System_Thinking

While i expect this to be rare and unfamiliar to most of my readers, in some organizations there are managers that sometimes complain about teams, specifically about their productivity and quality. As an external, i often do not have the knowledge to really form an opinion about this, and as a developer i have my gut feeling and instinct, and to be honest, sometimes when i look at what the team is able to produce in a single iteration i think that: Indeed this seems like not a lot of functionality for 7 people to achieve in 2 weeks. 
While this is all good and nice, this is not a good enough tool to analyze the dynamics that lead to the problem in productivity.

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Less_is_more

Imagine a small group of people that have an idea for a product that they believe can “make a ding in the universe”. This is how many of the hi-tech companies we know were born.

In these early days of a company, it is very common that this group of people are working together in tight collaboration and a lot of enthusiasm but, with very little budget... 
And when people work on a very tight budget and want to succeed, they are forced to do a very good and effective job, otherwise they will probably be out business soon. 

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Two_Companies

A Tale of two Companies“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...” [C. Dickens]

This is a tale of two companies: company X and company Y.

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Developing software is a game of decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

Read it again, please: 

Developing software is a game of decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

Once you get this fact into your head, embrace it, and act upon it, I believe that you and your organization will perform much better. You have my word. 
This is really the fundamental challenge we are presented with. This is where part of the complexity comes from.
As a part of an organization developing products, every day you find yourself forced to make decisions in situations with incomplete information and uncertainty.

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When working with people and teams I often encounter situations when people feel powerless to do stuff, and without getting deeply into the discussion of being powerful and what power actually is, I think that in many situations people have more power than they think they do.

One of the ways I use to help teams overcome this (usually wrong) feeling is to show them that they are powerful and have more influence than they imagine, I do this by using what I refer to as a "king for a day" retrospective.
It is a retrospective activity that is not focused specifically on the last sprint, but focuses on improvement in general. 

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