In this issue:
Do you wonder how to get more done in your organization? Your teams are working pretty well, delivering at a reasonable pace. Yet, you have the nagging feeling you could get more done. You can.
The secret is management teams, not just feature or product teams. When managers work together, they can support all the teams they serve. That helps everyone.
How do you help managers work together? Especially if you're a peer and not the manager of all the managers?
Consider these three possibilities:
- Know why you want to work together.
- Create a purpose that encompasses what you and your peers want to deliver.
- Ask for what you want.
Why Do You Want to Work with Your Peers?
If you read Managers Need to Work as Teams, you saw how one manager realized he could gain these benefits:
- Solve common team problems for build and test automation.
- Solve common team problems for product-person attention.
- Learn how to reduce the time it took managers to solve these problems.
That manager also realized he missed the camaraderie he'd felt when he was a technical person. He wanted that support and results again.
If you have a different reason, that's great. I suggest you write it down. That way, you won't forget the details when you bring your reasoning to others.
Create an Overarching Purpose
We're all busy. We don't always remember to explain the purpose or goal behind the work to the people we serve. Our managers have the same problem.
Or, worse, you might realize no one has articulated the overarching purpose.
You might ask your peers to help you create that purpose. Consider these ideas:
- Who will benefit from the results of your work?
- What problems do you solve for those people?
- Why do people care about those problems or those results?
Those questions often prompt great discussions around purpose.
Ask for What You Want
If you explain your personal goals and the overarching purpose, you can set the context to ask for what you want. You might want any of these possibilities:
- Meet regularly with your peers to remove obstacles for the teams.
- Make faster decisions.
- Manage the organizational WIP (Work in Progress)
You might see other possibilities.
Once you have your peer management team, you'll discover you can see and solve problems faster. You might not find the problem solving easier. However, if your experience is similar to mine, you'll see problems when they're smaller and solve them faster.
What About the Fun?
And the fun I mentioned above? I often find that when I work with my peers, I have a lot more fun. Here's why:
- I missed both problems and solutions that other people see.
- The pressure is off me. Because we're working on a solution, we have multiple brains working on the solution.
- We—as a management team—are freer to experiment.
If you don't yet operate as a team at your level, consider these ideas. You might discover even more reasons to work as a team.
You can measure a team's cycle time and see how much more they finish when they collaborate as a team. Managers and leaders will discover the same. You—and everyone else—can get more done with management or leadership teams.
If you try to create management or leadership teams, let me know how that's working for you. If you want to learn more about these ideas, check out Practical Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization.
See Distributed Agile Success for all of my self-study classes with Mark Kilby based on our book, From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver.
The Modern Management Made Easy books are in indexing, which means I'm finding more small changes. Wait to buy if you prefer to read finished books.
I'm planning more writing and management workshops for next year. Gotta get my WIP (Work in Progress) down before I offer them.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues.
Here are links you might find useful:
- My Books. (If you enjoyed one of my books and have not yet left a review, please do. Thanks.)
- Online Workshops
- Managing Product Development Blog
- Create an Adaptable Life
- Johanna's Fiction
Till next time,
© 2020 Johanna Rothman
Tags: management, Modern Management Made Easy, servant leadership, value, WIP