Poddpremiär för mig. Pratar med Erik Hultgren och Dick Lyhammar i Agilpodden, avsnitt 97. Vi pratar om Conways law, om hur arkitektur och organisation hänger ihop, centrala staber, HR och även hur man ska organisera sina chefer! Men också om idéhistoria, slackware 2.0, Hemnet, Aftonbladet, Olof Palmes minnesfond, Spotify och Polopoly – och att jag råkar ha formellt godkänt 2 (eller 3) svenska valresultat.
Empowered (book review)
Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products by Marty Cagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very crisp overview of what patterns make modern technology driven product company and product organization great: empowered product teams driven by a real product vision and strategy and managed by dedicated managers that know how to formulate real and exciting problem, hold teams accountable and coach people to become their better selves: servant leadership. Targeted to Product leaders, whom I’m certain there are a lot out there that need to read, understand and practice this book. A must read I will revisit many times, just like Inspired.
– An empowered team does not equal a team that decides on a company direction, a focus for a quarter or a company bet to take. That is an executive decision that the team needs to trust as much as the executives need to trust the team to know how to solve the challenge or get to the goal.
– Empowering teams have full decisional power over the problem/opportunity they are assigned, not on identifying the opportunity itself.
– Alignment is not just pointing to a north star and handing out a compas, it requires real work with teams.
– Autonomy does not mean self reliance but ownership of solving a problem that matters together with others.
– Leadership means active engagement. I call I servant leadership, but that’s anything but standing aside and let whatever happen.
View all my reviews
Book Circle as a Service – A Facilitated Book Circle for Your Organization
Together with wearemovement.se I’m proud to announce the concept Book Circle as a Service. You get a well prepared and facilitated book circle, backed by slides, workshops and my and the groups shared experience. Available both as public events and internal ones. You can check it out at wearemovement.
I love learning. I love reading. I love exploring theories and practical problems with other engaged people. Book circles are to me the perfect combination of those passions. Informal, low investment, great sharing opportunity, easy to tie to local context.
Yet, over time it has been super hard to sustain them, at least for me. Until I tried a new method: facilitated sessions with prepared slides. I wanted to grow a learning culture among my engineering managers, and where ready to make a fairly heavy up front investment to get book circles to work. One and a half years and three books later I think we had proven the concept to work. A vast majority found it highly valuable, and wanted to go on.
I now want to make the concept and a set of circles available to more people. There are currently three circles I can run:
Becoming a Staff Engineer (book review)
Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track by Will Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
How do you become a technical leader in the software industry? What skill set do you need to develop, what roles does typically exist and how do you get promoted? And perhaps most importantly: how will your calendar look (surprise: a lot less coding). All and more is explored in this fascinating book by Will Larson.
I wish I would have had something like this early in my career as a software developer, but probably even more so as a Director at Spotify. Even with a well defined engineering career ladder, engineers, Engineering Managers, including myself, had a really hard time parsing what staff, and even more staff+, actually meant. It’s very much a black box of wizardry (or perhaps: having experienced it somewhere else).
Larson opens up that box, and I’m sure it will bring a lot of help to both engineers thinking about their careers, EM:s supporting careers, and leaders designing their orgs. It contains a good portion of first principle thinking combined with practical hand on tips. Roughly half the book is interviews with various staff+ engineers from places like Stripe, Fastly, Dropbox, Slack and more giving wonderful insights into life as a staff+ engineer in the (US) software industry.
View all my reviews
What I did and learned at Spotify
I’m leaving the band, I’m going solo.
Thanks for these 6 years Spotify,
lots of fun, lots of hard work, so many lovely people,
so much done and so much learned.
Here’s some of the most important stuff I did,
and learned on this tour,
which I will bring with me on my new tour,
as a contractor, trainer and author.
I joined as an agile coach,
but ended up driving coaches out of the teams,
and managers into the teams: scrum master as manager,
the missing piece in the Spotify model (never but a dream anyway).
Tillsammans – så river programmerarna företagspyramiderna
I år hade jag äran att i anslutning till Agila Sverige (2015) släppa Riv pyramiderna igen som riktig bok med den mycket bättre titeln Tillsammans – så skapar du flyt och egenmakt med agile och lean (tack till Joakim Holm för att du övertalade mig att negativa titlar är dåliga). Den hemliga undertiteln tycker jag dock är “så river programmerarna företagspyramiderna”. Läs mer på Crisps blog.
Growing up with Agile – Minimum Viable Bureaucracy at Spotify
The Spotify ‘model’ was presented in 2012 and has stired a lot of interest in the agile community and the software industry in general. In May I was asked to talk about this a the Bay Area Agile Leadership Network meetup in San Francisco (where I at that time was working as an agile coach at the Spotify office): Since 2012 Spotify has continued to grow hectically. How has agile evolved at Spotify since then? Going back in time, and following the latest structural changes makes it clear that the model was never the primary mover: instead a number of core principles and ambitions has worked as constraints on how to grow the most suitable organization for the task, with small enough structure to help but not be in the way: you could call it Minimum Viable Bureaucracy.
You can find the slides at Crisp.se.
Better meetings with the Core Protocols
Good meetings is very much about achieving deep collaboration. But collaboration is often hard. We go into meetings with different modes, intentions, and expectations. How can we make meetings both more fun and energetic? Surprisingly enough: maybe by being more formalized. Core Protocols Stack helps shaping better meetings. Here’s a workshop you can use to introduce Core Protocols to a team.
You can read more about it in this Crisp.se blogpost and get access to the presentation here.
Fluent@agile – visualizing your way of working
Help your team improve by visualizing their way working with the fluent@agile game. With the game you can help a team find out where it is on its agile journey and help it find new ways of both fine tuning and make leaps in their daily agile practices.
Me and Christian Vikström made the game together at Spotify during the spring 2014 when we were coaching and helping team to improve their agile skill sets and processes. We found the model “Agile Fluency™” developed and described by Diana Larsen and James Shore very useful. It’s based on their long experience of helping team grow agile and the different stages both teams and organizations (most) often will go through.
You can read more about it in this Crisp.se blog and get access to the Workshop instructions and game pdf.
Tillsammans – handbok för agila chefer
Programmerarna är i dag Stockholms största yrkeskår sägs det numera. Det är en extremt eftertraktad grupp människor eftersom det råder sådan skriande brist på duktiga programmerare. Det gör förstås att programmerarnas arbetsplatser blir lite speciella: om jag inte trivs här står massor av andra företag och skriker efter mig. Programmerarna har därmed en alldeles speciell makt i sitt arbetsliv.Fortsätt läsa ”Tillsammans – handbok för agila chefer”