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rauschen : management   19

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management. - The New York Times
E.B. White once wrote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.

Often our productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.

Then my colleague Jihae Shin and I ran a study in a Korean department store and found that when employees had a highly interesting task, they actually performed worse on their most boring tasks.

One possible reason is what’s called attention residue: Your mind keeps wandering back to the interesting task, disrupting your focus on the boring task. But in an experiment with Americans watching videos and then doing a dull data entry task, we found support for a different mechanism: contrast effects. A fascinating or funny video makes the data entry task seem even more excruciating, the same way a sweet dessert makes a sour vegetable taste yuckier. So if you’re trying to power through a boring task, do it after a moderately interesting one, and save your most exciting task as a reward for afterward. It’s not about time; it’s about timing.

The stumbling block is that productivity and creativity demand opposite attention management strategies. Productivity is fueled by raising attentional filters to keep unrelated or distracting thoughts out. But creativity is fueled by lowering attentional filters to let those thoughts in.
management  productivity  time  Aufmerksamkeit  attention 
11 weeks ago by rauschen
Why do remote meetings suck so much? – Chelsea Troy
What is the unwritten caucus rule?

See if you can spot it in this example:

Latifah spends a few minutes presenting her perspective on something in a meeting. Her points are well-considered, and it’s clear that she has spent time considering this.

When Latifah finishes, Alessandra asks a poignant question the perspective Latifah just shared. Latifah (caucus score 6) has thought long and hard about that question, so she takes a breath and pauses for a moment to compose, in her head, a coherent explanation.

Just at that moment, Todd (caucus score 17) pipes up with his half-baked ramblings on the question. Latifah loses her chance to answer the question she was clearly well-positioned to answer, and the room spends 4 minutes listening to Todd umm and uhh his way to his opinion.*

*I swear to god this example was written months ago and does not reference a particular instance. This situation happens so much that, at any given moment, it looks eerily similar to something you witnessed at work not long ago.

Sure, meetings should have leeway for people to figure out what they think. But Latifah already had a very well-considered answer to this question. Todd did not. Can we agree that, based on that information, Latifah should have gotten precedence to speak?

In caucuses you can’t do that because of the unwritten caucus rule:

The first person to utter something gets the floor.

To wit: if you have something you want to say, you have to stop listening to the person currently speaking and instead focus on when they’re gonna pause or finish so you can leap into that nanosecond of silence and be the first to utter something.

The format of a caucus encourages participants who want to contribute to say more and listen less.

This is interesting because it suggests that there are only so many interruptions that a conversation will tolerate before it’s not a conversation anymore. Keep in mind that all the conversations I observed were formal work meetings where people mostly adhered to a single conversation thread; it is very likely that in a more informal setting, many of the larger groups would have split themselves into smaller groups having multiple conversations. In fact, these results make me wonder if 7 people is the natural tipping point for that kind of splitting in social groups.

Why? Well, jumping in during a caucus requires precise timing: your utterance must be the first utterance after someone finishes speaking without interrupting that speaker. A single second of audio lag can throw off your timing, so you have more people talking over one another and then stopping to figure out who should have or would have talked first.

