The last few slots are still available in the second Circle, due to kick off in late March - if you’d like to be a part of that, or future Circles, leave your details here and we’ll be in touch: Mentoring Circles
We're also rapidly filling a Circle specifically for people in North and South America; if this is of interest, drop me a reply to this email, or check out the Circles page for some more info and to sign up
Until next week!
Reads of the Week
In a distributed team, it’s much harder for a manager to get an informal pulse for morale and mental health. You can’t manage by walking around; you don’t see who’s staying late or leaving early, who eats lunch alone at their desk, or who seems unusually withdrawn or dejected.
At a point in my career, I was the manager for a team at a global tech company. I had originally joined the team as an individual contributing software engineer, and when I did, the team was at a size of 8. But when I joined, I didn’t know the team was in trouble.
I started my career back in 2006 as a J2ME engineer developing mobile games. I moved to the UK in 2008 to work on browser based action games in Brighton but quickly switched to a role in the much more stable world of e-commerce where I focused on back end web services development.
Culture & People
The key to coaching employees lies in a single, straightforward choice: The 1-on-1 meeting questions you choose to ask. You may be raising an eyebrow at this. Surely, you’ve heard enough hype about how “you need to be holding one-on-ones as a leader.
In this hands-on workshop with Michael Sahota, you will learn how employee disengagement is a common challenge. We outline practical steps to diagnose and create experiments to foster a higher performance work environment.
Technical teams who are building or supporting application software usually work from a prioritized list of improvements, new features, and ideas to try out. (Scrum calls the list the Product Backlog.) They have a plan for completing the items on the list.
This was a first for us: We held a team retreat for Know Your Team. Though we’ve been in business for the past five years, we’d never had an official team retreat.
Successful teams are essential for organisational success. No significant outcome is achieved by one person alone these days. All change efforts involve groups of people, sometimes large groups. And these groups need to function as a cohesive unit — a team — for it to be fully successful.
Leadership & Self-management
Matthew Philip connects the philosophy of intent-based leadership with practices that enable one to realize the benefits of aligned autonomy, regardless of where it is found in the org chart.
Tech executives, especially those coming from a substantial hands-on background, naturally gravitate towards focusing on rote delivery. In my work, I often see clients toting grandiose roadmaps that boil down to “we will do what Product has asked,” but less succinctly.
“How would you describe your leadership style?” I was asked this question by a colleague and it caused me to think deeply and reflect.
For all the ways in which technology dominates business news and business blogs, it’s surprising that people are not talking more about a very pervasive problem: Burnout in technology leadership. Solid leadership is needed in order to maintain a positive company culture.
Welcome to engineering management. It’s fun, it’s exhausting, it’s rewarding — but most importantly it’s new! What worked for you before won’t work now. You’ll have to acquire a new set of skills, and shed some bad habits in the process. Here is a short guide to get you started.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Having too much Work in Process, also known as Work in Progress (WIP), is a remarkably common issue. In my experience, management often encourages this behavior. I don’t know if it is the notion that we will get more done if we work on more things simultaneously.
Note that these phases are a descriptive model, not prescriptive. We’re not forcing adoption to follow this sigmoid curve; it just naturally must, no matter how we wish things were.
Software architecture is very simple: You only have to split up one system and use modern approaches such as DDD or Microservices. This presentation shows completely different qualifications that a good software architect must have.
This week in LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, Tina Wang spends some time with Dave talking about Lean Portfolio Management. During the conversation, Tina and Dave cover exactly what Lean Portfolio Management is and how it differs from a more traditional approach to Portfolio Management.
If there is a never-ending theme in software organizations, it’s the mutual misunderstanding and frustration between business and tech. On the business side, tech is never fast enough.....
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