Programming Leadership
Bridging the PM Gap with Rich Mironov

Bridging the PM Gap with Rich Mironov

July 9, 2020

Have you ever been told to be more “innovative” with your code? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Rich Mironov, discuss the all too common disconnect between developers and those on the marketing side of organizations. According to Rich, this is the result of two very different work cultures existing in the same organization - one that’s collaborative and one that’s highly individualistic. The culture gap can be hard to cross. Thankfully, Rich has spent years coming up with solutions to bridge that gap. It’s not always easy, but Rich believes that it can be done through a better understanding of how the two cultures work along with constant education and communication.

 

Show Notes

  • Differences in design principles between product and engineering management (1:35)
  • Understanding the conflict between makers and marketers (6:22)
  • How Rich helps marketers/sales develop a more useful frame for engineering (10:01)
  • The “Innovation” Misconception (15:36)
  • The culture gap between sales and development/product teams (21:46)
  • Where does product management fit between sales and development? (26:31)
  • Helping clients make effective organizational change (32:48)

 

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How Core Values Influence Diversity and Inclusion with Kim Crayton

How Core Values Influence Diversity and Inclusion with Kim Crayton

June 25, 2020

In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Kim Crayton, discuss how organizations are shaped by core values, and why values are integral for establishing true diversity and inclusion. Kim dives into some very uncomfortable truths in this episode, pointing out how most organizations are not actually ready for inclusion and diversity, because they are operating with misaligned values that make it impossible for stakeholders to thrive. Kim also explains how businesses can leverage diversity to effectively compete in the information economy, and explains why companies should rethink how they approach risk management.

Show Notes

  • Why inclusion and diversity must be the bedrocks of an organization — and why they are essential for competing in the information economy. (2:16)
  • The role that core values play in an organization, and how they are linked to  processes, procedures, and policies. (1:43)
  • Understanding shareholder value versus stakeholder value in an organization. (7:06)
  • The core values of the #causeascene community: Tech is not neutral, intention without strategy is chaos, lack of inclusion is a risk management issue, and prioritizing the most vulnerable. (9:48)
  • How most companies lack the diversity to identify the potential for harm — and as a result, they don’t understand harm until it happens. (13:43)
  • Thinking beyond finance when considering risk management (16:38)
  • How income sharing agreements (ISAs) often target and harm — instead of prioritize — people in marginalized communities.(18:50)
  • Defining privilege, underrepresentation, marginalization, variety, and inclusion.(26:56)
  • Redefining capitalism in a way that doesn’t cause harm to people by default. (34:51)

 

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No Fighting In This (Agile) Dojo with M. David Green

No Fighting In This (Agile) Dojo with M. David Green

June 11, 2020

How can we train teams to consistently produce quality code without negatively impacting productivity? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, M. David Green, discuss Agile Dojos and how they can make teams more effective. Dojos provide a six-week training ground where teams focus on recognizing and replicating value by pairing, mobbing, and swarming. Coaches like Green help them to hone their skills and go through rituals more effectively. The results will be more engaged team members, scrum masters, and a way of working that converts skeptics and naysayers into Agile evangelists.

Finding Career Opportunities Through Experimentation with Josh Doody

Finding Career Opportunities Through Experimentation with Josh Doody

May 28, 2020

Engineers love to experiment, but is experimenting with your career a good idea? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with salary negotiation expert Josh Doody about how this counterintuitive decision can benefit you over the long term. According to Doody, the key is to stop thinking in binary terms of “good” and “bad” outcomes and optimize for learning, instead. Doing so gives us a broader spectrum of results that we can use to decide how to proceed. This will allow us to better calculate risk while also avoiding Old Timer’s Disease and falling victim to loss aversion.

 

Show Notes

  • “Decision science” (3:55)
  • Thinking of outcomes as a spectrum rather than “good” or “bad” (5:13)
  • Optimize for learning, not outcomes (7:31)
  • How career experimentation has helped Josh (11:17)
  • Understanding the long game (16:23)
  • How to avoid Short-Timer’s Disease (18:53)
  • Using expected value to calculate risk (23:41)
  • Loss aversion can impede our ability to accurately calculate risk (27:59)
  • “Good” and “bad” are subjective terms when it comes to experimentation (32:39)

 

Links

How Agile Work Actually Works with Allen Holub

How Agile Work Actually Works with Allen Holub

May 14, 2020

How do organizations actually work with Agile? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Allen Holub, discuss what organizations get wrong about Agile. Allen has been an Agile transformation consultant for nearly 40 years and has seen the best and worst it has to offer. Luckily, he says the worst can be avoided. The challenge lies in company culture and architecture. The Agile way of working can be a shock to an organization’s system. However, those willing to suffer a few growing pains can reap tremendous rewards further down the line!

