Friday, November 15, 2019

People Problems

For my lightning talk at Cambridge Agile Exchange last night I tried to persuade the audience that, even in today's agile world of self-organising teams and coaches, value can still be found in the traditional management literature.

I talked about three books which unashamedly acknowledge that everything revolves around people:

That's right.

Everything. People.

Literally. Everything. Is. People.

In ten minutes I couldn't do more than pull out a handful of key messages and these are the ones I chose:
  • Do be congruent.
  • Do be open.
  • Don't be a prick.

They seemed to like it. Particularly the last one. Here's the slides:

I also wrote notes on the other talks.
Image:Cambridge Agile Exchange


  1. Hi James, great post!

    As you said, we need to be aware of needs of other team members.

    I would like to add that we need to filter out people needs.

    We need to consider only needs that are aligned with project success.

    Regards, Karlo.

    1. Hi Karlo, if I understand you right I don't think I agree. Project success is one factor in the context of some decisions, but it's not the only one. Others include personal happiness of the people involved, career growth, preparing for future company needs, etc.

    2. Yes, I understand your reasoning. Do you have any experience when team member tries to exploit this approach? For example for personal happiness, team member tries to get days off when it is not aligned with project needs?

      I have positive experiences with my team member using your approach, but also have to be on alert for exploitation attempts.


    3. In general I find that it's more the other way: if anything I have to encourage people to take holiday. You're right though, that it's wise to be alert to people trying to game a system.