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Process Management

Emotional Intelligence Is Not Always The Right Tool

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Emotional intelligence often touted as a tool that can be used to make every outcome better. However, the more academic literature suggests economic intelligence is not a panacea.  There are numerous papers that identify scenarios in which emotional Intelligence has not discernible impact on business outputs and might actually get in the way. Several are described below:

Emotional Intelligence in Non-Emotional Environments

Dana Joseph of the University of Central Florida and Daniel Newman of the University of Illinois comprehensively analyzed studies that showed a link between Emotional Intelligence and job performance. The study of studies found that the level found emotional intelligence was not consistently related to job performance.  However when the data was broken down into jobs that require an extensive understanding of emotions and those that did not the analysis told a different story. When the studies for jobs requiring extensive attention to emotions were analyzed separately, higher levels of emotional intelligence translated into better performance. Examples of jobs requiring significant levels of emotional intelligence include salespeople, call center representatives and other customer-facing roles. While not included in the studies we would expect project managers and Scrum masters in this group of roles. Alternately, when personnel in the study with higher levels of emotional intelligence in jobs that involved fewer emotional demands were studied they were found to have lower performance.  The authors suggest that spending time reading emotions of others when you should be doing something more introspective, such as writing code, is counterproductive.

Emotional Intelligence as a Tool for Manipulation

One often quoted study supporting this potential problem was published by University of Cambridge professor Jochen Menges.  Dr. Menges found that when a leader gave an inspiring speech filled with emotion, the audience was less likely to scrutinize the message and remembered less of the content. People that hone their emotional skills are often better at manipulating others. While leaders often manipulate emotions to generate a good output for an organization, examples abound of those leveraging their understanding the emotions of others to motivate them to act against their own best interests.

There are a number of other areas of concern noted in a recent article on the Harvard Business review blog.

  1. The potential impact of emotional intelligence on creativity and innovation. The article points out that attributes typically associated with creativity and innovation are generally at odds with those associated with emotional intelligence.  Emotionally intelligent people are more apt to stay within bounds of common process and go along with others because those actions are less likely to cause emotional pain.  Whereas innovation and creativity often require breaking pushing boundaries and breaking rules. Steve Jobs was not an emotionally intelligent person, he was an innovator.
  2. People with high emotional intelligence tend to have difficulty giving or taking negative or difficult feedback.  It is emotionally painful to deliver negative feedback and people with high emotional intelligence feel that pain, and as a general rule people avoid pain whenever possible.
  3. Similarly, people with high emotional intelligence tend to not to make unpopular decisions for much the same reason as they avoid delivering negative feedback. While you might put an emotionally intelligent person in charge of communication a corporate downsizing they probably wouldn’t the best person to plan and execute the downsizing because it would be painful. 
  4. People with high levels of emotional intelligence tend to avoid taking risks. People with high emotional intelligence avoid taking risks because they want to avoid negative emotional feedback if the risk comes to fruition.

Emotional intelligence can be used to manipulate individuals or teams.  The natural tendency is to consider manipulation as a negative; however, when an emotionally intelligent leader helps position a team to avoid a negative emotional problem they are acting in the best interest in a team. Manipulation, in this case, would be good (and would probably be called leadership).  For example, I often ask team members to remember and share positive events prior to team meetings. The goal is to increase sharing, cause bonding, increase trust, and most importantly put the team in a positive mood before the meeting. In this case, manipulation is a good thing. If I manipulated them to act against their own greater good or that of the team, in the long run, I think I would be judged less positively.  

 


Categories: Process Management

Quote of the Month January 2017

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:37
Although many organizations are certified at SEI CMM Level 5, when a team hits a production snag, those certificates don‚Äôt carry much weight. People need IT heroes in the team to pull things through. Dependencies on folks who are technically competent, can think on their feet, and can manage time pressures increase that much more. […]

Emotional Intelligence, Useful?

Lots of screens!

So many things to learn and so little time to do it!

I was asked why emotional intelligence was important and whether emotional intelligence can be learned.

With a little probing on the second part of the question, it was suggested that there was a school of thought that emotional intelligence is an inherent human attribute; you have it or you don‚Äôt. The ‚Äúeither you are or aren‚Äôt‚ÄĚ argument is similar those with a fixed mindset make about most capabilities. ¬†The concept of a fixed in the book Mindset written by Carol Dweck. In the book, Dweck argues that mindsets are not fixed and we have identified several attributes that comprise emotional intelligence that can be improved in the essay, A Few Steps To Improving Your Emotional Intelligence. I do not accept that emotional intelligence is a fixed human ability. Simply put, your emotional intelligence quotient is not fixed and can be learned.

The second question suggests that emotional intelligence, while interesting, is not useful in the day-to-day operation of an Agile team (or by extension an organization). Fortunately, you do not have to look far to find applications of emotional intelligence in many day-to-day scenarios, ranging from team meetings to sales. As a leader or coach, it is easy to identify scenarios when emotional intelligence can be useful.  Three examples are:   

Diffusing Problem Situations

Problems happen and most involve people.  The large problems, for example, an irate client or someone that is acting counter to the team needs, are often easily spotted once they have happened. However, they are often the result of an accumulation of little issues; minor abrasions can add up. Examples of minor issues might include an occasional bit of underperformance, a bad mood, some failing to wish you happy birthday, talking over you on occasion.  The list can go on. Emotional intelligence helps not only to recognize the problem but more importantly when combined with listening to those within the boundary of the problem helps everyone to unburden.  Understanding and listening are input into empathy which is needed to come up with a fitting solution. Emotional intelligence is a tool to defuse problem situations.

