People-Driven Software Development

  • team—the Impediment Backlog. This means that you should devote the necessary time and energy to help an individual on tasks he does not fully master, even though it may slow down the project at that moment. This will increase the participant's skills in the long run, and you will most likely regain the time later in the project. As a coach, you support the athlete as well as make the conditions favorable for the athlete so he can perform his best. When you focus most of your attention on the athlete, you expect him to be dedicated and focused on his tasks, and to be physically and mentally alert during both training and competitions.
  • Divide sprints into cycles . Create a plan that supports the principle of cycles . Make sure to make an iteration plan that decreases the workload towards the milestones. The reason for this is that you want your participants to have extra energy at the end of the project to achieve the necessary quality. You must also make room for rest and upgrading skills after weeks of overtime.
  • Schedule 30 minutes of face-time with each team member every week. You need time to reflect over what you are doing. Make room for conversations with your team members (as a group and as individuals). Talk about the past and the future and listen to what they have to say. Be aware that sometimes the employee needs to talk about things outside work. Take time to do this because a balance between the situation at work and home is important for the participant's performance.

Put the project participants at the center of your attention. This will increase their development and communications skills. It will have a profound effect on your project and its success. Let the people drive your project and expect the best. Mindless participation is not enough.

About the authors
Hans Christian Alnaelig is Chief of Development in the department Syncronos at WM-data, where he leads the development of the market leading Time amp; Attended SystemWinTid in Norway. He has eight years of experience as a developer and project manager and shares his experience through courses and speaking at universities and seminars. He believes in a structured and analytic approach to his use of methods, uses the best from the best, and based on his experience makes them fit in regards to the people available and tasks to complete.

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