Many who have worked with me know that I’m not afraid to try radically new ways of getting the job done, whether it’s restructuring a team, an Agile transformation or managing technical implementations. I like taking risks trying new things like gamestorming for setting team objectives and starting test automation even in companies that don’t have a solid test documentation in place yet. Why? To turn the tide and start improving, deliver value by example, show them some possibilities they may like to try themselves.
Many companies are struggling to survive during these difficult times. Remember, not all companies are like Facebook, Google, Apple etc. I’ve read in a local newspaper that over 10000 companies went bankrupt in 2014. They are desperately trying to improve the situation with limited resources. So how you could help your company to survive in times of crisis? Continue reading
“There are none so blind than those who refuse to see.”
In my experience most people seem to have problems showing their weaknesses and shortcomings. Even more so when someone is looking over their shoulders. Is it too embarrassing to be caught making mistakes? It doesn’t make any sense, I believe this attitude is a major hindrance for self improvement.
“The first step in dealing with any problem is to see that indeed there is a problem.”
Acknowledging that there is something wrong is the right path to finding a solution. In order to get a better look at the situation imagine yourself as a bird. Fly off then! Flap your wings and get a birds eye view on the situation… Get a little bit closer to study the problem in detail. Find the best angle to approach. Continue reading
“If you’re Agile you’re flexible, if you’re flexible you can adapt to any situation.”
Ever since the day I became a manager and started coaching people, I’ve been p(w)ondering what makes them follow. The funny thing about leadership is: it is not working without followers. It is like being a king of an uninhabited island. And who would want that. So, I decided to try to unravel the mystery by studying all its aspect.
I did my homework on management education; I’ve listened to audio books (thank you Porter and Deming. Yes, there are actually some advantages to a long traffic jams) I took psychology and personality tests like Myers-Briggs and such, and I want to extend my gratitude to Quasus for organising personality training in a highly practical fashion allowing you to explore different personality traits of colleagues and how to cope with them. I did ADKAR as well which proved to be a valuable model for change management. I’ve played game storming sessions with customer solely for the purpose of exposing the needs of those I was leading. I’ve been to a lot of Agile events, became a Scrum coach and a believer in Jurgen Appelo’s excellent Management 3.0. It has been one hell of a journey, but it did help. By God, it did!
I learned that the magic ingredient, the fuel which make ideas fly and collaboration works and makes people follow your lead is simple: CARE.
Care is the essential component of agility. Care from and for every member in the team; care from and for management, stakeholders and customers. The theories/experiments/books/blogs and events are very valuable, but nothing beats the good old fashioned care. It is the one that drives me and keep me motivated and inspired. Where would the Agile manifesto be if nobody truly cares?
Remember this next time you’re going to lead: “If you ain’t sharing, people ain’t caring” – Wyclef Jean
You know the Beatles track with the longest name “Everybody’s got something to hide, except for me and my monkey”? I find this is the “retrospective song” (follow link for some tips and tricks on retrospectives). “Everybody’s got something to hide” means we’ve all made mistakes, now it’s time to face the results. No matter how bad it turned out to be we tried our best, trying out crazy new ideas. For those ideas that turned out to be a success, now the time has come to celebrate what we’ve achieved, time to slow down and “Come on let’s take it easy” (retrospective time). Let the monkey out of your sleeve (a Dutch saying) meaning “finally the truth comes out”.
I believe that looking for the ideal number of people to have a conversation is asking the wrong question… One should be asking how to provide something valuable to those involved in the conversation, how they can learn, find inspiration and exchange experiences.
“Some people talk a lot, but aren’t saying anything”
Conversation is all about individuals exchanging information. Conversation only happens when information flows from each individual towards another person. In order for this to happen certain conditions have to be met: Continue reading
Losing yourself in daydreams…
I was asked by a good friend on how to approach testing of a complex web application. How complex? Over 100 menu items, over 50 different screens, unknown amount of flows. He would be the only tester working in a small development team (10 developers). When he mentioned the lack of formal requirements, and explained why brainstorm sessions are not a real option I recognized how desperate situation he was in. He would be re-testing constantly! Like trying to shoot a moving target!