Curiosity

Two of the five competencies of emotional intelligence are awareness and self-awareness of emotions in yourself and others and secondly, the ability to construct relationships. These two competencies are typically reflected as a curiosity. In my re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, one of the attributes of the growth mindset is insatiable need to learn and experience challenges, a related form of curiosity. Emotional intelligence is linked to the growth mindset through curiosity (at the very least).  Curiosity and the desire to learn are important capabilities in stable cross-functional teams.  Agile teams with emotionally intelligent members will be able to stretch to meet their customer needs because leveraging their curiosity they can identify what the skill they need to know, then learn new skills and discover new solutions. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but emotional intelligence fosters curiosity and learning will make the Agile team.

Repeat Clients

I have many friends that are fellow consultants, both independent and part of a larger organization. ¬†All of them are intelligent, all of them have great pedigrees and many of them are successful as independents. When consultants gather, the one conversation all consultants have is getting and keeping clients. ¬†I have observed that the consultants that have repeating/recurring clients have significantly more emotional intelligence than those that are great at getting clients but less so at generating repeat business. ¬†Emotional intelligence is a tool to build meaningful relationships that make it easier get repeat business. ¬†The essay, Emotional Intelligence: A Few Basics referenced Daniel Kahneman‚Äôs statement ¬†‚ÄĚthat people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don‚Äôt.‚ÄĚ ¬†Emotional intelligence makes it easier to build solid relationships that translate into repeat clients. Without emotional intelligence, it is difficult to generate the empathy needed to invest time into growing relationships based on anything other than sales volume.

Emotional intelligence is useful for identifying and defusing problems, generating relationships and to facilitate repeat sales. You are not born with all of the emotional intelligence that you can or will ever need.  Emotional intelligence is a reflection of a set of capabilities that can be improved.  We should invest the time, effort and money needed to get increase our emotional intelligence capability.    


Categories: Process Management

Emotional Intelligence, Useful?

Lots of screens!

So many things to learn and so little time to do it!

I was asked why emotional intelligence was important and whether emotional intelligence can be learned.

With a little probing on the second part of the question, it was suggested that there was a school of thought that emotional intelligence is an inherent human attribute; you have it or you don‚Äôt. The ‚Äúeither you are or aren‚Äôt‚ÄĚ argument is similar those with a fixed mindset make about most capabilities. ¬†The concept of a fixed in the book Mindset written by Carol Dweck. In the book, Dweck argues that mindsets are not fixed and we have identified several attributes that comprise emotional intelligence that can be improved in the essay, A Few Steps To Improving Your Emotional Intelligence. I do not accept that emotional intelligence is a fixed human ability. Simply put, your emotional intelligence quotient is not fixed and can be learned.

The second question suggests that emotional intelligence, while interesting, is not useful in the day-to-day operation of an Agile team (or by extension an organization). Fortunately, you do not have to look far to find applications of emotional intelligence in many day-to-day scenarios, ranging from team meetings to sales. As a leader or coach, it is easy to identify scenarios when emotional intelligence can be useful.  Three examples are:   

Diffusing Problem Situations

Problems happen and most involve people.  The large problems, for example, an irate client or someone that is acting counter to the team needs, are often easily spotted once they have happened. However, they are often the result of an accumulation of little issues; minor abrasions can add up. Examples of minor issues might include an occasional bit of underperformance, a bad mood, some failing to wish you happy birthday, talking over you on occasion.  The list can go on. Emotional intelligence helps not only to recognize the problem but more importantly when combined with listening to those within the boundary of the problem helps everyone to unburden.  Understanding and listening are input into empathy which is needed to come up with a fitting solution. Emotional intelligence is a tool to defuse problem situations.

Curiosity

Two of the five competencies of emotional intelligence are awareness and self-awareness of emotions in yourself and others and secondly, the ability to construct relationships. These two competencies are typically reflected as a curiosity. In my re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, one of the attributes of the growth mindset is insatiable need to learn and experience challenges, a related form of curiosity. Emotional intelligence is linked to the growth mindset through curiosity (at the very least).  Curiosity and the desire to learn are important capabilities in stable cross-functional teams.  Agile teams with emotionally intelligent members will be able to stretch to meet their customer needs because leveraging their curiosity they can identify what the skill they need to know, then learn new skills and discover new solutions. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but emotional intelligence fosters curiosity and learning will make the Agile team.

Repeat Clients

I have many friends that are fellow consultants, both independent and part of a larger organization. ¬†All of them are intelligent, all of them have great pedigrees and many of them are successful as independents. When consultants gather, the one conversation all consultants have is getting and keeping clients. ¬†I have observed that the consultants that have repeating/recurring clients have significantly more emotional intelligence than those that are great at getting clients but less so at generating repeat business. ¬†Emotional intelligence is a tool to build meaningful relationships that make it easier get repeat business. ¬†The essay, Emotional Intelligence: A Few Basics referenced Daniel Kahneman‚Äôs statement ¬†‚ÄĚthat people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don‚Äôt.‚ÄĚ ¬†Emotional intelligence makes it easier to build solid relationships that translate into repeat clients. Without emotional intelligence, it is difficult to generate the empathy needed to invest time into growing relationships based on anything other than sales volume.

Emotional intelligence is useful for identifying and defusing problems, generating relationships and to facilitate repeat sales. You are not born with all of the emotional intelligence that you can or will ever need.  Emotional intelligence is a reflection of a set of capabilities that can be improved.  We should invest the time, effort and money needed to get increase our emotional intelligence capability.    


