On Packaged Agile Methodologies

It's easy for conversations on Agile methodologies to quickly turn into religious debates, to which everyone has an opinion, and the reason for that is that adopting a methodology wholesale very rarely works for everyone. Very similar to the reason why adopting the Spotify model for every organisation very rarely…

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Flow: The essence of high performing engineering organizations

Our methodology obsession The primary, and sometimes only, focus of most engineering organizations is product throughput. Typically the leading questions from executives are “when can we start?” and “how long will it take?”. We breakdown deliverables into smaller work streams that form a backlog of work that we can prioritize…

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The Process Delusion

Speed wins in software development. It sounds wrong but it’s true. When people hear this they just can’t see why. They confuse speed with rushing or a reduction in quality. As a result of this fallacy they optimize for perceived quality. Adding process ensues. It’s usually reactionary…

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6 engineering organisation anti-patterns

Building and running an effective engineering organisation is not an easy task. In fact, it's very very hard. It's easy to evolve into an organisational structure and for the process to be iterative but, hands down, it's the most important part of any effective tech business. Over the years I've…

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Leaders create leaders

The problem with leader-follower It's very tempting in a leadership position to put yourself in front of the team, become the key decision maker, the linchpin, and make yourself look and feel important. When this strategy becomes successful, two things tend to happen. Positive reinforcement means that most leaders will…

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How to fail as an Engineering Manager

I've made every mistake possible in the last six month since I moved into my new role as Director of Engineering at Opentable. Leading a team of any size is not easy but leading multiple teams, if not done properly, can feel like herding cats. People always say that management…

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