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March 30, 2008


Hey Mike,

Very interesting top ten. I'm just a bit worried about those people who "don't have time" to read books. What are they doing that's so important? More important than taking a step back and thinking about their own process? Maybe one of your top 10 should be "Take some time to read a book about team dynamics".



Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comment, I agree people that “don’t have time” for reading books are concerning. Obviously they are “not making time” and instead perpetuating their limited views of how to manage teams.

I attended a great presentation by Tim Sanders (author of “Love is the Killer App”) once where he quoted a statistic that project managers read on average 0.78 books per year. That’s not even one book per year – scary! Perhaps by the time some people become PM’s they feel like they have done their “keener, learning stage” of their careers? Regardless of reason PM’s seem to be among the lower continuing-education segment in general, which is worrying.

Obviously many managers work very diligently to refine their skills, I suspect people who read PM blogs and probably the same people that do read lots of books so I am probably not reaching the desired segment here. However, as the career progression cycle continues to shorten and people become PM’s at younger ages, let’s hope we get a higher proportion of managers who do make the time to read about team dynamics.

I also agree that "reading some books on team dynamics" should form part of the "7) Encourage Refelection..." for project managers, good suggestion.

Thanks for reading and your comments, regards

I especially like #7. It is important to be adaptable in your project management. Integrated project management offers just such an opportunity. With technology and innovation, it is possible to become more adaptable. I also think #9 (communications) is also very important.

People, and they way that they interact, are the most important determinants of success on a software development project.
Team should be active participants on your project decisions, not just working on your decisions. People who work together closely in co-located teams will often manage themselves.

The top 10 team practices are alinged with Higher Order needs (Theory Y, Douglas McGregor, 1960s). The assumptions made are that employees are self motivated, ambitious, self-directed and anxious to accept greater responsibilities. Theory Y management style brings our creativity among staff and a Theory Y manager will help remove barriers that prevent employees from achieving full potential.

This are simple but very good 10 points. I like them !

Hi Rajat,

Yes, we use Theory Y approaches to lead and motivate agile teams. It takes some trust to get there, but trusting others opens doors to higher productivity.

Thanks for your comment.

Hi AgileGuru,

I agree teams should self manage and be actively involved in decision making. I wrote this related post on Team Solving last year that might interest you.

Thanks for reading and posting your comment.


Wonderful, common sense plan to help great teams create great products. The philosophy helps to let team members get the most out of themselves.

But it is a two-way street and the team has to produce a product that the organization wants and if it can't do it in the timeframe the organization wants, then at least give and achieve an estimate of completion time and features. I am guessing that swift, quality achievement is the assumed result of the motivational and organizational steps.

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