Categories: Process Management

My Most Popular Posts of 2016

Mike Cohn's Blog - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 16:00

Because I wrote a lot last year--25 blog posts and 50 weekly email tips--I wanted to start something new this year. So here’s a list of the most popular blog posts here during 2016. I hope it helps you catch up on any you missed during the year.

Using our own little algorithm that is a combination of page views, comments and time spent on the pages, here are my top 10 blog posts from 2016, counting down from number 10:

10) Applying Agile Beyond Software Development

Agile can be applied well beyond software development. It’s been used for construction, planning weddings, marketing and more. These are my thoughts on how agile could have saved a hotel chain from an expensive mistake.

9) What Are Story Points?

Story points are perhaps the most misunderstood topic in agile. Story points are not based on just one factor--such as complexity, as is often mistakenly claimed. Instead, story points are based on a combination of factors.

8) Advice on How to Split Reporting User Stories

Splitting stories has long been one of the biggest challenges facing agile teams. Here are some examples of splitting some reporting stories to demonstrate ways of splitting stories.

7) Does a Scrum Team Need a Retrospective Every Sprint?

Conventional wisdom says that a team should do a retrospective every sprint. But if your sprints are one week, can you do them every few sprints? That would still be more often than a team doing four-week sprints.

6) How to Prevent Estimate Inflation

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a five-point story better not go by any other names. Or numbers. Here’s how to maintain consistency across estimates.

5) Summarizing the Results of a Sprint

Although you may wish it weren’t the case, some Scrum Masters need to document how a sprint went. Here’s advice on how to do that in a lightweight, agile manner.

4) The Dangers of a Definition of Ready

After seeing the value of a Definition of Done, some teams introduce a Definition of Ready. For many teams, this is a big mistake and a first step towards a waterfall process.

3) Don’t Estimate the Sprint Backlog Using Task Points

Some teams like story points so much, they invent task points and use those for sprint planning. Bad idea. Here’s why.

2) Sprint Planning for Agile Teams That Have Lots of Interruptions

Most of the Scrum literature describes a situation in which a team is allowed to work without interruption. But that’s not realistic. Here’s how an interrupt-driven team can plan its sprints.

1) A Simple Way to Run a Sprint Retrospective

There are many ways you can run a sprint retrospective. Here’s the simplest way and still my favorite.

What Do You Think?

Please let me know what you think. Is this list missing any of your favorites?

SPaMCAST 426 ‚Äď SPaMCAST Round Table, Quality, Agile and Security

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http://www.spamcast.net

Listen Now
Subscribe on iTunes
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

SPaMCAST 426 marks a milestone!  SPaMCAST 426 is the end of Year 10.  The Cast features our second annual round table.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors gathered virtually to discuss a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile a as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017 will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative! This was a great way to finish year 10 and get the motor primed for year 11!

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book  I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.

Next week we start in on Chapter One of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins Year 11 with an essay on the Post-Agile Age.  It is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures has created. (Not sure what I mean?  Tune in, stream or download )  We will also have columns from Jon Quigley, Jeremy Berriault, and Kim Pries.  SPaMCAST 427 will celebrate the new SPaMCAST year in style!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: ‚ÄúThis book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.‚ÄĚ Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

 


Categories: Process Management

SPaMCAST 426 - SPaMCAST Round Table, Quality, Agile and Security

Software Process and Measurement Cast - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:00

SPaMCAST 426 marks a milestone!  SPaMCAST 426 is the end of Year 10.  The Cast features our second annual round table.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors gathered virtually to discuss a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile a as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017 will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative! This was a great way to finish year 10 and get the motor primed for year 11!

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book  I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.

Next week we start in on Chapter One of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins Year 11 with an essay on the Post-Agile Age.  It is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures has created. (Not sure what I mean?  Tune in, stream or download )  We will also have columns from Jon Quigley, Jeremy Berriault, and Kim Pries.  SPaMCAST 427 will celebrate the new SPaMCAST year in style!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: ‚ÄúThis book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.‚ÄĚ Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

Categories: Process Management

Don't Build That Product

Xebia Blog - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 12:06
At the Agile Chef Conference I facilitated a workshop where participants could experience how Aikido can be used to resolve conflicts on the work floor as well by applying verbal Aikido. At the end of the session someone asked me to demonstrate the best defence against a sword attack; I responded by turning around and

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Reviews, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.: Re-Read Week 1, Basics and Introduction

Mindset Book Cover

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book in I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.  

Reading Game Plan!  I am planning to review a chapter a week with a week for the introduction and logistics and a week for a wrap-up.  The math would suggest that the re-read will extend over 10 to 11 weeks, including today.  I am factoring in an off week for my trip to Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra (let me know if you are in one of those cities).  If you do not have a copy of the book, buy one (use this link to support the blog and podcast) and if you do have a copy find it and get your highlighter out!

Introduction

Dweck reminds us that psychology shows the power of people’s beliefs. We are shaped by our beliefs and biases. Even if we aren’t aware of those beliefs consciously, they strongly affect what we want and whether we succeeded in getting it. This premise is the core concept behind Mindset.  Each chapter in the book presents a set of findings and the accounts of people that support those findings.  At the end of each chapter, Dweck provides a set of ways to apply those lessons to recognize the mindset that is guiding your life, to understand how that mindset works, and then change that mindset it if you wish.

As a coach and mentor Mindset provides a solid framework, that combined with emotional intelligence, is useful to assess the person or team I am working with.  On a personal note, as I read ahead to prepare for this weekly feature, the concepts, and practical exercises have been useful as a tool for self-reflection.

Next week we begin the heavy lifting with Chapter One, which is titled Mindsets.  

