Using metrics such as cumulative flow to monitor throughput and quantitative thinking may not seem very humanistic, but by depersonalizing the work being done, we can focus our energies on solving actual problems instead of conducting a daily witch-hunt and shaming people into high performance.
Johanna Rothman writes that organization-wide standards don’t help if management imposes them. If people ask for help with standards, then you can provide local help to each team. And if the teams are part of a program where you have one business objective common to multiple projects, make sure the program understands the problem.
Mike Talks shares with us the unlikely story of how his pet German Shepherd inadvertently became his team's QA manager. Talks explains how his German Shepherd was able to gather people together and have them talk to each other, similiar to what a QA manager does—keeping people on task, handing out assignments, and following up with team members.
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.
Positive psychology encourages positive and effective behaviors that help to bring out desired traits, and it applies well to many business and technical situations. Leslie Sachs explains the third pillar of positive psychology, which is related to organizational psychology and is of great interest to anyone who wants to be part of an effective institution.
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.