Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don't work for jerks 2...

One of the reasons people pursue agile approaches is due to the culture that is found within it. Instead of treating people like resources (cattle), we treat them as trusted team mates. Instead of focusing on a waterfall GANTT chart and controlling impossible things, we focus on communicating with the customer and setting realistic expectations.

This is reflected in the agile manifesto.

It is reflected in Norm Kerth's directive about retrospectives:
Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.
It is reflected in Seth Godin's comments about not working for jerks, and Lynne Ralston's things to look for (prior blog post).

But I have come up with my own list. I like it and I wanted to share. So here is Kevin E. Schlabach's work environment directive-

A good work environment is a place where:
  • everyone knows that we are all fairly compensated (removing distraction and providing stability)
  • my peers and I share a pride in our work and take accountability for what we deliver
  • our teams are respected and empowered (education and training is accessible, impediments are removed, feedback is responded to, there is a low level of politics/process/red tape)
allowing me and my team members to focus on:
  • helping the company make money (profit, not revenue)
  • keeping the customer exceptionally satisified (insuring long term viability)
  • creating business value for the users (sometimes different than happy customers)
  • staying prepared for the future (long-term sustainability, not short term money)
A good work environment is NOT a place where:
  • people work through checklists of tasks
  • meet the minimum requirements of their job
  • are compensated unfairly
  • therefore forcing them to constantly be on the lookout for better opportunities or ways to get ahead of their peers
What are your thoughts? Do you have your own version of this?

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