My Management Experiment


Posts from everyday managers who are gaining valuable experience, through experiments.

Agile Calculus - On Points and Hours

One of the developers asked me the other day why we used hours and story points and not one or other instead of both. I answered "Picture a car on a cross-country trip".

Are you Really an Agile Team?

Our team claimed to be an Agile team until a colleague challenged us on how we were ignoring some basic practices of Scrum. He argued that learning the basics is a pre-requesite to breaking the rules.

What Motivates Your Team?

It's an easy mistake to make decisions based on your own motivations - but what about your team? What motivates them? How do you make decisions that align with their motivations?

How to Build a High Performance Team

Having a team with cross-functional skills is fundamental for Agile teams. Culture-fit can push these teams to a higher performance. This doesn't need to be a "from-the-gut" activity.

Your Agile Mindset is Limited

An overview of 5 paradigms that challenge organizations to evolve and upgrade our culture.

Moving Motivators - Management 3.0

Moving Motivators is an easy-to-learn game that examines how change in organizations affects our intrinsic motivation.

Tribal Leadership - 21 Day Challenge

This 21 day daily exercise was painfully exciting and rewarding. It's been a fundamental part of my growth in learning to lead.

The Three Gaps and Strategic Intent

Stephen Bungay in the book "Art of Action" describes how the Prussian military successfully provided strategic intent, freeing troops to respond creatively to uncertainty and unpredictability.

Big Ego's and Star Trek

Transactional Analysis is a very accessible theory of modern psychology. It's been a great tool to engage in "Adult-to-Adult" conversations.

Experimenting with 1:1's

"Moving Motivators" and "Click-down" are a couple of simple tools that have helped me learn more about my team during our 1:1's.

My leadership toolkit

I've created a little "cheat sheet" of discoveries that are now a part of my leadership toolkit. Feel free to download the toolkit here. They fit nicely on the back of index cards.

Whispering Wednesdays

Our department recently moved to a large open space without cubicles. We've been given large tables, chairs, whiteboards and a beautiful 8th floor view of the Toronto airport.

The "hot seat" experiment

Our development team recently attended a whole-day workshop about "Difficult Conversations".

Creating a Tribal Council

A 15 minute daily meeting that shares the work of "Management" with a small band of Developers, QA and Scrum Masters.

Playing games with Authority

A simple how-to video on Delegation Poker as created by Jurgen Appelo in the book "Management 3.0"

A culture of creativity

Is working for a brilliant boss bad thing?

Where do I start?

3 books that have provided me some practical tools to experiment and learn how to manage a contemporary software development team.