Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Shame of Pair Programming

When I tell people that most of my team pair most of the time, and that it’s not mandated, they nod and say “Yes but I don’t think my developers would be happy doing that.” But that’s as far as we go. Why are people reluctant to pair? To pair requires vulnerability. It means sharing […]

My Us and Them Workshop

I love this workshop. Yesterday I ran it at Scrum Gathering Paris and it seemed to work beautifully again. There were some great ideas about how we can start to overcome Us and Them. My favourite suggestion came from one guy in the bar afterwards (sorry I didn’t catch your name) who said, “The most […]

Too inhibited to learn – we do it to ourselves.

Too inhibited to learn, I’ve made a series of poor choices. I went to sea and instantly yearned for land. I got an office job and yearned for creativity. Only when I started developing software did I get a taste of how work could be, even then there was little joy. I was frustrated, blamed others […]

Can we really not meet?

If we carry on like this, the ship will sail. The buzz I get from building good software feels hollow unless I can see, first hand, the need for it. I’ve never met that person who without it is frustrated, unable to compete, unable to help others. Does she exist? That buzz I get from […]

The most important thing we can do

It seems I’m unusual or perhaps I’m just lucky. I’ve worked on the same team for 12 years. It’s not because I’ve always loved it, because for a large part of that time I am frustrated and despairing. I saw, and still see, problems everywhere, problems that I know cause pain and anxiety, problems that […]

A mindful team

This seems simple, but I think we struggle to appreciate the profound effect our behaviours have on each other. When you ignore my request for help, I withdraw a little bit more. When you tell me what to do, my self-esteem shrinks a little. When you blame me, I strengthen my shields and prepare for […]

It’s not about the process

I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with “process”; even more with inflicting it on others. Process is a pre-defined way of doing something; I like to change my mind as I learn more. Our team started with nothing: we were just told what to do, we transformed with Scrum and improved with Kanban. With these […]

To be effective we must..

Our organisations are crippled by separation. To be effective we must repair these broken relationships within team and the whole organisation. When we begin to replace: Separation with Closeness Concealment with Visibility Ignoring with Listening Suspicion with Trust Blame with Group Reflection Scare stories with Success stories Punishment with Appreciation Defensiveness with Vulnerability Fear with Courage Frustration with Fellowship We […]