 


Categories: Process Management

A Few Steps To Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional intelligence is the proficiency of identifying and managing our own emotions and the emotions of others. Not everyone has the skills to be emotionally intelligent.  Skills represent an ability that comes from knowledge, practice, and aptitude in order to do something well. While everyone has a different beginning and maximum level of natural capability, between those boundaries skills can be learned and honed.

Self-awareness is the base on which emotional intelligence is built.  Self-awareness provides the ability to lead with a sense of purpose, authenticity, openness, and trust. Being self-aware provides an understanding of who we are and what we need from others in order to complement our deficiencies.  A Harvard Business Review web article, 5 Ways to Become More Self-Aware suggests that you can become more self-aware through five tools:

  1.      Meditate
  2.      Write down your key plans and priorities
  3.      Take psychometric tests
  4.      Ask trusted friends
  5.      Get regular feedback at work

The tools tell us to do the work to know ourselves, then test that knowledge by getting feedback, and then listening to that feedback. Improving our self-awareness increases our ability to recognize our emotions and channel those emotions to deliver and lead.

While self-awareness is an important first step, once we have a grasp on who we are emotionally we then need the ability to self-regulate our emotions. Self-regulation is not the avoidance of emotion, but rather the ability to manage those emotions so that they do not control their words and actions. I recently was listening to a Freakonomics podcast featuring an interview with Trevor Noah.  In the interview, they were discussing the channeling of anger into comedy.  They used the example of a professional boxer; while the boxer may be angry during the fight (and who wouldn’t getting punched in the head) they must repress that anger so that they can think and act strategically and only release in bursts when the time is right.  Professional athletes channel their emotions in order avoid havoc, disruptions, and lasting bad feelings all around them.  As with self-awareness, self-regulation is a skill that can be honed. For example, the Huffington Post article, 6 Steps to Controlling Your Emotions by Dr. Carmen Harra, suggests the following actions for self-regulation:

  1.      Don’t react right away
  2.      Ask for divine guidance
  3.      Find a healthy outlet
  4.      See the bigger picture
  5.      Replace your thoughts
  6.      Forgive your emotional triggers

People, including myself, often feel before we think.  Many of our cognitive biases, formed as survival techniques, are stark reminders of this truth.  However, just because we feel first does not mean we need to act before thinking.  The suggestions from Dr. Harra separate feeling from acting so that we have time to think and self-regulate.  Except in rare instances, this is a learned behavior.

Empathy builds on the self-awareness and self-management.  Empathic people have an awareness of the feelings and emotions of others and then consider those feelings and emotions in their words and actions. Having and using empathy does not mean we need to be frozen into inaction or be unwilling to make tough or unpopular decisions, but rather to understand and take others feelings into consideration.  Empathy, while studies have shown starts as a hardwired state, can be improved.   There are steps that can be taken to get better at empathy. Those steps include:

  1.      Pay attention
  2.      Communication
  3.      Learning games

We have explored these steps in depth in an earlier blog entry. In order to be empathetic, we need to be aware of others, let them have their say (don’t interrupt) while we listen and understand both logically and emotionally.

Emotional intelligence is truly a confluence of many capabilities.  Arguably self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy are a path to many social skills.  Each of those skills can be learned and honed which will increase emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is useful, for example, to control and channel emotions in a tense meeting is important in any corporate environment.  An emotionally intelligent team player will be able to interact with team members with varying agendas, temperaments, and help generate buy-in.


Categories: Process Management

Emotional Intelligence: A Few Basics

A shopping cart with wine and harddrive

Just a few basics!

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the proficiency to identify and manage our own emotions and the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence requires at least five skills.  The most critical are the ability to identify emotions both in yourself and in others, the ability to focus emotions and apply them to tasks, and the ability to regulate your and others’ emotions.    

Emotional Intelligence can be described as a confluence of five competencies:

  1.      Awareness and Self-awareness. The ability to identify, recognize and understand your emotions and the reactions and those of others.
  2.      Application. The ability to harness, manage, control and adapt your emotions and reactions so they can be applied to tasks like thinking and problems solving.
  3.      Motivation. The ability to use emotions to motivate ourselves and others to take action.
  4.      Empathy. The ability to be aware of and understand the feelings and emotions of others and use that understanding to relate to others effectively.
  5.      Relationships. The ability to construct relationships with others to lead, and facilitate work as an integral part of a team or teams.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in IT Organizations?

In IT, value is driven by the confluence of people, process, and technology.  Over the years, much of the improvement industry focus has been on processes and technology, but the focus has now turned to people. Today’s IT environment is people and team focused.   The Fast Company article, Why Emotionally Intelligent People Are More Successful, quoted the Carnegie Institute of Technology research.

‚ÄúThe Carnegie Institute of Technology carried out research that showed that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.‚ÄĚ

Given the importance of people in the ‚Äúpeople, process and technology deliver¬†value‚ÄĚ equation, we need the best people possible in order to improve. Holding other capabilities equal, people with the attributes that define emotional intelligence have more tools than people without those attributes. Emotionally intelligent personnel tend to have better mental well-being based on better emotional self-awareness. ¬†This is often reflected as a more positive attitude, which motivates others to work with them and increases team cohesiveness. The ability to read, understand and empathize with the emotions of others improves conflict resolution and negotiation skills which are useful in any scenario where two or more people work together. ¬†

In addition to greater attitude, empathy and conflict resolution, people with higher levels of emotional intelligence are often claimed to be better leaders. The relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership is built on leveraging the ability to understand emotions and use those emotions as a tool to recognize the needs others and then to use those emotions to motivate the team.  The popular literature is replete with articles extolling the virtues of emotional intelligence and leadership.  We will circle back to what the academic literature suggests later in the theme.

