Software engineering

Influencing software quality as a Scrum Master

The quality of the software is a responsibility of the entire team. The Product Owner is responsible for building the right thing. Ensuring we build the thing right is the main responsibility of the development team. Scrum Masters serve a key role in achieving both aspects. A Scrum Master serves the team by coaching members in self-management and cross-functionality, helping them focus on creating high-value increments, and removing impediments. Sounds great, and abstract, so let us dive in with some practical examples. 

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The value of sensemaking

Discovering and interpreting beliefs in groups Ever been part of a conversation that seemed to revolve around the same issue over and over again? Or a meeting where some people keep diving into details and others want to stay more high-level? As consultants, we often come across these kinds of sessions. We noticed that these situations can lead to tension, slowing down and (healthy) conflict. Over time, we learned how to tackle these situations by using sensemaking, a technique that offers us the right insights to guide a workshop or decision-making.

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The dysfunctional effects of metrics

KPIs, OKRs, SLIs, SLOs. Just a few metrics that potentially can be used within an organization. In recent years, an increasing emphasis has been placed on measuring and monitoring results. An understandable movement and one I wholeheartedly support. Often, I am helping organizations to become more aware of the impact they create by measuring the impact of their actions. Does it mean that metrics are simply great? Well not necessarily. Metrics have dysfunctional effects. Take for example the Cobra Effect.

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Thoughts on organizing architecture

When being part of an enterprise, you will meet different architects on any given day. The first one introduces itself as a solution architect, the other calls itself the enterprise architect, and they both mention a domain architect. It might feel like different names for the same thing, and perhaps even a bigger question, do we even need all of these different architects? Should the team not be able to make all of these architectural decisions by themselves?

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Three Leadership Responsibilities

Last week I wrote about the – to me – incomplete Architect Vacancy. The reactions I have received were amazing to read. I am incredibly happy that many people agree with the need for socio-technical characteristics in an architect. Some reactions also, rightfully, commented that it is something that is assessed during interview processes. For example, by asking and evaluating experiences of the candidates. Although I genuinely applaud that these things are asked, I do find it isn’t enough. And after some tinkering, I found out what was bothering me.

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The incomplete architect vacancy

I find LinkedIn a great medium. Of course, It has its downfalls, but I check it out a couple of times a day. Often, LinkedIn is suggesting me a career opportunity or I have a message from a recruiter. Although I am not looking for a new job, I am really happy at Xebia currently, I do find it interesting to read the vacancy. Especially when it is concerning an Enterprise Architect role, as they make me raise my eyebrows every time. To me, something is fundamentally wrong in the characteristics companies are looking for in an Architect. Before I...

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