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Team up

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Lately, it seems that process became trendier than core leadership skills. Agile, Scrum, Kanban stole the focus.
BUT - it is leadership that fuels process adoption rather than process auto-magically fixing disfunction teams.

In this talk we'll explore what went wrong in this process adoption race: from hiring or promoting the wrong people, avoid setting clear expectations from our leaders, to dropping lean practices due to lack of deep understanding (forgetting why we started to begin with).

The dark side is interesting to explore, but we are here for the bright light - we will bring the FOCUS back to how we want our leadership to look like.
We'll try to figure out how we want our leaders to look like in the "Agile era"

Agenda:
== THE WHY ==
- The essence
- Goals balance
- Surviving in chaos
- Team leader definition
- Business vision
- Throughput .vs. latency
- Confidence is not cheap
- Risks management
- Beautiful code
- Beautiful document

== THE HOW ==
- Visibility over progress
- Must, Delegate and External
- Ownership as a driver
- Define “minimum working unit” early
- Define “done” that works for you
- Quality is God (or at least Jesus)
- Test to last
- Bullets knowledge base
- Estimate together
- Teach to move forward

Published in: Business, Technology
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Team up

  1. 1. Team up! Leadership, process, survival and pride @ the Agile era Team Lead RoleOren Ellenbogen (@orenellenbogen)
  2. 2. Who am I ? Oren Ellenbogen* Blogger: www.Lnbogen.com* Engineer @ Commerce Sciences* ex. Delver (Sears) – Director of Engineering
  3. 3. The Agile/Lean Crusade 2.0
  4. 4. Food for thoughtWhenPressureBeatsThe crapOut ofLeadership
  5. 5. Meet the tech leaderHe’s smart, ridiculously smartBob (the CEO):“What about Chris? He’s amazingly talented! I guess he can handle it…”
  6. 6. The company adjusts…New team = our smart dude +2 teammatesmagic!
  7. 7. A leader in trouble ? ? ?“I match my shoes to my pen”“I love reading hex”“I shave per new version of Ubuntu”“I guess I can tell others what to do”Maybe we need more than technical skills?
  8. 8. Meet the “passionate” leader“Let’s use Scrum!”[process kicks in, time passes] Ozzi (a developer): “why do we need a daily report? Shouldn’t a weekly status suffice?”
  9. 9. A leader in trouble“Let’s do it!” is a great attitude! ??But people forget reasoning fast ?Why should we do it? why now? why ever?Maybe we need more than passion?
  10. 10. Meet the “experienced” leader• Working for 6 years as senior dev• Knows all the secret God classes• All the magical javascript quirks “I am technical enough and experienced enough to lead a team. I’m doing it for a long time now, I deserve it!”
  11. 11. A leader in trouble ?? ?• Does he know what leading means?• Does he care enough to make others shine? Maybe we need more than experience ?
  12. 12. Are you feeling ready to lead? Can you define what a “great team lead” means? Do you currently have enough management tools? Are you suffering from a process without leadership?
  13. 13. Why?(Some background)
  14. 14. Organization IQ: f(pressure)Our reality:• Organizations constantly need to change• Pressure constantly adds up• Lean/agile processes makes things even faster!Pressure has its impact:• We adapt poorly• Picking (sometimes) the wrong people• Neglecting proper guidance, forgetting the why
  15. 15. There is 1 reason to become TL
  16. 16. Lack of putting thoughts on paperThoughts are volatile, you’re missing:• Self retrospective• Passing it on• Ideas writing (instead of “good memory”)• … 1
  17. 17. Team lead role –WTF is it then?
  18. 18. Define: team leaderIf you had to pick 3 qualities of a great team leader, what will they be? (hint: “a leader” is not a quality)
  19. 19. Attempt: team leader Visionary  Product vision (can you explain the why?)  Architecture vision (incorporated with product requirements)  Team vision (incorporated with architecture) Cares about people  People will follow your heart (honesty) ROI driven  Pick your battles, explain the why, offer tradeoffs