Emotional intelligence makes people more ‚Äúlikable.‚ÄĚ ¬†The Fast Company article referenced Daniel Kahneman‚Äôs research that ¬†‚ÄĚfound that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don‚Äôt, even if that person is offering a better product at a lower price.‚ÄĚ Emotional intelligence helps people connect, which is powerful in its own right.


Categories: Process Management

Scrum & Tests Refactoring in Methods & Tools Winter 2016 issue

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 13:36
Methods & Tools ‚Äď the free e-magazine for software developers, testers and project managers ‚Äď has published its Winter 2016 issue that discusses Better Retrospectives, Refactoring Tests, Delivering Scrum Projects and the following free software tools: doctest, MarkupKit. Methods & Tools Winter 2016 issue content: * Making Sprint Retrospectives Work * Embracing the Red Bar: […]

SPaMCAST 425 ‚Äď Annual Tune-Up Ideas, Leadership, Kanban, Flow and Throughput

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http://www.spamcast.net

Listen Now
Subscribe on iTunes
Check out the podcast on Google Play Music

Happy New Year!  

SPaMCAST 425 features our annual tune-up ideas. We need to strive to be more effective and efficient every day or the world will pass us by!  These are suggestions that have worked for me and might be useful for you.

We will also have columns from Steve Tendon with another chapter in his Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published by J Ross (buy a copy here).  Steve and I talked about Chapter 14 which covers kanban, flow, and throughput.  

Anchoring the cast is Gene Hughson’s Form Follows Function Blog with an entry in his theme of leadership patterns and anti-patterns.  This week we talk about The Great Pretender.

Remember that Penny Pullan in SPaMCAST 424 offered listeners a great offer!  Penny provided a coupon for her new book  Virtual Leadership for 20% off.  Use the code  VLF20 at www.koganpage.com, which includes post and packing in the UK and the USA.

Re-Read Saturday News

In this week’s re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team  by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, Copyright 2002, 33rd printing), we deliver final thoughts with three final takeaways.  

Next week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 426 features our second annual roundtable.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors discussed a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017, will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: ‚ÄúThis book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.‚ÄĚ Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

 


Categories: Process Management

SPaMCAST 425 - Annual Tune-Up Ideas, Leadership, Kanban, Flow and Throughput

Software Process and Measurement Cast - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 23:00

Happy New Year!  

SPaMCAST 425 features our annual tune-up ideas. We need to strive to be more effective and efficient every day or the world will pass us by!  These are suggestions that have worked for me and might be useful for you.

We will also have columns from Steve Tendon with another chapter in his Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published by J Ross (buy a copy here).  Steve and I talked about Chapter 14 which covers kanban, flow, and throughput.  

Anchoring the cast is Gene Hughson’s Form Follows Function Blog with an entry in his theme of leadership patterns and anti-patterns.  This week we talk about The Great Pretender.

Remember that Penny Pullan in SPaMCAST 424 offered listeners a great offer!  Penny provided a coupon for her new book  Virtual Leadership for 20% off.  Use the code  VLF20 at www.koganpage.com, which includes post and packing in the UK and the USA.

Re-Read Saturday News

In this week’s re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team  by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, Copyright 2002, 33rd printing), we deliver final thoughts with three final takeaways.  

Next week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 426 features our second annual roundtable.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors discussed a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017, will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: ‚ÄúThis book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.‚ÄĚ Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

 

Categories: Process Management

Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni: Re-Read Week 15, Final Thoughts

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Over the past 14 weeks, we completed a re-read of  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, Copyright 2002, 33rd printing).  The book lays out a hierarchal model of the dysfunctions that can plague a team or organization. For me, there are three main takeaways.  The first is the model of the five dysfunctions. They are:

  • Dysfunction 1: Absence of Trust
  • Dysfunction 2: Fear of Conflict
  • Dysfunction 3: Lack of Commitment
  • Dysfunction 4: Avoidance of Accountability
  • Dysfunction 5: Inattention to Results

As we noted earlier in the re-read, you can think of each of dysfunction as a card in a precariously balanced house of cards.  Each card is important and, if withdrawn, the whole structure will collapse.  Each dysfunction builds on each other and,  unless dealt with, can poison a team or organization.  When using the model to facilitate the behavior change of a team, use the overall model as a critical reminder that you can’t just jump to the end state. Improving any team requires the application of careful and concerted effort continuously over time.  

The second takeaway is that trust is always the starting point. The model is built on trust. ¬†Lencioni is not the first person to recognize how critical trust is to effective organizations. ¬†In SPaMCAST 424 Penny Pullan quoted Tom Wise who defines trust as credibility plus reliability plus intimacy divided by self-orientation. ¬†We will tackle this equation in a future blog entry; however, it is important to recognize that trust is a complex topic that doesn’t just emerge from a meeting¬†but requires facilitation and experience. ¬†The fable that is at the heart of the 5 Dysfunctions makes this point through Kathryn’s Offsite meetings followed the team returning to the office to apply the lessons they learned.

The third takeaway is more of a reminder. One person can poison a team whether through an attribute or putting their needs ahead of the team. The impact reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of the team. In the book, we see examples of characters both with bad attitudes that putt their need or the needs of their department ahead of the goals of the organization.  In the book, Nick’s behavior came to a crisis over the acquisition he proposed. The crisis helped him decide to commit to the team. Mikey’s crisis, on the other hand, forced Kathryn to remove the poison with the organization.

