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A Tale of Two Teams

Dana Jones

agile
leadership
teams

11:05 - 11:55 - Inspire

Our team is made up of a real mixed bag of developers and product managers.

  • Our company is based in New York, but most engineers work remotely.
  • We have developers on staff that have a range of experience levels.
  • Our team includes people in four time zones and two continents.
  • Teams include an assortment of staff engineers and contractors.
  • We run the gamut from chatty and extroverted to quiet and introverted.
  • The nature of the work on each team is very different -- from a long-overdue Rails upgrade, to incorporating internationalization, to addressing bugs and adding features.

One size does not fit all! It became quickly apparent to us that we needed to adapt our meetings to our people. Everything from scheduling, structure, leadership, and goals for each meeting needed to be carefully considered to add cohesion and remove distraction.

This talk will:

  • distill what we learned along the way,
  • share tips for recognizing meetings that have lost their purpose,
  • offer suggestions for different types of retrospectives to fit different teams,
  • propose a checklist for sprint kickoffs, and hopefully
  • ignite more conversation around adapting processes to people instead of the other way around.

Our team works primarily in Ruby on Rails, but the information I want to share applies to any development team, working in any tech stack.