Latest blog posts

This year is the 20 year anniversary of the agile manifesto, and wow, have we learned and improved thanks to it. Yes, we have argued and, yes, things have not always gone like we wished. But overall, our workplaces have improved drastically as a result of the energy created from that manifesto.

Look around us today, though, and what’s written in the agile manifesto is not nearly as relevant to us anymore. The world has changed. Old problems have been worked on and new ones have surfaced. The agile manifesto doesn’t work as a guide for us anymore.

We speak a lot about interventions when nudging teams along their team effectiveness journeys. But what are we really aiming for here? Interventions alone and just for the sake of doing something are not enough. We need our interventions to also be strategically placed at the right leverage points. In other words, we need strategic interventions.

The first step towards making strategic interventions is to actively observe your team in a holistic and objective way. This requires structure. Without structure, our observations are more prone to bias and thus less helpful.

In this post we introduce our Holistic Observations of Teams Framework that we’ve been using when observing teams. We go through some examples and also break it down in more detail below.

Note: This article is co-written by Viktor Cessan and I. You can also find this article on his blog.

Have you ever wondered why so many organizations fail at building effective and high performing teams despite offering so much support in different ways e.g. by managing people, by managing the environment, and by coaching teams? You’re not alone. This is often something that frustrates teams, coaches, and managers.

In my years of working with software projects the one thing I have learned is that doing software projects is really hard. Probably zero projects I have been part of or heard of has delivered their value, kept the quality to a standard everyone is proud of, launched on time and had a team of happy people through all of it. Recently, though, I was part of project that did just that. An actual real life professional software project that was deemed successful by both the team and the stakeholders.

I work at Swedish real estate site Hemnet. We are a company of about 50 people with about 15 people working in product development — mostly developers plus a few designers. Being a small company means we are close to management and all fill a bit wider roles than in larger companies. The biggest challenges in our organization has been making priorities and following them through. This heavily influences where we have put most of our effort and where we have made the biggest lessons making, though I think most of it can be pretty broadly generalized.