Adam Yuret explains what can go wrong when teams blindly commit themselves to sprints; collaboration and quality suffer when we pressure people to work themselves to death by forcing them to promise things they cannot yet understand. Investing in systems-thinking approaches to improve the lives of our workers will pay dividends in improved quality, engagement, and creativity.
Hiring is difficult to do well, Johanna Rothman writes in her latest management myth piece. Because everyone who is looking to hire has a job, they think they know how to hire. But it’s not easy. You want to hire the best people you can who fit the team and the organization.
Negotiation skills are essential for team leads, tech leads, and project managers. As they gain seniority, these folks frequently find themselves thrust into both formal negotiations with vendors and suppliers as well as informal negotiations with management and their own staff, often without benefit of much preparation or training in the art and science of negotiation.
Jean Richardson shares a story about how the idea of pervasive leadership can help you manage a successful project. In order to practice pervasive leadership, one must change one's mental model of "I" and "thou," act locally and think holistically, and enact empathetic stewardship.
Johanna Rothman explains the challenges and pitfalls of micromanagement. Sometimes, managers micromanage when they need information. In that case, it’s easier to create an information radiator rather than have the manager come running to you every thirty minutes.
Everyone needs feedback about their work. If you’ve done something great, you need to know—sooner rather than later. And if you’ve done something that wasn’t great, you need to know that, too. But people don’t need to be stack-ranked against each other. That doesn’t provide people any information about how they perform their jobs.
When you’re the manager, always make sure you know who performed the work, and make sure other people know, too. People want to know you appreciate them. They want to know you are willing to carry that appreciation up the corporate ladder. More importantly, they want to know you are not a jerk who will take credit for the work they perform.
Positive psychology is providing a new focus on effective ways to ensure that teams exhibit the right behaviors in a group or organizational setting. Closely related to many agile and lean concepts, these emerging practices are helping teams to improve communication, collaborate, and emerge as highly effective groups. Leslie Sachs explains what positive psychology is all about and how to start using these practices in your organization.
In her latest management myth piece, Johanna Rothman writes that your management position, first-line or not, is about building trusting relationships. If you start managing more than nine people, you are in danger of not being able to build those relationships.
In the same way that math is a learned skill, project management is a learned skill. You can get better with practice, instruction, and mentoring. Avoid being surprised by the new job requirements, acknowledge it is a new role for you, and seek a mentor to help you navigate.