For Maximum Awesome: An Interview with Joe Justice

[interview]

CP: Awesome, fantastic. You are quite the rock star yourself. In fact, the keynote that you are doing here at Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014 is titled For Maximum Awesome. Why is it titled For Maximum Awesome?

JJ: Yeah, what we need to do is go directly to teams' mindsets, to the way people think when they walk in the door at work, or even before they walk in the door. If they are going to deliver "maximum awesome," they’ve got to know it. They’ve got to have stories that are brought to ready before they—the team—even gets them, so they can pull them and run. If we want teams to rock as hard as they can, then they’ve got to be performing like top-level sports teams. That’s absolutely a mindset, a way of thinking. There is a fantastic book, titled Happiness, created by a set of teams at Harvard, on how happiness is causal for team performance.

Well, not just teams—doctors giving more accurate diagnoses and having better outcomes directly related to how happy they were when they got into the hospital that day. So, different than “I’m happy because I’m doing well,” but it’s happiness causing excellent performance. Then Niki Harré, the dean of psychology at the University of Auckland, has done her body of research on happiness in teams creating better outcomes for the companies, for the countries, and for the individuals. For Maximum Awesome is all about the way we’ve got to think to create "maximum awesome."

Then, the idea being that if we all hit double velocity—which is average from when teams start doing Scrum. Some teams hit 10x velocity, the amount they are able to get done in a given increment of time with quality. If they do that, what are they going to do with all that extra time they have? What we propose is that they should do some social-good work, and that’s what Team WIKISPEED is for. It’s a group that people can join from anywhere in the world, where they spend about two hours a week rapidly solving problems for social good. It’s basically that outlet for when teams hit high velocity.

Now they are going twice as fast or faster—they have 50 percent or more extra time, they are going to spend a lot of that time delivering even more, so getting more than double velocity. Well, take two hours out of the week and make the planet completely awesome, and if we do that, we’ll live in the world we want to live in.

CP: Wow, I bet that’s definitely pretty awesome. You were the founder of Team WIKISPEED. What is your current role and what is the current status of Team WIKISPEED?

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Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

When not working on his theory of time travel, Cameron T. Philipp-Edmonds is writing for TechWell, StickyMinds, and AgileConnection. With a background in advertising and marketing, Cameron is partial to the ways that technology can enhance a company's brand equity. In his personal life, Cameron enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic dinners by candlelight, and playing practical jokes on his coworkers.

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