Showing posts from 2015

View of The Product Team As A Rock Band

This thought came to my mind as I was reading a review of Tom Petty's biography on the cover by Stephen Dubner: "This amazing book is a Tom Petty biography (and it's great on that account) but it's far more than that. It's an X-ray of the most fragile, most volatile, and most sublime social unit ever invented: the rock-and-roll band. The alliances, the distortions, the deep bruises and the absurd elations that can never be explained to an outsider. Sure,  Petty  is a book about a rock band but it's really a book about being human - how we meet and collaborate, break up and make up, learn to trust (or not) and, once in a lucky while, sing as loud as we can. It's a masterpiece.” If the rock-and-roll band is "the most fragile, most volatile, and most sublime social unit every invented" the software development product team is somewhere in the top 10 of that category. I've never been part of a rock band, but I have worked with many software

The Value of A Coach

I have benefited from coaching at different periods of my life.  As a young little league baseball player, and then teenage basketball player, coaches taught me the technical skills I needed.  They also taught the team how to excel as a team, with each of us performing our roles and learning to collaborate, instead of just a group of individuals engaged in a common activity. As I began my professional career I was doing translation and analysis work and benefitted from the patient guidance of some very skilled and experienced professionals who were not only very good at what they did, but invested time and energy to help others become good at it. Asking people in all roles to begin to do and be what they have to do and become in an Agile environment takes more than just standard training (classes, readings, and exercises).  People need support when they're in their normal, day-to-day settings and relationships to help them break from established patterns and practices and do t