You also don’t have as much benefit of body language for conveying ideas, and you sometimes have to project further over a poor audio connection or a poor video setup. So you might be more careful to avoid accidentally conveying anger or frustration, which means reviewing your wording before you say things…which means pausing or slowing down. Which can mean losing your place to speak.
meetings  management  remote  communication  team  via:popular 
march 2019 by rauschen
A Good Place to Work – Andreessen Horowitz
Me: “Do you know the difference between a good place to work and a bad
place to work?”
Me: “Let me break it down for you. In good organizations, people can focus
on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good
things will happen for both the company and them personally. It is a true
pleasure to work in an organization such as this. Every person can wake up
knowing that the work they do will be efficient, effective and make a
difference both for the organization and themselves. These things make
their jobs both motivating and fulfilling.
“In a poor organization, on the other hand, people spend much of their time
fighting organizational boundaries, infighting and broken processes. They
are not even clear on what their jobs are, so there is no way to know if
they are getting the job done or not. In the miracle case that they work
ridiculous hours and get the job done, they have no idea what it means for
the company or their careers. To make it all much worse and rub salt in the
wound, when they finally work up the courage to tell management how fucked
up their situation is, management denies there is a problem, then defends
the status quo, then ignores the problem.”
Management  leading  1o1  good  company 
january 2019 by rauschen
Why Growing Past 20 Employees is so Damn Hard (and what you can do about it)
Moving Backwards
Humans hate to have things taken away. We over-react to having something
removed that we used to possess. During this growth, a transition happens
where employees lose some autonomy, some status within the company, some
input into important decisions… it’s hard. It’s incredibly hard. And
usually inevitable.
Echo Chamber of Discontent
Those employees, without the perspective and experience that tells them
this transition is normal and necessary, feel disrespected. They feel ‘the
culture is changing’ — and they start to complain about it. They need to
vent. They talk about how things used to be and how they are now. How
things could be better and why it’s so obvious what needs to be done. Why
leadership is getting it all wrong and ruining the company.
This attitude is quickly adopted by the new hires who are imprinted with
this perspective of the company from their peers. They adopt this attitude
even though they never actually experienced the original conditions!
Before you know it, the leadership is mired in uncertainty, unsure of which
direction to lead. Over time, they’re losing their credibility to lead in
any direction effectively. And employees are rapidly losing loyalty to the
leaders and the mission, feeling increasingly distant from the company.
They become detached and either check out, quit, or start plotting
revolution.
Startup  management  growth  pain  leadership 
january 2019 by rauschen
Steve Blank How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows
What should my CEO have done?
When my CEO was explaining to me how the company needed to change to grow, he was explaining facts while I was processing deeply held feelings. The changes in the organization and my role represented what I was about to lose. And when people feel they’re going to lose something deeply important, it triggers an emotional response because change feels like a threat. It’s not an excuse for my counterproductive behavior, but explains why I acted out like I did.

Loss of Certainty? Startups and VC’s have historically operated on the “I’ll deal with this later” principle in letting early employees know what happens as the company scales. The common wisdom is that no one would want to work like crazy knowing that they might not be the ones to lead as the company grows. I call this the Moses-problem – you work for years to get the tribe to the promised land – but you’re not allowed to cross over. The company needs to give formal recognition for those individuals who brought the tribe to the promised land.

Lessons Learned

VC’s, Founders and CEOs now recognize that startups grow through different stages: Search, Build and Grow
They recognize that employees need different skills at each stage
And that some of the original employees won’t grow into the next stage
But while these changes make rational sense to the CEO and the board, to early employees these changes feel like a real and tangible personal loss
Loss of Status and Identity
Loss of Community
Loss of Autonomy
Loss of Certainty
Loss of Fairness
CEOs need to put processes in places to acknowledge and deal with the real sense of loss
These will keep early employees motivated – and retained
And build a stronger company
For employees, how you handle change will affect the trajectory of your career and possibly your net worth
management  career  startup  business  advice  via:popular 
november 2018 by rauschen
Aaron Longwell | Why Software Development Requires Servant Leaders | Culture Foundry
The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware.

Next comes one whom they love and praise. Next comes one whom they fear. Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

When you are lacking in faith, Others will be unfaithful to you.

The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, “We ourselves have achieved it!“

— Lao Tzu

When considering a project, consider the growth opportunity it represents for each member of your team. Always have an ear trained toward learning what challenges they are ready to take on.

Establish trust with your team by showing you care and looking out for their best interests. Protect them from unreasonable deadlines or unnecessary off-project work. Immediately recognize their achievements. Give them every available tool and advantage to achieve their goals, but do not protect them from the consequences of their own behavior.

Computers are unyielding in their need for precise instructions, and developers spend most of their day talking with them.

This requires active listening during stand ups and other meetings. Great managers hone their “blocker radar” by noticing patterns in status reports. When a developer’s standup is nearly identical today as it was yesterday, they notice; the developer might not be blocked yet, but they definitely didn’t achieve yesterday what they expected, and might be at risk of being blocked soon.

