Empowered (book review)

Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

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.



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

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.

Highly recommended.



View all my reviews

Tjugo år med det Agila Manifestet – ett samtal med Emanuel Tunbjer och Peter Antman

Jag och Emanuel Tunbjer från We Are Movement träffades en kväll i februari för ett samtal om det Agila Manifestet som fyller 20 i år. I det här inspelade webbinariet pratar vi både om personliga reflektioner, hur vår resa i det Agila ekosystemet i Sverige har varit i både små team och stora organisationer, vad som varit bäst och värst, och vad vi ser komma som nästa uppgift att ta sig an ur ett Agilt och hållbart perspektiv. Se och lyssna på samtalet här.

Peter Antman och Emanuel Tunbjer pratar om Agila Manifestets inflytande på modern mjukvaruutveckling och digitala afförsutveckling.

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.

Contractor, Trainer & Author at antman.se

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).

Fortsätt läsa ”What I did and learned at Spotify”

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.

Tillsammans

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

Tillsammans - den agile chefens handbok

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”

The Agile Meetings Cube

Agile Meetings Cibe
Agile Meeting Cube

Agile facilitators, be aware, now you are about to be replaced – by a cube. Just kidding. But have you ever felt that your meetings are not on track? Or that you have a hard time doing the elevator pitch for that backlog grooming meeting you would like your team to have? Or do you meeting often ends in thin air? Comes your rescue: The Agile Meeting Cube.

Read more about the cube in this Crisp.se blogpost and download the cube here.

Facilitating the Elephant Carpaccio Exercise

One of the best exercises I know of on how to learn and practice User Story slicing techniques is the so called Elephant Carpaccio exercise. To help facilitate the workshop I put together these slides. You can read more about it in this Crisp.se blogpost and access the presentation here.