Since my initial read of 5 Dysfunctions, I have measured teams against the model Lencioni laid out in the book. ¬†The model has been useful for me to plot a path to coach for coaching and in some cases even to know just how far I plan to help a team evolve. ¬† Lencioni’s book is a tool that is useful for anyone that leads a team or coaches a team or organization. ¬†I am glad I have it on my bookshelf!

Next week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

 

Previous Installments in the re-read of  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni:

Week 1 ‚Äď Introduction through Observations

Week 2 ‚Äď The Staff through the End Run

Week 3 ‚Äď Drawing the Line though Pushing Back

Week 4 ‚Äď Entering Danger though Rebound

Week 5 ‚Äď Awareness through Goals

Week 6 ‚Äď Deep Tissue through Exhibition

Week 7 ‚Äď Film Noir through Application

Week 8 ‚Äď On-site through Fireworks

Week 9 ‚Äď Leaks through Plowing On

Week 10 ‚Äď Accountability through The Talk

Week 11 ‚Äď Last Stand through Rally

Week 12 ‚Äď Harvest through The March

Week 13 ‚Äď Model Overview through Team Assessment

Week 14 – Model Overview

 


Categories: Process Management

Conferences, Events and Webinars

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Many of the contributors to the Software Process and Measurement Cast are give webinars, attend and present at conferences.  On a monthly basis, I will provide a list of webinars and conferences that we will be attending. If I get discount codes for any of the conferences I will pass them on to you!

Webinars (All Free)

ITMPI AGILE TECHNICAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017 |11:00 AM EST  

Agile reminds us that the focus of any set of requirements needs to be on an outcome rather than a collection of whats and whos. This webinar, presented by Tom Cagley, explains the importance of understanding the big picture. REGISTER NOW

SAFe 4.0 and CMMI Deliver Hardened Large-Scale Agile February 24, 2017 | 11:00am CT

Presenters: Tom Cagley, Certified Scrum Master and Function Point Specialist, and Magdy Hanna, Chairman and CEO of International Institute for Software Testing (IIST). SAFe 4.0 and CMMI Deliver Hardened Large Scale Agile demonstrates how the combination of SAFe 4 and CMMI provides a mechanism not only to adopt Agile but to scale and harden Agile from team to the program without becoming un-Agile.  Register Now

How To: Agile Estimating and Function Point Analysis March 16, 2017 | 11:00am EST

Join Tom Cagley, Certified Scrum Master and Function Point Specialist, to learn how to incorporate Function Point Analysis into an Agile metrics program. Attendees will leave with an understanding of an estimation process that combines one part functional metrics and one part parametric estimation with two parts Agile estimating and planning.  Register Now

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Conferences

ISMA 13: ‚ÄúCreating value from measurement‚ÄĚ

The Mumbai Chapter of the Computer Society of India (CSI,) with the support of IFPUG, is the host organization for the next International Software Measurement & Analysis (ISMA) conference, ISMA 13, to be held in Mumbai (India) on March 5-7, 2017.

Date: March 5-7, 2017

Location: Mumbai, India,

I will be speaking, keep an eye out for the title of the presentation.

QAI QUEST 2017

The QUEST conference is the best source for new technologies and proven methods for Quality Engineered Software and Testing.

Date: April 3-7, 2017

Location: The Renaissance Chicago Downtown; Chicago, IL

Tom Cagley will present or be involved in the following sessions:

Managers Workshop РApril 3, 2017. The Manager’s Solutions Workshop focuses on the top challenges facing managers in building, testing, and delivering quality software applications and products in today’s fast-paced and demanding environment.

Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts – Tuesday, April 4, 2017 | 8:30 am ‚Äď 12:00 pm. Storytelling is a powerful tool to elevate even the most diehard requirements analyst from a discussion of individual requirements to a discussion of outcomes.

Using Size to Drive Testing in Agile РWednesday, April 5, 2017 |11:15 am Р12:15 pm.  

Testers often struggle with estimating and planning testing in agile development, enhancement and maintenance projects.

Jeremy Berriault we also attend QAI Quest 2017 and present:

Adding QA Value through Root Cause Analysis РFriday  April 7, 2017 |10:00 am Р11:00 am.  Decisions are made based on the data available at the time of the decision.

Capability Counts 2017 – May 16 – 17 |

Join hundreds of global business leaders dedicated to performance and capability improvement from an array of background, countries, and experiences.

Date: May 16 – 17, 2017

Location: Westin, Alexandria, VA

Tom Cagley will present and participate in the following:

Coaches Cafe, Capability Challenge and a presentation (I will wait for the program to be announced)

 


Categories: Process Management

Guest Post: Agile and Leadership

David Herron

The following is a guest post from a long time friend whom I have worked for and worked with. ¬†Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, however, I always respect his opinion and wisdom.

Agile and Leadership
David Herron (d.herron@softwarevalue.com)

It took me a while to get used to the fact that agile development does not incorporate the use of a project manager position. Having been brought up in a traditional waterfall, PM-centric software development environment, it was difficult for me to make the transition (mentally) to agile. After all, how can a project stay on budget and be delivered on time without following sound management principles? If there is no one at the helm to manage the project and to steer things in the right direction, how can things possibly progress and stay on track! Who is leading the way? The Agile methodology advocates for self-organizing teams. That was a foreign concept for me to get my mind around.

I have now been around enough successful agile projects and have observed first-hand that ‚Äėproject management-less‚Äô agile works. It works, in part, because agile (Scrum) promotes a team dynamic and provides a framework that demands discipline and incorporates well-defined principles and practices to guide the way. Agile promotes self-organizing teams, the meaning of which I stretch to include self-managing as well. But how can a team lead itself? What makes agile work? Where is the leadership?

