The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.
Using metrics such as cumulative flow to monitor throughput and quantitative thinking may not seem very humanistic, but by depersonalizing the work being done, we can focus our energies on solving actual problems instead of conducting a daily witch-hunt and shaming people into high performance.
Hiring is difficult to do well, Johanna Rothman writes in her latest management myth piece. Because everyone who is looking to hire has a job, they think they know how to hire. But it’s not easy. You want to hire the best people you can who fit the team and the organization.
Jean Richardson shares a story about how the idea of pervasive leadership can help you manage a successful project. In order to practice pervasive leadership, one must change one's mental model of "I" and "thou," act locally and think holistically, and enact empathetic stewardship.
Kathy Iberle writes that when working on a project, you should take a systems view, which allows you to see the whole development system at once. When you put on your “systems view” glasses, you’ll see that you need to deal with the whole system, not just a single team’s part of it.
Regarding project portfolios, it can be a big problem for clients to see all the work. Some clients have multiple kinds of projects, so they want to show their work in a variety of ways. Johanna Rothman describes some helpful ways to display the work being done.
One of the hardest daily tasks developers, QA, ScrumMasters, and product owners encounter is effective communication with others. Sound implausible? According to many articles, research, and personal observations, the main cause of project failure is not technology or hardware, but inefficient communication stemming from lack of effective communication between team members, incomplete business analysis, imprecise requirements, and vaguely formulated business objectives.
The desire to control comes through loud and clear in the way most people’s worth is measured by their company’s performance management process. When it comes to performance review time, these controlling phrases crop up anew. Many successful agile coaches have been dismayed to learn that, despite the amazing results their teams produced and despite the new clarity and purpose that pervades the workplace, measuring their contributions still includes phrases such as “Herd the cats.”