression that we are all closer than we originally think. The same is true as I work with organizations that have grown to the size where they are split into separate teams: we are closer than we think. Read more

Congruence, Empathy, Transparency

July 12, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

I recently finished working with groups that had a wide range of personalities and backgrounds, and were split into teams to deal with a comprehensive project. It never ceases to amaze me the differences in the way some groups manage to get along just fine, while others never seem to gel. Read more

A Soft Skills Business Case

February 24, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Process 

A colleague of mine posted a question on LinkedIn a while back about how to develop a business case for improvement in soft skills for developers. I was too late to weigh in on the question there, so I’ll take a stab here.

Read more

Candor

July 1, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: People 

I’ve always been convinced that failure to communicate is at the root of almost all challenges we face in software development. Process and procedures are a means of ensuring that we do the right things at the right time, analysis models help us communicate different aspects of our product in more precise forms than the English language can convey. Read more

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    September 15, 2016: Thanks to the Vancouver chapter of the IIBA for inviting me to present a talk about Real Analysis agility - the bottom line is thoughtful application of effective analysis over Cargo Cult application of the latest fashionable approach! - fabulous interaction, great feedback!
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