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A Simple Way to Measure Work Satisfaction and See Trends

I explained in Leadership Tip #8 that measuring happiness was a lost cause because happiness is a function of more than just work. I suggested we measure satisfaction. And I didn’t tell you how. (You didn’t mind-meld with me, did you?) Here’s how I’ve measured satisfaction with several teams. I start with the 5-point scale in the image above. When ...

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Leadership Tip: Give Credit as Often as Possible

Your team finished something difficult. They released it. You celebrated the team’s accomplishment with the team. Let’s assume your name is Jim. Now, you’re in a senior management meeting, where your  boss says, “Thanks, Jim, for all that hard work.” You feel great from that recognition. And yes, you supported that team. You facilitated some of their decisions. Or maybe ...

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Why Shared Services “Teams” Don’t Work with Agility

However, the testers and UI people are part of pools of people. The organization calls these testers and UI people, “shared services.” Shared service-thinking denies the reality of effective product development: A cross-functional team learns together as they develop the product. Without that cross-functional team, the people, product, and organization suffer in various ways: Neither the testers nor the UI ...

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Managers: Are You Responsible “To” or “For” People?

A manager said to me, “I’m responsible for this department of people.” I asked, “What does that mean?” He said, “I’m responsible for managing the people. I also define the products and what the people need to deliver.” I said, “That seems like a lot of work.” He nodded. “I’m exhausted. I work all the time and can’t ever finish.” ...

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The Focus of Every Agile Coach: Support How the Business Creates Value

How should agile coaches work? I’ve heard several questions and problems around what agile coaches should and should not do. Should agile coaches focus on: How well the teams use their pre-determined agile framework. (For example, how good is their Scrum?)Enroll (or somehow persuade) the managers in an agile mindset. (As an example, how agile do the managers think?)Removing some ...

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Want a Successful Agile Project? Start with Why Before How

I’ve been speaking with several possible clients. They’re having trouble with Scrum. The managers don’t believe the teams need product owners, so the teams don’t have POs. The managers think a Scrum Master can support at least four teams. The teams start a lot and finish very little. The teams think they have too many meetings. And everyone works alone—the ...

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Words I avoid using: should, empower, commitment

For the record, there are a few words I avoid using if I can. Should: “we should feed the starving millions”, “we should create world peace.” Should is useless. It is also a declaration of what should be but also an admission of defeat, we give up immediately, we don’t even try. Empower and empowerment: “I will empower the team” ...

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