Beware “Hybrid Conflict”

This article has been bubbling under for a while, triggered when I stumbled across this Twitter thread making some predictions about the near future of work. The ideas resonated with me, but this tweet in particular caught my eye: " what companies think hybrid work is and what workers think it is are two different things " I am already seeing evidence that this prediction is coming true. " Hybrid Working " is such a loaded term that misunderstandings are inevitable. Yet it is still being sold as the “best of both worlds” (office and remote) even though it is likely to become the worst of both unless companies handle things very carefully indeed. As the pandemic restrictions are eased, this will become more and more important. Before looking at how best to handle hybrid working patterns, what is it exactly? And what might the options be? "Hybrid" seems to be best defined as some people working in the office some of the time. This definition is fine, but i

On remote work and illness. And squirrels.

I am sitting here, in front of my desk in my home office, nursing the effects of an ongoing coronavirus party through my system that has knocked me flat for a while. It is quite remarkable how much it affected me - a triple-vaccinated and reasonably fit individual. I can only assume that without the little bit of help from medical science I could have been in serious bother. So please get vaccinated! But I digress... The downtime has given me some time to muse upon the nature of remote work and being ill first-hand. Here are my thoughts jotted down between periods of brain fog (necessarily short - my current concentration span is still roughly... OH LOOK, A SQUIRREL!) If you don't feel well enough to go into a physical office, do not "go into work" remotely The wonderful thing about remote work is that you cannot infect coworkers with your germs. You can cough and splutter all you want over your own keyboard and screens ( ewwww! ), but it is not going to send the entire t

Improve your online presence with these four rules

TL;DR Everyone brings a piece of the  online  meeting environment with them. So: Be heard. Make sure your microphone is adequate, and picking you up clearly. Don't mute unless you have to. Be seen. Use a decent camera, with good lighting, and have it on by default unless there is a reason not to. Turn off self view. Be aware of your square. Watch your background, and learn how to stay in shot. D on't be afraid to check your setup  with a colleague, and get feedback.

Updated: Good, Bad, Puzzling Retrospective

By popular is a blow-by-blow run through of the simple 60 minute 'Good, Bad, Puzzling' retrospective format that I use. Have fun using it.  Good, Bad, Puzzling Retrospective Introductions and checkin (10 minutes) Start off the retrospective by getting people to “check in”. That is, invite them to speak early on, focussing on what is being reviewed. This makes them feel like they are part of the meeting, and implicitly invites them to actively participate. I normally use something like: Describe the last Sprint in 3 words If the last Sprint was a Star Trek/Star Wars/South Park character, which one would it be? What colour was the last Sprint? ...and so on.... Get creative! Once everyone has checked in, you need to create a “safe zone” where the Sprint can be discussed without blame. Everyone needs to agree that everyone in the Sprint always acted as best they could under the circumstances at the time, and to accept that anything th

Saving the SOLID posters for Posterity

Back in 2009, a fine developer for Los Techies produced a set of mocked up motivational posters representing the SOLID principles . She was even kind enough to release them under a Creative Commons license. But as is the way of all things, internet rust has set in and the images have been unlinked from the original article during an archive exercise - but they live on throughout the internet! I have collected the images here - and would like to say " Thank you, River Lynn Bailey ". This is a great, amusing and educational resource for everyone.

Interviewed by Agility By Nature

It has finally happened! My first podcast interview, ever! I was interviewed by Ian Gill from  Agility By Nature . I have known Ian for a fair few years now, having worked together and shared a few beers on several occasions! We talked about all kinds of things, from my early tinkering with agile methods, through to where I think the industry is heading, and a lot in-between too, some of possibly (hopefully) a little controversial....  Have a listen, and please do ask questions in the comments. AgilityByNature · An Agile Audience with Chris Pitts and Agility by Nature

Help us to help you

So here we are,  in the umpteenth week of the coronavirus pandemic. The UK scientists and WHO are saying that we are in this for the long haul - at least a year, maybe longer, perhaps forever if we cannot develop an effective vaccine. I have already written about how this is affecting people . This post is not about that. But something that is become blatantly obvious is that the ways we work are changing . Which means  companies and people need to change . And change is hard . So what I would like to know is: How can we help you here at Thirsty Bear Solutions?  What kind of help do you need to make these possibly seismic changes? As a company, we have a broad set of skills. Which means we need your help to help you. So would you please consider filling a short questionnaire that will guide us to where we need to focus our efforts? Thank you in advance.  Helping us help you questionnaire