In order to fully embrace agile and create an environment where individuals want to work together as a team, managers have to move from a role of dictation to one of direction and mentorship. Instead of making all the decisions, managers need to trust their team members and empower them to solve problems on their own, innovate, and fail—or succeed.
Jurgen Appelo’s useful and fun-to-read book Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team gives you concrete tools to identify ways to help your team be happier and to create environments where people can thrive and be more productive. Despite the word managing being in the title, the book is a beneficial read for anyone.
Agile teams are self-organizing, which means they do not need supervisors—at least in theory. But they do need leaders to create a shared vision of what the product will be. And having an agile team means that anyone can step up … including you. Lanette Creamer outlines seven qualities possessed by great agile leaders.
Communication is crucial when testing software. How the tester explains the testing results can be more important than what those results actually are. But having all kinds of communication tools at hand means you have to select and practice the ones that are most effective for your project. Read on to learn some methods of and opportunities for communication.
When conducting a testing job interview, of course you want to ask questions to be sure the candidate has the skills necessary for the position. But what sorts of questions go too far? Is it ethical to ask a candidate to solve an actual problem your company is experiencing—even if you don't end up hiring him? This article explores some moral gray areas.
An employee may become indispensable through arrogance or happenstance. These employees can cause bottlenecks and often prevent others, as well as themselves, from learning and growing professionally. "Firing" these indispensable employees sets your team free to work even when the expert is not available.
Project managers have to deal with different kinds of people and personalities every day when trying to keep their teams working together and focused on goals. The same strategies managers embrace when building a team or leading a project also can be applied when leading a meeting. The key to success is planning.
Competition between teams does not improve performance. In fact, the added stress may shift team members' focus from creating a quality product to self-preservation due to fear of failure. Johanna suggests managers emphasize collaboration between teams over competition.
Do your managers truly own their decision making or are they only "empowered" to come to you for approval of every idea and dollar spent? If you don't trust your team leaders to make decisions, how can you expect stakeholders to? Setting boundaries and defining expectations are two ways to empower managers and encourage initiative, giving them the opportunity to gain your trust.
When confronted with a culture problem inherent in your workplace, you have a few options about what to do. Each tactic has advantages and challenges. This article examines real-world business instances of what went wrong, what was done about it, and the ultimate reaction to the method of change applied.