Here’s why I’m happier at the office

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Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

With the current situation, there has been a lot of talk worldwide about working from home. Although not possible for every profession, some of us are fortunate and have the opportunity to keep working from home during the pandemic.

Some jobs don’t require to be there physically for the person to do what they have to do. I have an office job. I can do all I need to do from my computer, on my desk, in my apartment.

I completely agree that we should take the necessary measures to ensure that everyone stays healthy. I also respect people that have a preference towards working from home rather than coming to the office, even before the pandemic, whatever their reasons are. …


Real change can be a few pages away

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Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

I used to be the lead developer for a team of five people. I had transitioned to this job from being a developer, and after six months of trying to do the job, with no training, I realized something. I had no idea what I was doing, and the project was utterly failing.

My team and I were trying to “do SCRUM.” But since we had no prior experience with it and no training, we were doing it all wrong.

The project was progressing very slowly, the produced features were of no interest to the clients, and everybody was unhappy. Every day there were fights about what was going on, people were accused behind their backs. …


Get your team from their worst state to their A-game.

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Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

I’ve been part of several teams of software engineers. I helped get them from the worst culture to a state of co-creation and interdependence. What are the signs that your team isn’t in the best position right now? What‘s a bad and a good culture? And how do you transition from one to the other?

When nothing goes right

Have you ever felt this feeling? You’re at work. You know your team is under a lot of pressure because there’s a huge pile of work to be done. Yet, you have no idea what you should be doing with your time. Everything is urgent, time-sensitive, and the whole company is at risk. …


Don’t let risks take the upper hand

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Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

You’re looking at your backlog, and you’re wondering if some of the items in it are hiding unforeseen disasters? Uncertainty can come in many forms. The team could be unsure of how much work is required to develop some features–if it is even doable. Or you might wonder if some functionality is going to make sense for your customers.

Uncertainty can have terrible effects on seemingly fine projects. Sometimes a feature that you’re going to work on months from now can reveal that the whole project is a mistake or that it should have been done entirely differently. …


Make it inclusive and transparent

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Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

As a product owner, you may wonder what kind of items you can or can’t add to your backlog. Can you write something too technical in it? Or something too vague?

“The Product Backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product.” (Scrum Guide)

I’ve known product owners who would only want to have features in their backlog. They were entirely against even talking about technical necessities to be developed. “I’m the product owner,” they would say, “I work with features.”

This approach can make sense but not always. Here is a list of 4 kinds of items that have their place in a product backlog. …


Have them up and running in no time

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Onboarding a new member on your team is always tricky. You would like them to be fully capable of working on your project in as little time as possible. Still, you know they will need time to adapt to the project and the team, as much as the team will need time to adjust to their new coworker.

Everybody who has had someone new in their team knows that there is bound to be a decrease in team performance at the beginning. But what do you do to make it back to where you were before and improve? …


So many benefits to be a sharer

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Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

In my job, I’ve had the privilege to help and coach several people. In the beginning, I thought I would be giving them value with nothing in return. But I’ve come to realize that sharing knowledge with somebody and helping them move forward brings me more value than I could ever imagine.

You must ready your knowledge

To pass on knowledge about a specific topic, it will require you to master enough of the content you wish to share. Thus, you will spend some time studying your subject. …


A step by step guide to setting up a Definition of Done

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Projects usually have one primary measure of progress, which is to track what gets done. It might be features (a user can sign up, sign in, do things), technical tasks (optimization, use of new frameworks, refactoring), or any kind of work that the people will do.

But what does “done” mean? Depending on the person you ask, it might be that the feature’s code has been written, or that the feature has been tested locally on the developer’s computer, or that unit tests have been written. …


A counterintuitive science-based technique to being heard and listened to.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Human beings are social animals. We spend a lot of time with other people. We are with our coworkers all day long, maybe we go out with our friends and then come back home to our families. That’s a whole lot of people, and unfortunately, it’s not always — or even not often — synonym with peace.

When is the last time you went a full day, or a whole week, without a confrontation with anyone? It can often start with something benign, and then it unexpectedly takes unwarranted proportions. …


Identifying these issues is the first step to solving them

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

“Come work for us, we’re Agile” you might hear this pretty often. Or you’re talking to someone in your company about the way things work there, and all they can say is, “well, this is Agility.”

The word “Agile” has become overused, and nowadays, it might seem like you’re lagging behind if your company isn’t doing this Agile thing. That’s why so many companies jump on using the word, while sometimes not really understanding what’s behind.

Here are three things that might help you identify that your company is not there yet.

Bosses give more orders than directions

Agility fosters motivated self-organized teams, as several principles from the Manifesto point…

About

Florian Lefebvre

Software engineer, Scrum Master, Coach, Blogger, Friend. My dream is that people trust each other and work together for the betterment of humanity.

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