Lately I've been seeing the classic skill matrix used more and more in companies in order to create teams and identify knowledge gaps. The tool is excellent for that, but recently I've come across a few modifications of the technique that make it so much more powerful, and to my surprise it was hard to find detailed information about these modifications online. Hence this blogpost.
Introducing the Co-Learning achievement unlocked app
It can be hard to explicitly appreciate someone for their behaviour. And it can be even harder to accept appreciation. And yet appreciation is something that can have such a big impact on people's motivation. Achievement cards use the gamification element of achievements, getting recognition for a certain behaviour or perseverance.
Top-down, control based hierarchies discourage individual initiative, lead to slower reaction times, and divert energy to “managing up” or what is called politics. These politics will optimize your organization to CYA (Cover Your Ass), loss of productivity, and an aversion of risk, resulting in a standstill culture.
During the lean coffee session last week at the European Testing conference, we were talking about the most important impediment for testers to get their work done. Most of which was the most important soft skill to have. The group agreed that the most basic of soft skills was communication. But we found it hard to really grasp what this actually means. What is communication and why is it so difficult for us? There is a lot of research out there about how communication works and how we can make it work for us. Yet so few people really master this skill.
Dependencies in Software Development have been an issue since decades and lots of practices have been built to “manage” them, creating an environment that becomes more complicated with longer time-to-market times as dependencies grow (or the product/solution grows).
This is creating an illusion and no dependency management is alwys the only answer! Coordination to remove dependencies is usually a more sustainable outcome with less management.
Wether you do a lessons learned, retrospective or kaizen event, the actions from there should be executed as soon as possible by the team. But sometimes problems that arise from these events are beyond the team's circle of influence.