As I searched for answers to that question I turned to the experts. In their highly regarded book, ‚ÄėThe Leadership Challenge‚Äô, Kouzes and Posner identify five fundamental practices of successful leaders. It turns out that the Scrum framework and the mindset of the agile team incorporate characteristics we find in successful leaders. Studies by Kouzes and Posner have shown that leaders: challenge the process; inspire a shared vision; enable others to act; model the way, and encourage the heart. These elements can be observed in agile practices.

Kouzes and Posner have observed that individuals, regardless of their position in the company, can develop their capacity to lead. Leaders care to make a difference. Doesn’t that sound like the members of an agile team? Leaders are willing to challenge the process. They have a shared vision of an improving the process for a better outcome. The Agile frameworks such as Scrum provides a model or a guideline of how to move through the process; how the work should flow. Scrum enables others to act; enables everyone to act through defined roles. All this requires hard work. As one small success builds upon another, there is cause to celebrate those accomplishments and to recognize both team and individual efforts.

Challenging the process

Defined – Change the status quo, innovation, look to improve, experiment (and take risks)

If you have decided to move from waterfall to agile then you have decided to try something different. Perhaps something better. Something to improve the way you currently develop and deliver software. You could say that you are changing or at least challenging the status quo.

As excitement builds around the thought of venturing into new territory, the team has taken on the challenge of doing something different. Not everyone likes change and not every team member will necessarily have bought into the process. But everyone is aware that they are doing something different. They may see it as an experiment and consider it to be taking risks. The ideal team composition will be a collection of team members that are advocates for agile.

Inspiring a shared vision

Defined – Make a difference, envision the future, and enlist others

A project team about to embark on an agile project has, typically, been properly trained and is prepared to begin the journey. If it is one of their first attempts at agile, then the team is most likely comprised of individuals that share the agile ‚Äėvison‚Äô. They have a sense of what is possible. They are excited about being able to make a difference. Not everyone will be onboard, but those that are will most likely try to bring the others along.

Moving forward into the ‚Äėunknown‚Äô each member of the newly formed agile team will have a vision of what to expect. Through their initial agile training, they have learned about agile practices and principles and what their roles and responsibilities will be. They have a shared vision of how they will be working as a team.

Enabling others to act

Defined – Collaboration, spirited teams, atmosphere of trust, and each person is empowered

How does agile incorporate these characteristics? Scrum serves as a great example. Within Scrum, there are assigned roles and disciplines that foster an atmosphere of trust. Each person has a role to play and each role is equally important to the success of the desired outcomes. Scrum requires collaboration and teams learn to self-organize and work together towards a shared vision of desired outcomes.

The daily standup is a good example of collaboration and developing an atmosphere of trust. Each individual is recognized and participates in the standup meeting. Team members are encouraged to be open and honest and to look to serve the teams objectives, helping other team members when and where possible.

Modeling the way

Defined – Create standards of excellence, examples, establish values, achieve small wins, and create opportunity for victories

There are various approaches/models to agile, e.g. scrum, XP, Kanban, just to name a few. To call these standards would not be the agile way, but they are all very well defined within specified boundaries. They all incorporate, to one degree or another, lean principles. The goal is to have a process whereby the workload is managed to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the flow of work.

Using Scrum, the workflow is managed using time-boxed iterations. Each iteration delivers a number of user stories (small wins). The cycle is repeated and the flow is adjusted until the team has reached a repeatable velocity of delivered working software.  Frequently delivered software is in itself an achieved victory, a small win.

Encouraging the heart

Defined – Hard work, keeping hope alive, celebrate accomplishments

One of the first myths I heard about agile was that there were no rules, no documentation, and no discipline. Like most myths, it simply isn‚Äôt true. Agile is hard work. I would contend that in order to be successful, agile requires a great deal of discipline and adherence to defined practices. Various ‚ÄėF‚Äô words come to mind when I think of agile; flexibility, flow, freedom, fun. Agile encourages the brave at heart to experiment within the principles of the agile methods being used. One size or one model does not fit all.

There are of course other elements of agile methodologies, such as the incorporation of lean principles, which contribute to the positive outcomes of using an agile approach. I doubt that the ‚Äėfounders‚Äô of agile, those individuals that came together to create the agile manifesto, started with a foundation of leadership principles. The connections to these leadership principles are simply my observation and possible rationalization for why, in part, agile works. Using that as a starting position, it would stand to reason that agile practices can be enhanced by training individuals to become better leaders.

Leadership training is not something we hear a lot about. We subscribe to the belief that we can train people to become better project managers, but we seldom think about leadership training. If individuals can develop their capacity to lead then why not make that investment in training everyone to be a leader. A leader does not have to be an individual in a management position. Sports teams usually have a number of senior players and one or more individuals labeled as captains, but they are not necessarily the team leader(s). Leadership may not come naturally to some, but people can be trained and encouraged to be leaders. Given the proper atmosphere, one where ‚Äėthinking outside the box‚Äô is encouraged, organizations can expand their capacity to produce and to innovate as individuals pick up the challenge and lead the way.


Categories: Process Management

Self-Healing Systems

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 16:33
We can think of the whole computer systems as a human body that consist of cells of various types. They can be hardware or software. When they are software units, the smaller they are, the easier it is for them to self-heal, recuperate from failures, multiply or even get destroyed when that is needed. We […]

2016 Podcast and Blog Highlights in Review

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With 2017 just beginning I want to spend a few moments to showcase the most popular podcasts and blog entries published in 2016.

