Writing Secret 2: Increase Writing Speed When You Separate Writing From Editing

Too many nonfiction writers still listen to advice from their long-ago English teachers. That advice was, “Edit as you go.” Editing as you go slows your writing and allows you to get stuck. Instead, wait until you’re done writing down before you edit. That’s because our brains work differently when we write down vs. when …

Writing Secret 1: Use the Growth Mindset to Write in 15-Minute Chunks

Recently, several people have congratulated me on my “natural” writing. I thank them and try not to giggle. Why? Because I am not a “natural” writer. I have written and published enough that I found my writer’s voice. Instead of talent, I have persistence. I use that persistence in small, timeboxed chunks. That’s part of the …

Use “Typical,” Not “Average” Durations to Manage Risk

Many managers and teams talk about “average” durations for work. On average, how long does it take a team to finish a certain kind of work? However, average doesn’t quite explain why our work takes different durations. Instead of average, consider the word, “typical.” I’ve written about cycle time before. (It’s the time from when …

Unfreeze the “Frozen Middle” of Management

I had great fun with Cherie Silas and Alex Kudinov on their podcast, “Keeping Agile Non-Denominational.” Listen to Unfreezing the Frozen Middle. You’ve seen or heard about this problem: Senior leadership says, “Yes we need agility!” The teams say, “Yes, we got the agile goodness here!” And the middle managers? They’re stuck. The current culture …

Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller and I discussed the ideas of behaviors vs mindset on his podcast. See Behaviors Create an Agile Culture with Johanna Rothman. We spoke about the Modern Management Made Easy books. In our wide-ranging discussion, we discussed the various traps that managers create or encounter: Rewarding heroics instead of collaboration. How to offer credit …

Creating Time for Collaboration with Distributed Teams and Agile Approaches

Summary: 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 …

Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals

Summary: 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 many “teams” feel like …