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team building

Revisiting Agile Teams

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Revisiting Agile Teams

Revisiting Agile TeamsThis post is inspired by this article by Derek Huether - https://medium.com/@derekhuether/stable-teams-should-be-non-negotiable-59af0972f77

His is the sort of the position I used to have. However, I’ve been rethinking my position over the last few years. Not that I’m moving away from honoring the team. I’ll always do that. 

But I’ve started to think that a little adversity isn’t necessarily bad for a team.

I want to use this post as an update to my writings about agile teams. The following post best captures my thoughts – http://rgalen.com/agile-training-news/2018/3/5/stop-norming-performing

Back to Derek’s point

Derek makes 3 key points in the article:

  1. Teams that stay together are more productive.             (more stories)

  2. Teams that stay together are more predictable.             (higher throughput)

  3. Teams that say together are more responsive.               (less time in process)

And he supports those conclusions with data from Larry Maccherone while he was with Rally/CA and reviewing data collected through their tooling. Another key point Derek makes is against the frequent reorganizations that run rampant in many companies. That they undermine all three aspects.

I’m not going to challenge the data or Derek’s key point. Let’s assume that everything is right. That we want to focus on team productivity. However, I think there are things to consider equally (and perhaps even more importantly) than productivity.

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The 3-A’s of Agile Interviewing

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The 3-A’s of Agile Interviewing

I spent about 3-years working at a company called iContact from 2009 – 2012. While there I reported to CTO – Ralph Kasuba

Ralph was a wonderfully skilled leader and I’ve been reminiscing about him of late. Sure, we still stay in touch, but it’s not the same as working together each day.

Ralph had one “pet peeve” that I’d like to share and it involves interviewing. At the time, iContact was growing quite steadily, so it seemed as if we were always interviewing team members for our technical staff. We went through a period where no one seemed to pass our technical screens.

It was frustrating because the recruiters kept saying they were sending us qualified candidates, but the team-based interviews would just chew them up.

The language we started to use was that we were looking for Unicorn’s and not finding any.

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