What I have to say about self-organizing teams

Great post about self-organizing teams from @tisquirrel. I like the bullets at the end of it, but I think somebody has to read the whole post from the beginning.

@tisquirrel

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Remember Agile manifesto? ‘The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams’. But why self-organizing teams? How to build them? How do they emerge?

When I say “self-organizing teams” top managers usually think ‘teams which need no management’, ‘magic teams which work twice as much’. They behave as if we can just hire 10 nice people, put them in one room and tell them “And now you have to self-organize.’ We talk a lot about such teams, but rarely can we assemble one. Some of my colleagues even say that it is a luxury to have such teams and we just can’t afford them.

I tried to collect all my thoughts on the self-organizing teams in this post.

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How To Do A Damn Good Daily Standup Meeting

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself in a boring status meeting.
A manager with a task list at hand checks the general progress. All participants (usually in turn) will give a status update and then the deliberations begin: 5 minutes talking, 15 minutes talking, 30 minutes talking and the list goes on. In general, after 15 minutes, the average person’s mind starts wandering.

Daily standup meeting

Instead, Agile has the infamous “Daily Standup Meeting” (aka “Daily Scrum”). (Tweet This)

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Launching API Meetup in Athens

Two months ago, as Apirise, we attended APIdays in Berlin. APIdays is a conference held in cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. The range of topics covered is really wide and include almost everything about APIs. In APIdays you may meet with vendors, developers, companies like Apigee, Facebook, Heroku, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce, Soundcloud, Stripe, Twitter, Zappier and people like Kin Lane or Mike Amundsen to mention only a few… you got the idea.

There is a big trend of API awareness and creating thriving communities that is being supplemented by regional efforts like the NordicAPIs. This creates a parallel networking effect that works in the background. For example, we met with people from Greece that we didn’t know before, but they participated in APIdays Barcelona or older APIdays conferences.

We spoke with them and we saw that there is common ground and will to create a similar community in Greece.

For this reason we created the API Athens Meetup. We start small and expect to «hear» the vibe of the local community. We want to make it a place where we all learn, exchange real life experience, have conversations with startups, companies and developers and hear the challenges they face in getting the word out about APIs in their context of work.

On June 25th we had our kickoff meetup.

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8 reasons that made us change from Trello to Targetprocess 3

Have you ever been on a team? Have you tried to collaborate efficiently?

If so, you probably searched for tools that could make it work better for everyone. This post (which will be completed in two parts) is meant to share our experience on the subject and describe both the tools we end up using and the process we follow.

One of a team’s initial tasks is the selection of an appropriate work process, a way for its members to collaborate efficiently.

You can typically get there either by using a whiteboard and some post-it’s or by picking a tool that can solve the problem for you.
I tend to rely on the latter.

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Book Review: Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban

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Real life examples are always crucial in understanding as they can translate abstract theoretical concepts into things we can relate to from our experience. Anyone looking from above the whole Agile concept and its techniques or methodologies may seem lost. I know I felt lost when I first begun to be educated in the agile mindset. And while zooming in and reading specific frameworks like Scrum and Kanban is very useful, it is most interesting to get real life examples for the whole time span.

The book I recently read, “Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban by Henrik Knibergdoes exactly that, offers a captivating real life example.

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Personal Kanban with Asana

A nice post about Personal Kanban and Asana from Chris Heisel.

Personal Kanban 101
Adaptable to all ages and situations, and accessible to all learning styles, personal kanban allows us to visualize the amount of work we have, and the way that work is carried out.
– See more at: http://www.personalkanban.com/pk/#sthash.z09Yvq3n.dpuf


Discuss with me…

I’d love to know your ideas and thoughts on this post.
Connect with me on Twitter or Google+

Chris Heisel

I’ve found that Asana’ssections and subtasks feature makes it really convenient to set up a personal kanban system.

Here’s what my tasks screen looks like:

Asana task listLater is the total backlog of stuff to do and it stays collapsed. I have a recurring todo to review the Later pile and pull items into Upcoming.

UpcomingUpcoming is my backlog for the week. I’ve divided it into days so I can schedule out my week. I put items that need more time or analysis on days with bigger blocks of time available, and the shorter tasks fit into days with more meetings.

MeetingsMeetings get todo items as well. That forces me to weigh the meetings against the other items on my list, and to think about what I need to do to prepare for the meeting.

TodayToday gets subdivided into three sections: Meetings, WIP, and Todo. Meetings for the…

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How to Kanban with Trello

You hear about Kanban all the time. There are great guides out there but you do not know where to start. Is this the case? I had the same problem too. So I tried to gather some really baby steps of implementing a simple Kanban system for your early development phase.

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