Session type:

Session duration:
90 minutes

Presented by:

Woody Zuill

Woody Zuill

About this Hands-On

Why does it have to be so difficult?

"So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work."
  Peter Drucker

It seems is clear that there is often a 'right way' or 'best practice' for many tasks in the modern workplace - but is that clarity real, or just a trick that we play on ourselves?

Over time I've found that the biggest successes I've experienced in software development have been the result of finding ways to make it easy for people to excel in their work, and to connect and interact as humans. Many others have noticed this as well.

For example, let's consider this wonderful quote:

"Saying 'Hey everyone, we need to cut costs!' doesn't work nearly as well as 'Let's make our work easier!', and doing that results in lower costs as well."
  Mark Graban

But why is this so elusive? Is it the system of work we follow?

"The system disables performance. For most managers this is hard to see. What they see is people 'behaving badly'."
  John Seddon

Here is what I'd like us to consider:

  • What would it look like if everyone at work was able to contribute their best, and to excel in their work and life?
  • What would the result be if this could be achieved?
  • Can we make our work easier?
  • What would it take to make this a reality?
Is this about systems thinking and values and principles, or strategy, or techniques, or just hiring the right people?

There is a lot of research and writing about systems thinking, teamwork, open workspaces, flow, velocity, biases, assumptions, frameworks. How can this help us? I suspect it isn't the workers, or the managers, or the leaders - and there are some folks who seem to be finding a way that works for them and their workplace - can we all find a path?

This will be an exploratory session where we'll all participate together to try to answer a few of those questions - or at least move towards some answers.

About the Speaker

Woody Zuill - a programmer, senior consultant, trainer and agile coach - has been programming computers for 35+ years. He is a pioneer of the Mob Programming approach to teamwork in software development, and is considered one of the founders of the "#NoEstimates" discussion on Twitter.


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