Things often take a meandering path between the customer and the programming task. When developers don’t understand the Why behind a request, they can struggle with motivation or even misinterpret the request and build the wrong thing. As the liaison between the team and the customer, the manager needs to excel at understanding the customer better than anyone else. If you don’t understand why a requirement exists… find out. Put yourself in the customers shoes to understand the underlying needs behind their requests.
management  leadership  programming  agile  culture  via:popular 
august 2018 by rauschen
Team reviews – Marc Hedlund – Medium
Team Gebietes Manager mit seinem vorgesetzten aller zwei Monate
management  review  team  from:Pocket  hedlund  via:popular 
may 2018 by rauschen
A Career Cold Start Algorithm
The first step is to find someone on the team and ask for 30 minutes with them. In that meeting you have a simple agenda:

For the first 25 minutes: ask them to tell you everything they think you should know. Take copious notes. Only stop them to ask about things you don’t understand. Always stop them to ask about things you don’t understand.
For the next 3 minutes: ask about the biggest challenges the team has right now.
In the final 2 minutes: ask who else you should talk to. Write down every name they give you.
career  management  advice  engineering  careers  via:popular 
march 2018 by rauschen
Website von Volker Nawrath - Projektmanagement Überblick
Planen der Projektmanagementphasen
Hiermit meine ich die Metasicht über das Projekt. Die Projektausführung hat auch ihre Phasen, die durch den Projekttyp bzw. Unternehmens- oder Branchenrichtlinien vorgegeben sind. Die Projektmanagementphasen kann man aber als übergeordnete Strukturierung der Arbeit des Projektmanagers sehen. Die IPMA beschreibt die folgenden 4 Phasen des Projektmanagements, die ihrer Meinung nach für jedes Projekt gültig sind:
Vorbereitungsphase
Startphase
Ausführungsphase
Abschlussphase
Auf die Projektmanagementprozesse dieser Phasen gehe ich auf meiner Webseite ein.
Planung es projektspezifischen Managementaufwands
Hier geht es nun darum, dass der Projektmanager innerhalb des vorgegebenen Projektmanagementmodells und bezogen auf die aktuelle Projektphase, die notwendigen Aktivitäten planen muss. Dafür muss er auch die notwendigen Vorgehensweisen und Techniken kennen (z.B. im Werk PM3 der GPM).
Es geht aber zusätzlich darum, dass der Projektmanager an die Projektsituation angepasst plant. Steht z.B. ein Meilenstein an, so hat er die dafür notwendigen Aktivitäten für sich im Vorfeld einzuplanen. Was oft passiert ist, dass der Projektmanager bis zum gegebenen Termin des Meilensteins wartet und sich dann wundert, weshalb das Projekt stehenbleibt. Es bedarf halt der Initiative des Projektleiters, um die aus dem Meilenstein resultieren Aktivitäten zu planen und einzuleiten. Da reicht es nicht aus, einen Plan zu haben. Dieser muss auch vom Projektmanager mit Leben gefüllt werden.
Genau das scheint auch das Problem bei vielen Projekten zu sein. Die Qualität des Projektmanagements wird am Vorhandensein von Plänen und Checklisten gemessen, aber nicht am Handeln des Projektmanagers. Was helfen Pläne, wenn der Projektmanager es versäumt, in den betreffenden Phasen zu prüfen, worauf er proaktiv seine Aufmerksamkeit richten soll. Der Projektleiter muss sich also fragen, was die Herausforderungen in der kommenden Phase sind. Hier einige Beispiele:
Schaffung optimaler Bedingungenfür die Projektausführung, z.B.
Umgang mit den Stakeholdern
Beschaffung von Ressourcen
Risikoidentifikation
etc.
Spezielle Herausforderungenim Rahmen der Projektausführung (= Schaffung Projektgegenstand), z.B.
Definition der Anforderungen
Vermeidung der unkontrollierten Anforderungsänderungen bzw. -erweiterungen
etc.
Und deshalb muss vermieden werden, dass die Planung aus reinem Selbstzweck erfolgt, weil z.B. ein Qualitätsmanager bestimmte Projektplanungsdokumente verlangt. Dann artet die Projektplanung evtl. zu einem formellen Overhead aus, der in keinem Verhältnis zu den anstehenden Aktivitäten / Herausforderungen im Projekt stehen. So besteht dann auch die Gefahr, dass sich der Projektleiter in zu vielen Details verliert und das Gesamtbild aus dem Fokus gerät.
Letztendlich muss der Projektmanager über genügend Flexibilität verfügen, um bei Änderungen, Abweichungen und Krisen schnell reagieren zu können, ohne dass ein Wust an Planungsdokumenten überarbeitet werden muss.
Beurteilung des ausgeführten Projektmanagements
