Many of us have horrible experiences with distributed teams where we can find no possibility of collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if a team is distributed, those team members need collaborative opportunities and space. What’s important is the team’s time for collaboration, not time zones. Here are some ways you can visualize when your team works and create more quality collaboration time.
The hard part of successful DevOps isn’t implementing the technology; it's ensuring you have the right culture in your organization. You need to break down silos and align competing priorities and individual incentives to gain real benefits from DevOps. Move beyond thinking about technology alone and look at the people side of the equation. Here are seven ways to create a successful team that delivers the benefits of DevOps.
Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively.
Too often, customers have a “fake certainty” about the problems they want to solve. They might not have defined the real problem, but they have frequently defined the solution anyway. The risk is that we might build the wrong thing. When the product owner works with the customers to define the problem, then works with the team to define the solution, everyone can win.
Successful delivery of software requires the entire team, so it’s imperative that everyone choose their words carefully so they convey what they really mean, are sensitive to others’ feelings, and consider all aspects of a problem. Here are three questions to remember when communicating about your software testing projects to ensure you’re considering the power of words.
Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.
Having a design team an ocean away presents some challenges, including misunderstandings that often result from cultural and linguistic differences, occasional time zone conflicts, and difficulty always keeping everyone in the loop regarding decisions that are being made. How do we combat those challenges? Here are three strategies that can help keep your distributed design team on track.
Ambiguity abounds about value streams, so it’s good to clarify what they are, why they matter, and how to exploit them. It's important to help employees understand the organization's definition of value, to provide visibility on how business value is created, and to focus on the fast flow of value through the value streams. If everyone understands which direction to row the boat, they can steer toward it together.
In order to adopt DevOps, organizations need to be able to embrace the openness it requires, encourage experimentation and innovation, and work across departmental silos. You may be ready to encourage collaboration and communication to reap the benefits, but what if your company culture isn't? Here's how you can influence your organizational dynamics to lay the groundwork for DevOps.
Agile story estimation gives the team insight into the level of effort for each work item, allows the team to assess each requirement’s relative priority, and lets the team refine and clarify story items. But there are even more benefits that can be gained from the estimation process. Try to take advantage of these five opportunities for growth when your team is estimating stories.