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Natural Leadership
Bring out the best in you and your team

A six-part series on the why how and what of software engineering metrics.

This six-part series of articles looks at a metric strategy you can apply to a software engineering function throughout the entire delivery lifecycle, from the backlog through to production:

  • Part 2: Define your audiences
  • Part 3: Understanding stocks and flows
  • Part 4: Define your metrics
  • Part 5: Monitor and observe
  • Part 6: What to do with your data

Part 3: Understanding stocks and flows

Flows (trends) are more enlightening than stocks (counts)

I’ve recently been reading about Systems Thinking. It gets quite complicated but is interesting even at a simple level.

Briefly put, the measurement of the state of something is static at a point in time (a stock)…


A six-part series on the why how and what of software engineering metrics.

This six-part series of articles looks at a metric strategy you can apply to a software engineering function throughout the entire delivery lifecycle, from the backlog through to production:

Part 2: Identify your audiences

Once you understand your categories, you can begin to think about the audiences that will consume your data and why they need it, naturally leading to an intuitive set of metrics.

Cascading details

You will want to cascade your…


A six-part series on the why how and what of software engineering metrics.

This six-part series of articles looks at a metric strategy you can apply to a software engineering function throughout the entire delivery lifecycle, from the backlog through to production:

Part 1: Start with why

As Simon Sinek very famously said, “Start With Why”. He was talking about company purpose, but the idea is entirely applicable to many other things.

Metrics is a great example. It’s super easy to start at the…


A six-part series on the why what and how of software engineering metrics.

This six-part series of articles looks at a metric strategy you can apply to a software engineering function throughout the entire delivery lifecycle, from the backlog through to production.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure

Every organisation wants to know how it is doing. To understand what is happening and how you should respond, you need insight into your entire delivery chain.

You can’t do that on feel and hunch alone. To do it properly and to enable positive change, you need data. A good set of metrics sensibly designed and applied will allow that.

This series of articles looks at a metric strategy you can…


If you are serious about managing your staff, building great relationships and helping them deliver, develop and progress, the 1:1 is your absolute best tool.

For ease of reading, I am referring to your direct report as ‘her’. It could equally have been ‘him’.

What is a good 1:1?

A good 1:1 is:

  • An event that both of you know will always (or almost always) happen. It takes place on the same day each week, at the same time.
  • It is rearranged for the same week if missed for any reason.
  • Is even done via video or phone if otherwise impossible.


As a manager, a key part of your job is to work with your team to get things done. You’ll be more successful at that if you empathise and communicate using a simple questioning technique.

There is a difference between commanding and leading

A commander tells people what to do. A good leader gives people the opportunity to shine and the trust to get on with it.

This works best if the other person fully understands what has to be done. You will achieve this by listening more than you talk and asking incisive questions, rather than making statements. And when you talk, you should leave no doubt what you are asking for.

Remember, communication is what the listener does. Asking questions gets the other person talking and they will have a much better understanding of what is needed.

Here are six questions…


Here’s how to motivate yourself to keep going through any challenges and reach your goals.

Cast Away

My 9½-year-old son, Harry, loves movies. Over the weekend we watched Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks. (It’s quite an old movie, so I don’t think this article spills any spoiler beans.)

Deserted

Chuck Noland¹, the character played by Hanks, is washed up onto an uninhabited desert island after a plane crash. He survives, just about, on coconuts, rainwater and — after creating fire and learning how to hunt — fish and crab. All of his basic needs are covered; food, water, shelter and clothing.

Survival is not enough. Chuck fears he might die alone on the island and dreams of getting…


How to hire amazing people, get the best out of them and build a fantastic culture.

I don’t think you can force-feed culture into an organisation any more than you can get your kids to eat broccoli. Culture isn’t something you grow in a test tube and release through the air conditioning ducts like an infectious virus; “Here, have some culture.” It isn’t the result of a board-level decision. And neither is it the result of a seven-hour team-building exercise on the side of a cold, wet, windy mountain followed by three gallons of beer and fancy dress karaoke.

No. Culture lives inside your people, and it seeps out of their pores every day like pheromones…


Here’s how to understand, fine-tune and use your most powerful asset to achieve success.

If you want to succeed — genuinely succeed — you must use your single most significant weapon. It’s simple and we all have it, even if we don’t all use it.

Integrity

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity

Honesty towards others

You might read that and assume it’s all about honesty towards others, and that is hugely important:

Natural Leadership

Bring out the best in you and your team

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