How we take decisions without managers and teamleads

We don’t have any middle management at sipgate. There is still a boss – bosses even, plural – and we look to them for strategy and long term planning, but they are not involved in day to day decisions. In our ~12 product teams no one is the boss of anyone else. This often prompts …

What is an Agile Mindset? Six years later

At the end of 2011 I wrote about what makes an agile mindset (in my opinion) and even made a fancy infographic about it: It concentrates on how people think about their colleagues as humans vs. cogs; whether they have a growth vs. a fixed mindset; iterative product development vs. extensive planning and more. These …

How did you introduce pair programming at sipgate?

Recently I’ve been presenting our Work Hacks at a couple of places and talking about pairing up as part of it. Not only do we pair program but we also mob program and pair up across roles: Dev and UX designer, PO and customer support, UX and PO, dev and customer support, dev and … …

Demo time – How to stay up to date with 10+ teams

[This post first appeared in German.] At sipgate, we’re more than 10 teams that work (more or less) independently of each other. Each team is self-organizing. Together we deliver more than 20 updates of our services to our customers. That makes it hard to stay up to date with all improvements. That’s why the Scrum-prescribed …

How teams form and break up when there are no managers

“Self-Selecting Teams” and “Dynamic Reteaming” are a big topic in my timeline thanks to the books by Sandy Mamoli & David Mole and the upcoming book by Heidi Helfand respectively. This made me relize that I’ve written about the composition of our teams over the course of the years but not about how people join …

Letting go of decisions

When building self-organizing teams, one of the hardest things for their (former?) managers is to pass power on to the team. Power as in “the possibility, ability and duty to take decisions”. If you pass a decision on, you have to let go of your “solution”. There are infinite solutions out there. Don’t expect the …

Inspiring Organisation: Premium Cola

Recently I got to see a talk by Uwe Lübbermann. He is the “central coordinator” of Premium Cola. He founded and runs Premium Cola with a so-called “operating system”, which he has already exported to other companies. Well, companies is not really the right term, because they all work very differently from what is considered …

Ritual Dissent

At sipgate we sometimes are too nice to each other. That might sound like a luxurious “problem” if you’ve have to weather a tough company climate, but it can indeed be a problem. As in, we don’t shoot down ideas that aren’t that well thought out. Or we proceed with projects that only one person is …