Say No to Mandatory Fun

I keep encountering managers and consultants who want to make work “fun” for people. As a goal, “fun” is a bunch of hooey. Before I was a consultant, I held various Director-level positions at local companies. Each organization had mandatory fun days. In one organization, we played softball. Yes, everyone—especially the managers—had to play softball …

Thinking About What to Call Team Members and Managers

Bob Sutton (@work_matters) tweeted this the other day: Perhaps companies ought to stop using “IC” or “Individual Contributor.” It seems to absolve such employees from helping others I retweeted it and we had some back-and-forth about what to call people i organizations. Let’s eliminate these words for people who are not managers: Individual Contributor: There …

Team Size Matters, Reprise

Several years ago, I wrote a post for a different blog called “Why Team Size Matters.” That post is long gone. I explained that the number of communication paths in the team does not increase linearly as the team size increases;  team communication paths square when the team increases linearly. Here is the calculation where N is …

Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 3

I started this series writing about the need for coaches in Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 1. I continued in Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 2, talking about the changed role of managers in agile. In this part, let me address the role of senior managers in agile and how coaches might help. For years, …

Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 2

In Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 1, I wrote about circumstances under which a team might want a coach. It wasn’t an exhaustive list. It had several questions defining when coaches might help the team to become agile, not be cargo cult agile. One of the reasons we might need coaches for a team is because …

Coaches, Managers, Collaboration and Agile, Part 1

There was a fascinating Twitter conversation last week when I was busy writing other things. (I also find Twitter to be a difficult-for-me arena to have a conversation. I need more than 140 characters.) The conversation started when Neil Killick tweeted this: orgs need coaches not because “agile is unintuitive”, but because effective sw delivery …