Zur Arbeit des Projektmanagers gehört auch, dass seine Arbeit, d.h. sein initierten Managementprozessen im nachhinein auf ihren Erfolg bzw. ihr Ergebnis überprüft werden. Ein Grund dafür ist, die Organisation / das Unternehmen in die Lage zu versetzen, aus Projekten für die Zukunft zu lernen. Die Dokumentation der Beurteilung bietet dafür einen systematischen Ansatz.
Die dafür übliche Vorgehensweise ist:
Dokumentation der Arbeit des Projektmanagers
Durchführen eines Assessments über das ausgeführte Projektmanagement
Überprüfen der tatsächlich eingetretenen Ergebnisse
Dokumentation der Ergebnisse
Entsprechende Anpassung der Projektmanagementprozesse für zukünftige Projekte
Projekt  Management  IT  Übersicht 
december 2017 by rauschen
Was ist Projektmanagement – Inspiriert von IPMA – Volker Nawraths Blog
Planen der Projektmanagementphasen
Hiermit meine ich die Metasicht über das Projekt. Die Projektausführung hat auch ihre Phasen, die durch den Projekttyp bzw. Unternehmens- oder Branchenrichtlinien vorgegeben sind. Die Projektmanagementphasen kann man aber als übergeordnete Strukturierung der Arbeit des Projektmanagers sehen. Die IPMA beschreibt die folgenden 4 Phasen des Projektmanagements, die ihrer Meinung nach für jedes Projekt gültig sind:
Vorbereitungsphase
Startphase
Ausführungsphase
Abschlussphase
Auf die Projektmanagementprozesse dieser Phasen gehe ich auf meiner Webseite ein.
Planung es projektspezifischen Managementaufwands
Hier geht es nun darum, dass der Projektmanager innerhalb des vorgegebenen Projektmanagementmodells und bezogen auf die aktuelle Projektphase, die notwendigen Aktivitäten planen muss. Dafür muss er auch die notwendigen Vorgehensweisen und Techniken kennen (z.B. im Werk PM3 der GPM).
Es geht aber zusätzlich darum, dass der Projektmanager an die Projektsituation angepasst plant. Steht z.B. ein Meilenstein an, so hat er die dafür notwendigen Aktivitäten für sich im Vorfeld einzuplanen. Was oft passiert ist, dass der Projektmanager bis zum gegebenen Termin des Meilensteins wartet und sich dann wundert, weshalb das Projekt stehenbleibt. Es bedarf halt der Initiative des Projektleiters, um die aus dem Meilenstein resultieren Aktivitäten zu planen und einzuleiten. Da reicht es nicht aus, einen Plan zu haben. Dieser muss auch vom Projektmanager mit Leben gefüllt werden.
Genau das scheint auch das Problem bei vielen Projekten zu sein. Die Qualität des Projektmanagements wird am Vorhandensein von Plänen und Checklisten gemessen, aber nicht am Handeln des Projektmanagers. Was helfen Pläne, wenn der Projektmanager es versäumt, in den betreffenden Phasen zu prüfen, worauf er proaktiv seine Aufmerksamkeit richten soll. Der Projektleiter muss sich also fragen, was die Herausforderungen in der kommenden Phase sind. Hier einige Beispiele:
Schaffung optimaler Bedingungenfür die Projektausführung, z.B.
Umgang mit den Stakeholdern
Beschaffung von Ressourcen
Risikoidentifikation
etc.
Spezielle Herausforderungenim Rahmen der Projektausführung (= Schaffung Projektgegenstand), z.B.
Definition der Anforderungen
Vermeidung der unkontrollierten Anforderungsänderungen bzw. -erweiterungen
etc.
Und deshalb muss vermieden werden, dass die Planung aus reinem Selbstzweck erfolgt, weil z.B. ein Qualitätsmanager bestimmte Projektplanungsdokumente verlangt. Dann artet die Projektplanung evtl. zu einem formellen Overhead aus, der in keinem Verhältnis zu den anstehenden Aktivitäten / Herausforderungen im Projekt stehen. So besteht dann auch die Gefahr, dass sich der Projektleiter in zu vielen Details verliert und das Gesamtbild aus dem Fokus gerät.
Letztendlich muss der Projektmanager über genügend Flexibilität verfügen, um bei Änderungen, Abweichungen und Krisen schnell reagieren zu können, ohne dass ein Wust an Planungsdokumenten überarbeitet werden muss.
Beurteilung des ausgeführten Projektmanagements
Zur Arbeit des Projektmanagers gehört auch, dass seine Arbeit, d.h. sein initierten Managementprozessen im nachhinein auf ihren Erfolg bzw. ihr Ergebnis überprüft werden. Ein Grund dafür ist, die Organisation / das Unternehmen in die Lage zu versetzen, aus Projekten für die Zukunft zu lernen. Die Dokumentation der Beurteilung bietet dafür einen systematischen Ansatz.
Die dafür übliche Vorgehensweise ist:
Dokumentation der Arbeit des Projektmanagers
Durchführen eines Assessments über das ausgeführte Projektmanagement
Überprüfen der tatsächlich eingetretenen Ergebnisse
Dokumentation der Ergebnisse
Entsprechende Anpassung der Projektmanagementprozesse für zukünftige Projekte
Projekt  Management  IT  Planung 
december 2017 by rauschen
The Senior Engineer’s Guide to Helping Others Make Decisions – Geeky
In the third conversation, the senior engineer asks the junior engineer what the problem is they’re trying to solve – this approach is the Socratic method.
Other good questions to ask are:

