As a leader, one of my goals for my team members is to have them think end to end about what we are building. In my #DreamTeam, everyone in the team would have a macro view of what we are building, the business impact of the project, and how the user story or the unit of work they are working on fits in the big picture.
Avoiding re-work and defects: If the team doesn’t know the answer to the question: “Are we building the right product?”, they can’t possibly answer the question: “Are we building the product?”. The product manager should not be the only one who thinks about what we are building. If the team understands the product, the spikes will be created earlier in the process, we will have fewer surprises, and there are fewer possibilities of re-work.
Motivation and purpose: Most of the time, as developers, we tend to focus more on data and lose the focus on what and why we are building something. It gets harder as we move to remote and distributed teams. Knowing the purpose and impact motivates everyone to work towards the common goal.
Ownership: If developers are missing the big picture and write tests for just a small part of the feature (unit testing), they don’t feel empowered to own the product. As we run into late discoveries of missed requirements, this creates a culture of “hot potato”, where the blame is passed around. With big picture thinking, as developers, we own the code and defects, but as a cross-functional product team (Product, Engineering, and Design), the team will be empowered to own the feature.
Collaboration: There is a multiplier effect when everyone thinks about connecting the dots and how their part of the puzzle piece fits perfectly to complete the puzzle. Everyone would contribute more, and it evolves the culture of design thinking within the team.
If you agree that everyone on the team should be thinking end-to-end, the next step would be to actually make them do it. As with any organizational change, it’s easier said than done. It’s especially not easy if you have developers who would love to jump to hackathon-style coding. Here are a few ideas about how you can sell it to your team.
At the start of the project, ensure that the team gets the whole picture. Foster a culture of psychological safety to discuss various scenarios. Give credit when a team member comes up with a scenario that no one else thought of and collaborates with the product team to find a solution.
When communicating the urgency of the project, try telling the team the reason behind it. It also cultivates customer empathy. Example: Releasing this feature by September would help our largest customer to go live and help us bring $10m of additional revenue to our company. Hint: Developers like specific data, and numbers.
Some might say that knowing the big picture could be a distraction to the developer. I beg to differ. Instead of getting lost in the data, the developers will take pride in knowing where their work fits in the whole product and feel more connected.
Every developer wants to see their code in production. They get real gratification in seeing their feature working. Ask the question: What good is it to have a beautiful, modular, reusable code which eventually is not used by any of our customers?
I have seen that big picture thinking tends to avoid burn out. Collaborating more with the cross-functional team makes the team feel accomplished rather than tired.
If you see that someone is missing the whole picture and are jumping to development or taking it lightly, which causes issues, ask the developer to whiteboard their design. Ask more open-ended questions on how all parts or the entire feature would work.
They will start to realize that sometimes it’s good to slow down to go faster. Bring this as part of the retrospective meetings. Most importantly, share the results. When the feature goes live, get the metrics about the usage, revenue gained, or any business impact.
It takes time to change your team to think big picture, but when you get there, it would totally be worth it.
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So I am a real estate professional, but I've been laid off more times than I'd like to admit...
I have my Masters in Real Estate development and have been working in real estate for over 10 years, most recently as a real estate analyst. However, I have either been laid off from every job I loved, or looked over for any form of accolade, promotion, or (for the places I've temp'ed for) a permanent position. The only jobs I ever get called for now are call centers, and customer service. Mostly positions that you only need a high school diploma for. With all the education bills and living expenses, I need about 3x more than what they want to pay me.
While at my last position, my husband and I decided to start a family. He just got a great promotion and I was at my highest pay job. We thought we were pretty settled. We became pregnant, but I got very sick. I had to spend a little over a month in the hospital, had a couple seizures, couldn't walk or stand on my own. It was really bad. Doctors recommended I take another couple months off to regain my strength. After I was well enough to sit at a computer for a few hours, I attempted to come back to work.
The day after I started, the company had a huge layoff, and I was apart of that first round. Now, don't get me wrong, I completely understand why I was chosen and I bear no ill will to the company or the people I worked with. I just took this as a sign to continue to get better, and focus on my little one. I did attempt to get other jobs, but once I told them I was pregnant, demeanors changed. I was told to, once again, focus on the baby and try again after she was born. I get that they hare hiring because they need someone right now, not someone who will need to be out for weeks at a time.
My little star was born in October 2022 and she is doing great. I have stayed home with her for a year and Im trying to get back into the field but, Im only getting hits for jobs that are paying half of what I was making. The thing is, I'm willing to take a lower pay if I can get my foot in the door, but I'm not even getting hits in my field. The reasons I'm getting is that I don't have enough experience, or there was someone who is more qualified. ( Which seems to be the story of my life).
I am using AI to tailor my resume to every job I apply for, so I don't think thats the problem. Im starting to think maybe I'm in the wrong field, but I can't afford any major education right now. Maybe the universe is telling me to pivot directions, but to where? Im running out of my savings, and bills still need to be paid.
I'm desperate for help or advice. I feel so discouraged, and I know I need help. I just don't know what to ask for. How do I get out of this decade long rut?
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Offered consultant contract, can I lose severance payments?
My previous company is supposed to pay me 12 weeks of severance and even though it's been over 13 weeks that I have been laid off there are still 3 remaining payment cycles due to the processing by payroll, x number of days after executing the separation agreement etc. In the contract it states that if I obtain new work by the same corporate parent, than my severance payments will cease. I have been offered a freelance position by a sister company where I used to work to be paid hourly for hours worked. If the contract is dated now but payment wouldn't begin until later this month or even next month, would my severance payments be in jeopardy? Don't want to lose my money!
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What is the SNARKY STUFF that is being posted here?
There was a thread yesterday that exploded into a fireball of hate, it was about a woman who's 29 weeks pregnant, and not sure she'll return after maternity leave.
I'm glad to see that many comments were deleted by admins, but my GAWD, the hate and snark and foul language that was running rampant is HURTING our community.
Please, everyone, think TWICE before you click "post" on these replies.
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I am an executive in the health and wellness space looking for the next move in my career.
My expertise is in program development and execution, health coaching, strategic planning, community building, and partnership development.
Currently, I serve as the Co-Founder and Senior Director of Community Engagement at We Are Here, an AI-driven platform ensuring equitable access to resources for those impacted by cancer.
I am looking to remain in the health and wellness space. I get particularly excited about missions disrupting our current healthcare landscape and organizations committed to health equity.
If anyone has organizations and/or individuals in mind that are hiring or would be beneficial for me to speak with, can you let me know?
Thank you so much!
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Seeking a career advisor/coach
Can anyone recommend an advisor you’ve personally worked with? I’m in a situation that could be leveraged to my advantage but I need expert advice. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Culture of the VA?
I just got an email for an interview for an leadership/administrative role at the VA! My skills/experience seem like a match, but I'm a bit concerned about culture. My impression (based on little to nothing) is that the culture would be very structured, hierarchical, and formal. Has anyone made this transition? Any experiences to share? Questions specific to the VA I should ask? (I'm also reaching out to my local network to see if I can find folks to talk to.)