Can't we all just get on?

:: The names have been changed to protect the innocent

I blogged a while ago on professionalism and received some interesting comments, some encouraging, some less so.

The the other day I was having a deep conversation with a colleague who was upset at having being told he was rather too intense. This got me back to thinking about the best teams I’ve worked in and what the relationships were like there.

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Agile != Flexible

We had a retrospective today, just a small one post iteration. Sam Tunnicliffe (a very smart cookie, picking up .Net far faster than I did) suggested that this Agile approach, with its focus on communication, doing the next most important thing, relying on your team mates for pairing in order to write better code and checking in and our frequently doesn’t gel with flexible working and home working.

I agree with him, but I find it interesting that the two companies I’ve worked for in an Agile way both have a strong focus on other “great place to work” concerns.

We talked a bit about the opportunity to “spike” things on your own and bring back that learning, but that often doesn’t fit as the highest priority piece of work, so is more “something to do”.

I’m fairly biased – I prefer to be in the office, with two small children and another on the way I don’t have the luxury of being able to sit down quietly; I get jumped on by about 3 stone of energetic child. Nor do I have a great answer to the problem. It may prove interesting to see who decides they want to work from home and who decides they must communicate.

Bids & Staffing

I’ve had two calls recently from people looking to bring in resource for MS CMS that seem to tie up. One was from an organisation who needed to line up resource in order to show they could do the work. The second, a few days later, came from another organisation who had just won the bid and needed to find resource quickly – before it became obvious to the client they had none.

This is a really extreme case of JIT resourcing, and strikes me as very high risk. It also suggests that extending the idea of Grey Matter versus Grey Hair to your bid selection process makes sense.