What are the top three solutions you investigated before you settled on this one?
Why did you reject the others?
Do any of them have merits which we should investigate later?
What could go wrong with your solution?
How maintainable is it if you’re not available?
What data do you have to back up your assumptions?
engineering  leadership  management  mentoring  via:popular 
november 2017 by rauschen
The One Method I’ve Used to Eliminate Bad Tech Hires - Mattermark
To hire or not to hire that is the question
Indicators you should hire this person:

During the meeting on Friday they asked a lot of clarifying questions.
The questions were thought out and made sure that nothing was misunderstood.
The solution addressed your problem using the technologies and techniques you prescribed.
They read the entire problem and followed the instructions correctly (i.e. if the problem said use PostgreSQL, they didn’t give you queries that only work on Oracle DBs).
Indicators you shouldn’t hire this person:

They refuse to do the project because “someone will hire me without it”.
Didn’t complete the project correctly.
They can’t articulate their design/coding decisions and why they were made.
They get overly defensive when presenting their solution.
hiring  management  interview  Bewerbung  Bewerbungsgespräch  via:popular 
november 2016 by rauschen
Tom Bartel
But your team’s productivity is your productivity. Your productivity as a manager is measured as the productivity of your team. This is why, above, I wrote that sitting at your desk can be detrimental to your productivity. If you spend your time coding at your desk when you should be caring for your people’s problems, their - and, hence, your - productivity will decrease.
I think the key principle is putting your team’s productivity first, instead of your own, individual productivity. Remember, you are a communication hub and a multiplier. Think about what is best for others, and think about the things you can delegate vs. the things that only you can do.
Liste mit guten Tipps für Aufgaben von Managern
Management  Projektmanagment 
august 2016 by rauschen
The Keys to Scaling Yourself as a Technology Leader | First Round Review
There’s no rhyme or reason to when things get decided, when to shift strategy, when to reevaluate. You have no idea how much time and efficiency you could save by creating regular cadences around these actions. Cadences create alignment and transparency. It accelerates execution and — even though it sounds like additional process — actually ends up slashing the number of meetings and checkins needed. There are a few areas where the most momentum can be gained, and — incidentally — where the vast majority of startups run into trouble.

Finally, consider what you would do differently next time. “The way I like to ask this question is, ‘What weren’t we doing that we should start doing next time?” Pisoni says. “What were we doing that we should stop doing? What should we continue doing?” Those are the few, salient ideas you want to capture from everything you do.
leadership  startups  management  Organisation  via:popular 
november 2015 by rauschen

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