 

Show Notes

  • Why Agile is failing (3:55)
  • Teams are not Agile, organizations are (7:12)
  • When Agile works (15:14)
  • The inspect and adapt loop (26:21)
  • Obstacles preventing organizations from being Agile (30:27)
  • Why people can’t imagine work working differently (37:16)
  • Advice for people realizing that they’re not actually Agile (39:46)
  • Allen’s consulting strategy (43:13)

 

Links:

O’Reilly Infrastructure & Ops Conference: http://oreilly.com/infraops/blankenship

Leveraging Remote Work with Laurel Farrer

Leveraging Remote Work with Laurel Farrer

April 16, 2020

How do we leverage remote work in our businesses and on our teams? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with Rachel Farrer, CEO and founder of Distributing Consulting, about the challenges facing remote workers and their managers. Despite being around for decades, there are still many managers pushing back against remote work. According to Farrer, this is due to myths surrounding it as well as managers not utilizing it effectively. She wants people to know that remote work, when properly understood and executed, can create more productive teams, departments, and companies. 

 

Show Notes

  • Understanding why isolation is such a challenge for remote workers (2:31)
  • How managers can spot when isolation is affecting one of their remote workers  (6:13)
  • The disconnect between on-site managers and remote workers (10:00)
  • Advice for managers wanting to add remote workers to a colocated team (14:34)
  • Helpful mindset shifts for managers averse to remote workers (18:03)
  • The challenges facing remote teams that do knowledge work  (22:00)
  • Turnover and termination on remote teams (25:09)

 

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Making Software Development Teams Hum with Ron Lichty

Making Software Development Teams Hum with Ron Lichty

April 2, 2020

Is your team running so smoothly that it hums? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Ron Lichty, discuss what makes high-performance teams versus what makes low-performance teams. Most teams already know which category they fall into, but the solution to a low-performing team isn’t always clear. Drawing on 20 years of Agile experience, Ron narrows down the three root causes of low-performing teams as well as solutions that managers can implement to improve them. 

 

Show Notes

  • Learning what makes software development teams hum (1:40)
  • What prevents a team from humming (3:31)
  • Building effective stand-ups (10:32)
  • Do < Accomplish (15:43)
  • The high value of predictability (19:28)
  • Implement the “fist-to-five” to your stand-up (23:50)
  • How to observe psychological safety (29:28)
  • Misunderstanding so-called “introverts” (31:31)
  • Planning is every team member’s job (36:58)
  • Providing value for stakeholders is an infinite game, not a finite one (38:44)

 

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Being Your Own Leader in Times of Transition with Han Yuan

Being Your Own Leader in Times of Transition with Han Yuan

March 19, 2020

Episode 40 What does it look like to be your own leader in times of professional transition? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with Han Yuan, friend and former Senior Vice President of Engineering at Upwork, about transitioning into entrepreneurship from a traditional job and vice versa. How do you know it’s time to make a transition? Where do you find the support you need? How can you prepare team members for their own transitions? It’s a scary proposition for anyone. Fortunately, Yuan says it can be managed effectively with a combination of objective benchmarks, meaningful relationships, and authenticity.

 

Show Notes

 

  • The dangers of becoming an entrepreneur (2:41)
  • When it’s time to leave your “good" job (4:00)
  • How professional managers can help employees think this way through career development (6:30)
  • Helping team members transition out of the organization (8:37)
  • Avoid win-lose situations by mentoring people, not professional roles (9:56)
  • Dealing with uncertainty during transition (15:05)
  • Connecting activities to outcomes (19:39)
  • Be authentic when “parachuting” into a new work culture (23:17)
  • How entrepreneurs can maintain structure and build peer groups outside of traditional work structures (28:37)

 

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Changing How We Change Software with GeePaw Hill

Changing How We Change Software with GeePaw Hill

March 5, 2020

What if we could create a trade culture that allowed for change rather than relying on mechanical thinking? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, GeePaw Hill, discuss how the doubling rate in the software industry has resulted in a complete lack of trade discipline. Drawing on his 40 years in the software industry, GeePaw’s solution is to develop a thick culture in which certain standards are established across the industry. They also discuss why the industrial model of work is so unsatisfying, the real reason why good workers leave organizations, and the importance of luck.

 

Show Notes

  • The doubling rate of makers has resulted in a total lack of culture in the software industry (2:12)
  • Defining Thick Culture, Thin Culture, and the Frame (4:01)
  • Using the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as a model for the kind of frame the trade needs (5:40)
  • How the doubling rate resulted in a lack of leaders that can develop an industry discipline (6:34)
  • Why good workers leave organization (18:05)
  • Developing a common language of change in the trade (24:24)
  • The real-life challenges leaders face when implementing change in their organizations (31:40)
  • Why managers and HR are wrong about why employees leave (41:10)

 

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Improve Your Product Management with Ellen Gottesdiener

Improve Your Product Management with Ellen Gottesdiener

February 20, 2020

How do we improve in the area of product management? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest Ellen Gottesdiener, President of EBG Consulting, discuss ways companies can better oversee the development and lifecycle of a product in its entirety. Marcus and Ellen also discuss her Agile Product Planning method, best practices in the area of product management, and effective decision making methods with product management within your organization.

 

Show Notes

  • A working definition of product management (1:15)
  • The product lifecycle (1:45)
  • Answering the question, “What’s my product?” (8:30)
  • “Outside-in” thinking over “inside-out” (11:30)
  • Ways to address product production backlogs (15:33)
  • Managing the work vs. the product (19:19)
  • Engaging a product engineering team (21:58)
  • The role of story in product development (28:35)
  • Product development without a structured value system (33:47)
  • The decision making process in product development (40:49)

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