people management | TechWell

people management

Person pointing at a globe Collaborating with a Highly Distributed Team

Being distributed can cause challenges for team collaboration, such as insufficient communication and a lack of visibility. However, advancements in tools, technology, and best practices have helped to lessen some of those challenges. Here are four ways to make collaborating with distributed teams more seamless.

Owen Gotimer's picture
Owen Gotimer
Agile team member expressing intention Don’t Ask for Permission or Forgiveness—Use an Agile Alternative

Some teams get around bottlenecks by taking a “better to ask forgiveness than permission” approach. This may be expedient, but it doesn’t provide a path to changing the organizational dynamic, and it can lead to wrong decisions when wider input is advisable. A more agile way is to take an “I intend to” approach.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Client yelling into a phone When Customers Attack: Dealing with Rude Clients

It seems like the only way some customers know how to communicate is to accuse, complain, and verbally attack. This only gets worse if there are delays. But when you do your best to build trust with customers early on, they are more likely to accept explanations about setbacks, even if they don’t fully understand them.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Team member pointing a finger to blame someone Is Your Culture about Responsibility or Blame?

When things go wrong, it can be helpful to understand what happened and who was involved. However, all too often organizations (and the managers within) confuse responsibility with assigning blame. The former is essential for improvement. The latter works against an effective, collaborative, productive culture.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Man looking skeptical Beware of Success Stories

The tendency to look back and think you know what contributed to a success is called survivorship bias. It occurs when you make a decision or take some action based on past successes while ignoring past failures. That's why it's important to approach reports of successful projects with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Leader asking an employee a question Superior Leaders Ask the Tough Questions

Inspiring quotes can be motivating, but there's more to good leadership. New leaders may feel compelled to find clever and memorable things to say, when in reality, they should probably focus less on what they’re saying and more on what they’re hearing. The best leaders ask good questions and listen to the answers.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Team member coaching her senior manager in agile practices Coaching Senior Management to Be Agile

Embracing an agile mindset isn’t always easy, and it can be especially difficult for senior managers who spent most of their careers working in more traditional development methodologies. By trying to speak the same language and demonstrating successful self-organization, teams can help senior management become agile.

Owen Gotimer's picture
Owen Gotimer
ScrumMaster facilitating communication between an agile team and stakeholders Understanding the ScrumMaster's Role in Team Communication

Some agile teams believe the ScrumMaster is the sole point of communication between them and the product owner, so the team can abdicate any responsibility to communicate with stakeholders. That couldn't be more wrong. It's actually the ScrumMaster's job to enable communication and coach or guide the team to solutions.

Alan Crouch's picture
Alan Crouch