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Agile techniques for lead developers

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Structured techniques that I use every day that help me be a more effective and inclusive manager. First presented at The Lead Developer conference in June 2018 in London.

Published in: Leadership & Management

Agile techniques for lead developers

  1. 1. AGILE TECHNIQUES FOR LEAD DEVELOPERS KEVIN GOLDSMITH
  2. 2. @KevinGoldsmith THIS IS NOT A TALK ABOUT AGILE
  3. 3. FIRST 1:1 SCENARIO
  4. 4. @KevinGoldsmith LET’S DISCUSS WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT FROM EACH OTHER FIRST 1:1
  5. 5. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT ▸ Chance for you to talk about how you approach management ▸ Chance to discuss what the responsibilities of the role are as you both see them
  6. 6. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ▸ Each person writes down all the things they expect from each other and themselves. Each expectation on a separate post-it. ▸ Spend 10-15 minutes or until you can’t think of any more.
  7. 7. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ASHLEYPAT
  8. 8. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ▸ Take turns placing each post-it and discussing what it means to you together ▸ Does this make sense? ▸ Do we agree? Do we disagree?
  9. 9. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ASHLEYPAT
  10. 10. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ▸ Capture the output ▸ Revisit periodically (six months or a year)
  11. 11. MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD SCENARIO
  12. 12. @KevinGoldsmith WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LEAD AT OUR COMPANY? MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD
  13. 13. @KevinGoldsmith MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD BRAINSTORM THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LEAD ▸ Each person writes down all the things that they think are the responsibilities of a lead at your company. Each responsibility on a separate post-it. ▸ Spend 10-15 minutes or until you can’t think of any more.
  14. 14. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ASHLEY INFORMS PAT’S RESPONSIBILITY ASHLEY’S RESPONSIBILITY PAT APPROVES
  15. 15. @KevinGoldsmith MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD BRAINSTORM THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LEAD ▸ Take turns placing each post-it and discussing what it means to you together ▸ What do I think this means? ▸ Are you ready to take this on? ▸ What do you need to learn to do this? ▸ How can I help you be ready to do this?
  16. 16. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ASHLEY INFORMS PAT’S RESPONSIBILITY ASHLEY’S RESPONSIBILITY PAT APPROVES
  17. 17. @KevinGoldsmith MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD BRAINSTORM THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LEAD ▸ Capture the output ▸ Revisit every six months ▸ Ideally things should move from left to right over time
  18. 18. @KevinGoldsmith FIRST 1:1 BRAINSTORM A JOINT WORKING AGREEMENT - PROCESS ASHLEY INFORMS PAT’S RESPONSIBILITY ASHLEY’S RESPONSIBILITY PAT APPROVES
  19. 19. @KevinGoldsmith
  20. 20. @KevinGoldsmith
  21. 21. @KevinGoldsmith MENTORING A FUTURE LEAD THANKS TO ESTHER DERBY FOR THE FORMAT
  22. 22. GETTING SOMEONE TO TALK IN 1:1S SCENARIO
  23. 23. @KevinGoldsmith GETTING SOMEONE TO OPEN UP IN 1:1S WALK! ▸ Guarantees the 1:1 will last a while
  24. 24. @KevinGoldsmith GETTING SOMEONE TO OPEN UP IN 1:1S TOYS! ▸ Something else to focus on.
  25. 25. @KevinGoldsmith GETTING SOMEONE TO OPEN UP IN 1:1S SHUT UP! ▸ Wait them out ▸ Give them a chance to choose their words and form their thoughts
  26. 26. MAKING A DECISION IN A TEAM MEETING SCENARIO
  27. 27. @KevinGoldsmith POLLING I want your opinion, but I’m the one making the decision
  28. 28. @KevinGoldsmith VOTING We’re making the decision together and I will support the group’s decision.
  29. 29. @KevinGoldsmith MAKING A DECISION IN A TEAM MEETING POLLING VS. VOTING ▸ Be very clear which you are doing ▸ Tell people before they give their opinion
  30. 30. @KevinGoldsmith MAKING A DECISION IN A TEAM MEETING FIST OF FIVE ▸ Count to three, everyone raises their hands ▸ Fist: I hate this ▸ 5 fingers: I love it ▸ Good for polling or seeing how close the team is to consensus
  31. 31. @KevinGoldsmith MAKING A DECISION IN A TEAM MEETING ROMAN VOTING ▸ Count to three, everyone does thumbs up or thumbs down ▸ Good for voting
  32. 32. COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEETING AGENDA SCENARIO
  33. 33. @KevinGoldsmith COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEETING AGENDA SHARED AGENDA ▸ A shared document captures the agenda and the minutes. ▸ Everyone in the meeting adds their items (and estimate of the time needed) to the shared document before the meeting
  34. 34. @KevinGoldsmith COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEETING AGENDA SHARED AGENDA ▸ Meeting owner grooms the agenda before the meeting begins ▸ A facilitator runs the meeting and keeps time ▸ The person who added the item leads the discussion
  35. 35. @KevinGoldsmith COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEETING AGENDA LEAN COFFEE - CREATE THE AGENDA ▸ Everyone nominates topics to discuss ▸ Vote on each of the topics ▸ # of votes determines topic order
  36. 36. @KevinGoldsmith COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEETING AGENDA LEAN COFFEE - RUN THE MEETING ▸ Set a timer for <X> minutes ▸ Person who proposed the topic leads the discussion ▸ When timer goes off, use Roman Voting to determine if the group wants to keep discussing the topic. If so, reset the timer. If not, move on to the next topic.
  37. 37. MORE INCLUSIVE TEAM MEETINGS SCENARIO
  38. 38. @KevinGoldsmith SHUT UP! Your positional authority will encourage others to conform to your opinion.
  39. 39. @KevinGoldsmith SET EXPECTATIONS Be clear on the impact of the meeting.
  40. 40. @KevinGoldsmith MORE INCLUSIVE TEAM MEETINGS THE OBSERVER ROLE ▸ The observer’s job: watch ▸ people interrupting each other ▸ people repeating ideas without giving credit ▸ certain people speaking too much ▸ exclusionary language
  41. 41. @KevinGoldsmith PASSIVEPASSIVE ACTIVE
  42. 42. @KevinGoldsmith ROTATE ROLES note-taker, facilitator, observer
  43. 43. @KevinGoldsmith PUBLISH THE AGENDA Lets everyone prepare mentally and emotionally for the meeting
  44. 44. @KevinGoldsmith A PARTING THOUGHT…
  45. 45. @KevinGoldsmith REMEMBER YOUR ROLE POWER You set the tone and conduct for your team based on your actions and how you react to others.
  46. 46. @KevinGoldsmith QUESTIONS?

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