For those of you who read the blog and don‚Äôt listen to the podcast, a quick reminder — the Software Process and Measurement Podcast explores the varied world of software process improvement and measurement, providing solutions and advice on how to improve value delivery effectiveness. SPaMCAST combines essays, commentaries, interviews, question and answer sessions, and your feedback to serve up ideas, options, opinions, and advice that can be applied in the real world. ¬†In a nutshell, the cast provides advice for and from practitioners, methodologists, pundits, and consultants!

The podcast is published every Sunday, 52 times a year (except when we have equipment failure).  We publish two types of podcasts.  The first type features an interview, and the second is more of a magazine and includes an essay from the blog and two or three columns from a great group of contributors.  The current cast of characters includes:

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Gene Hughson (Architecture)
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Jeremy Berriault (Quality Assurance)
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Kim Pries (Software Development)
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Steve Tendon (Lean and Kanban)
  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Jon Quigley (Product Development

Are you interested in participating?  Pitch me!  

The 5 top downloaded interview podcasts of 2016 (as of 1/2/2017) were:

  1.       SPaMCAST 374 РJerry Weinberg, Quality, Grandfather of Agile Web  Audio
  2.       SPaMCAST 396 РMike Burrows, Agendashift  Web  Audio
  3.       SPaMCAST 406 РErik van Veenendaal, Quality, Agile and the TMMi   Web  Audio
  4.       SPaMCAST 404 РRyan Ripley, The Business of Agile Web  Audio
  5.       SPaMCAST 372 РVasco Duarte, #NoEstimates Web   Audio

An interesting mix of people populated the top five interviews in 2016.  Lots of information on Agile, but also a strong showing for testing and the TMMi.  The interview with Jerry Weinberg was one of my favorites and it is great to see that it was one of yours. Jerry has been an amazing force in the software development world for a long time and continues to be a huge influence.

The 5 top downloaded magazine podcasts of 2016 (as of 1/2/2017) were:

  1.    SPaMCAST 413 РScaling Management, Throughput Accounting, QA Tools Web   Audio
  2.    SPaMCAST 419 РNotes on Distributed Stand-ups, QA Corner, Configuration Management, Software Sensei
        Web  Audio
  3.    SPaMCAST 409 РTeam Structure, QA Presentations, Eliciting Requirements Web  Audio
  4.    SPaMCAST 417 РSix Elements of Business Stories, QA Corner, Herbie and Tame Flow  Web  Audio
  5.    SPaMCAST 376 РWomen In Tech, Microservices, Capabilities and More  Web  Audio                           

The five top magazine podcast included an appearance by EVERYONE of the SPaMCASTs columnists.  This year the first year where the magazine casts typically surpassed the number of downloads for the interview casts.  I think that the listeners of the podcast get significant value for hearing many voices!  I hope to add a few more diverse voices to the mix in 2017.

In mid-January, we will complete year 10 of podcasting essays, interviews, and columns. I look forward to continuing to edit and guide the SPaMCAST during Year 11 and beyond.

Software Process and Measurement Cast Blog  

A brief review of the cadence for the blog.  We publish material on the blog four days a week and over those four days we have three types of entries.  The first type of entry are essays focused on software process and measurement.  These type of entries are published on Tuesday and Thursday and generally relate to a 4 essay theme. The second type of entries are those that fall into the Re-Read Saturday category.  We are currently finishing the re-read of Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  This essay is published on Saturday (hence the name).  The final type of entry on the blog is the announcement podcast posting which posts on Sunday.  The top five new entries on the blog in 2016 were:  

  1.    Metrics: Four Types of Productivity
  2.    Basics: Difference Between Process, Procedures, and Techniques
  3.    Basics: Difference Between Models, Frameworks, and Methodologies
  4.    Productive Agile Teams:  I, T, E and M Shaped People
  5.    Post Agile Age: The Movement Is Dead

Two of the top five entries are part of the basics theme published in March.  The Post Agile Age entry was published December 1st and has been moving up the list.

Every year I am amazed by what I learn from interviewees, columnists, the research for the essays and discussions with listeners. Based on my observations and conversations with a wide range of practitioners, I believe the use of Agile, lean and Kanban still are expanding and evolving, even as Agile as a movement fades. Older frameworks continue to both adapt and incorporate newer frameworks or they fade in relevance.  Which means that in order to stay relevant all of us must continue to learn and adapt. I hope the podcast and the blog can help all of us stay on the front lines of leading change in the world of software development. The Software Process and Measurement Cast crew will continue to scan the edges of acceptable development methods to try to identify the next new wave of change, and I can guarantee that there will be a next wave of change (see Post-Agile Age: The Age of Aquarius (Something Better is Beginning)). However, we need you to let us know what new trends you are seeing and topics you would like us to explore so that everyone that reads the blog or listens to the podcast can benefit.

We have a lot of plans for 2017 that cover both the podcast and blog.

  1. Monthly Update on Appearances
  2. New Website ‚Äď this will happen this year!
  3. Implement Patreon for Fund Raising
  4. Add New Voices to Magazine
  5. Upgrade Studio (potentially add video capability)
  6. Mobile Recording Equipment

More on these topics as they are ready (one will appear tomorrow).  2017?  Let’s have some fun!

 


Categories: Process Management

Matching strings in Scala

Xebia Blog - Mon, 01/02/2017 - 21:31
Over December I had a lot of fun doing the Advent of Code coding challenges with some colleagues. Many of those, such as day 21, require interpreting some kind of string input. While normally I'd probably marshall those strings into case classes before processing, in this case that seemed like overkill: a quick pattern-match should