Agile Iowa 10.16, Silicon Valley Agile Trends & Leadership 4.17
What differentiates a successful software development culture?
Almost all of us have been on a high performance team. Just invite us, and we’ll sign up for another in a second! Typically, it was a team for which we worked harder - but from which we took away more exhilaration and joy than at any other time in our careers. What made it so? And what can we do to get it again?
We think successful software development cultures are ones that are not just performant but that both delight customers and are a joy for every team member to be part of.
One of the characteristics that differentiates agile cultures is that (finally!), it’s not just managers who are responsible for crafting culture - but everyone. And agile, done well, means every one of us engages in the crafting of it.
But agile asks people who are often introverted, highly-logical, independent thinkers not only to form teams but to make those teams self-organizing. It asks every team member to step up and collaborate.
Agile offers each of us the promise of a stellar team experience – provided we and every one of our peers steps up to make it so. We need to no longer just perform as individuals, but truly trust and respect and engage and share - behaviors that can feel at odds with the fierce independence that got us through school and into industry.
In addition to training teams in agile, Ron Lichty has spent years coaching managers about how their roles change with agile. While his recent Addison Wesley book, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams (http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net) didn’t zero in on agile, both the book and the classes that he and his coauthor give current and prospective managers espouse a deeply agile mindset for managers. He also coauthors the annual Study of Product Team Performance (http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html).