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Effective Teams

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What pictures do we have in our minds when we think about effective software development? Code quality, continuous integration, pair programming or what have you. While I’m a big fan of all of them I …

What pictures do we have in our minds when we think about effective software development? Code quality, continuous integration, pair programming or what have you. While I’m a big fan of all of them I would challenge the concept that this is the only, or the most important, area which developers should focus on.

Building software is a collective effort of people working in different roles and this should always be a starting point to a discussion about effectiveness. The missing piece may be software craftsmanship but it may also be handful of dull chores that few would fancy doing. How can we tell? What should we use as guidance? And, at the end of the day, how to build software effectively?

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  • 1. Effective Teams Pawel Brodzinski @pawelbrodzinski
  • 2. Hi, I’m Pawel Lunar Logic http://lunarlogic.io Blog http://brodzinski.com Twitter @pawelbrodzinski
  • 3. Teamwork
  • 4. Teamwork
  • 5. IE7 fixes, anyone?
  • 6. Functional testing, anyone?
  • 7. There always is a bottleneck
  • 8. Visualization helps to understand work and spot problems
  • 9. What’s the problem with queues again?
  • 10. Cost of multitasking Source: Gerald Weinberg, Quality Software Management: Vol. 1 System Thinking
  • 11. Zeigarnik Effect Tendency to experience intrusive thought about an objective left incomplete Source: S. Greist-Bousquet, N. Shiffman: The effect of task interruption and closure on perceived duration
  • 12. Cost of task switching is rooted in interference from thoughts about the task you are not doing Eyal Ophir
  • 13. Multitasking cripples quality Source: E. Ophir, C. Nass, A. Wagner: Cognitive control in media multitaskers
  • 14. Teams that worked only on a single project were significantly better in terms of defects density Larry Maccherone
  • 15. Work in Progress limits 5O
  • 16. WIP limits result in slack time
  • 17. Helping others
  • 18. Do you remember your answers?
  • 19. Impact of WIP limits 5O
  • 20. Paying technical debt back, anyone?
  • 21. Slack time incentivizes system improvements
  • 22. Into the trenches
  • 23. Why do features you build work this specific way?
  • 24. Why do clients want these features?
  • 25. What is (roughly) value of the features?
  • 26. Would you speak up if a feature wasn’t value-adding?
  • 27. There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all Peter Drucker
  • 28. Product management is our job too
  • 29. The client isn’t always right
  • 30. More than a half the features in large software products go unused Source: Victor R. Basili, Barry Boehm, COTS-Based Systems Top 10 List
  • 31. Efficient doesn’t mean effective
  • 32. Processing the waste more effectively is cheaper, neater, faster waste Stephen Parry
  • 33. Teamwork
  • 34. What makes one a great candidate?
  • 35. Technical skills?
  • 36. Craftsmanship?
  • 37. Communication skills?
  • 38. Learning?
  • 39. Something else?
  • 40. Superhero
  • 41. in·tel·li·gence noun in-ˈte-lə-jən(t)s (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests) Souce: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligence
  • 42. Intelligence is fragile
  • 43. Intelligence versus Collective Intelligence
  • 44. How are individual and collective intellingece correlated?
  • 45. There’s no connection between individual intelligence and collective intelligence Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 46. Collective intelligence trumps individual intelligence
  • 47. Collective intelligence was much more predictive in terms of succeeding in complex tasks than average individual intelligence or maximal individual intelligence Anita Woolley
  • 48. Indicators of collective intelligence Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 49. Indicators of collective intelligence Social perceptiveness Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 50. Indicators of collective intelligence Social perceptiveness Communication quality Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 51. Indicators of collective intelligence Social perceptiveness Communication quality Moderate cognitive style diversity Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 52. Cognitive styles Object viualizers (visual arts) Spatial visualizers (engineering) Verbalizers (humanities) Source: O. Blazhenkova, M. Kozhevnikov: The New Object-Spatial-Verbal Cognitive Style Model
  • 53. How would you feel about working with women in your team?
  • 54. The more women the better collective intelligence* Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 55. Indicators of collective intelligence Social perceptiveness Communication quality Moderate cognitive style diversity Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 56. It’s not just diversity; it’s gender
  • 57. What team size makes it most effective?
  • 58. Bigger teams have better collective intelligence* Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  • 59. There’s no difference in productivity or quality between teams of 5-9 and 10-12 people Source: Larry Maccherone: Quantifying the impact of Lean, Kanban, and Agile practices
  • 60. What is knowledge work?
  • 61. Sofware development is a team sport
  • 62. Takeaways
  • 63. Effective work often means doing stuff that we wouldn’t normally do
  • 64. Visualization helps to understand work and spot problems
  • 65. WIP limits help to improve short term and long term
  • 66. 2O
  • 67. Collective intelligence trumps individual intelligence
  • 68. Social perceptiveness Evenness of communication Moderate diversity of cognitive styles
  • 69. Thank you I wish you more women (in teams) and less work (in progress) Pawel Brodzinski brodzinski.com lunarlogic.io @pawelbrodzinski