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We Won’t Return to Normal; We Will Discover Normal

Many people talk about “going back to normal.” We aren’t going to return to normal. That old normal is gone, at least for a year, if not longer. (I suspect we will cycle between remote work and office work for the foreseeable future.) What we can do is discover a new normal. Discovery requires different skills than delivery. Discovery requires ...

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Coaching conflicts

Last year I was coaching a team. One of the big problems the team faced was excessive work in progress – and tendency for developers to start new work when they hit a blockage. Eventually, with the help of the Product Owner who saw the problem too, we starved the work pipeline. The team actually ran out of work. We ...

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Five Tips for Managers of Newly Dispersed Teams

Are you a manager accustomed to Management by Walking Around and Listening (MBWAL)? You can use MBWAL with collocated teams. MBWAL doesn’t work for distributed or dispersed teams. Remember, working remote is Not Business as Usual. (And won’t be for a while.) And, you might still have this question: “If no one’s in the office, how will I know what ...

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This Is Not and Cannot Be “Business as Usual”

Many organizations heeded the COVID-19 warnings and sent people home to work as remote teams. The managers want to proceed as if the people can work from home and have “business as usual.” They’ve made these requests to their staff: Work at home, as if you were at the office. (Keep the same hours and availability.)Don’t use so much wifi ...

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7 Tool Tips for Your Newly Distributed or Remote Team

Yesterday, you worked in an office with everyone else. Today, you’re supposed to work from home—and so is the rest of your team. And not just for the next few days, but for the next few weeks. What tools do you need? My list of the most important tools: A good microphone and headset so you can hear people, even ...

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How to Overcome 6 Key Product Leadership Challenges

No Transactional Power Unlike a line manager, you usually don’t manage the development team and stakeholders as the person in charge of the product, and the individuals don’t report to you. You consequently don’t have any transactional power: You cannot tell people what to do; you cannot assign tasks to them; and you are typically not in a position to ...

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Build Team Resilience Summary (Part 4)

If you’re like many of the teams I meet, you’ve sort of got a handle on things. You can release. Your product mostly works. And, then Something Happens. And, your team has trouble recovering. That’s brittleness in the system. You can build resilience as a team. In this post, I’ll summarize how your team can build resilience. Start by Working ...

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Build Team Resilience: Shorten Feedback Loops (Part 2)

This series is about helping a team create a less brittle environment—more resilience. Part 1 was about individual work. This part is about shortening feedback loops. Brief description of the problem at a recent client: Person A checked in code that broke an “unrelated” part of the system. I’ll call this checking in code in Email that broke Search. (Yes, ...

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