  20. 20. Caring?It’s the small stuff That counts most * Welcome gift to a developer, after writing FB message saying it’s SWEET!
  21. 21. Your attempt: team leader My definition is only my point of view The real question is do youhave your own definition written?
  22. 22. It’s about confidence Your boss: you’re on top of things, actively report. Your people: things will be handled (technical backlog), you have their back Your peers: You’re able to deliver & communicate (team player) Your company: You help the company to deliver faster with higher quality Yourself: You’re able to make other shine.
  23. 23. Ideas / tools / thoughtsHow to make others shine
  24. 24. Different unit of productivity Time to change your state of mind Then Now
  25. 25. Key decisions list Document it!Guidance:Why: to be able to reflect later, with yourself & others
  26. 26. Visibility > progress No glory in running forward in the darkGuidance :1. Ask for ETA (when?) and their COMMITMENT!2. Thinking end->backwards (how?)3. Early *complete* breakdown (what?)Why: ETA > Progress (create visible organization)
  27. 27. Gut feeling estimationDoes it get any better? Range is good!Why: allow quick re-prioritization (product/business)
  28. 28. Must, Delegate and ExternalIs it really myresponsibility?Guidance :1. Team leaders should specify: 1. MUST 2. DELEGATE (HOW?!) 3. DEAR BOSS, PLEASE DO X, Y, Z2. Challenge and consider how to do less MUST and more DelegateWhy: reduce personal pressure to take care of the MUST
  29. 29. Ownership as a driverIncrease your execution unitGuidance:1. Give ownership to drive commitment.2. Set your expectations!3. Ask them to stand behind their commitment (not nice to have)4. Help them be effective (close feedback loop)5. Don’t stand in their wayWhy: get to know your bottlenecks
  30. 30. Estimate togetherTeach the dark magic of estimationGuidance:1. Consider practices to estimate faster (Poker Planning)2. Try to reach some consensus and endorse open conversation about the estimation3. Track estimations (estimated vs. actual) over time and analyze your team’s gapsWhy: avoid “you said 2 but I’m doing it, It’s a 10”
  31. 31. Test to lastAvoid the (default) graph:Guidance:1. Create an environment striving for production-quality code in your tests a) Tests instead of overkill documentation b) Reduce maintenance time when changing behavior2. Consult and learn how to build maintainable tests a) IoC, tests structure, open-source projects, language tricksWhy: tests == confidence == easier release cycle
  32. 32. “Beautiful Document” Document’s worth = f(“initial value”, time)• Like a car, it’s around 40% less valuable 15 minutes after you finish writing it.• Unlike car, people won’t use it every day.My attempt: a beautiful document is when…  Requirements, pains, motivation and known constraints are well specified.  Why: less time to write and most chances, it won’t change
  33. 33. Bullets knowledge base Keep your Documents relevantGuidance:1. Phrase (Owner)2. Small explanation about each phrase3. Talk with (Owner) for further details4. Practice to learn the details (pair-programming, leading a feature)Why: relevant know-how is key to fast release cycle
  34. 34. “Beautiful Code”Unique != beautiful:  Unicorn style of code is not really beautifulMy attempt: beautiful code is when…  It should be easy to add new features.  It should be easy to change existing features.  It should be easy for new teammate to become productive almost immediately.
  35. 35. Final note
  36. 36. Pay it forwardThink forward, teach todayGuidance:1. Teaching helps us think of what’s important to know2. Delegate so you could move forward (future growth)3. Prepare to grow from day 14. Teach so you could grow internally (opportunity > need)5. Teach to be taught (you’re strong at A, she’s at B)Why: Job Safety is so 90’s
  37. 37. Thank you!Oren.Ellenbogen@gmail.comwww.Lnbogen.com@orenellenbogen

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