19-20 April 2018

15Hatfields, London

Crafting a sense of purpose in agile development teams

Session type:
Case Study

Session duration:
60 minutes

Presented by:

Aidan Casey

Wavebreak Media

About this Case Study

People are the most important asset in any company  - great software products are created by great teams. So how do you go about building an engaged, high performing product team at your company?

The first thing you need to understand is that engaged teams are made up of engaged, motivated individuals. In order to build a high performing team we should first understand what motivates individuals and build from there.

It’s not about money - good people will leave if they are underpaid, but once you pay competitively it is not money that motivates someone to go above and beyond everyday.

And it’s not about deadlines and pressure - there is plenty of evidence to show that knowledge workers respond particularly badly to being rushed. A Harvard Business School study called “Creativity Under the Gun” examined the daily diary entries of more than 9,000 people working on projects that required high levels of creativity, and measured their ability to innovate under different levels of time pressure.

It turned out that workers were least productive when they were constantly required to fight the clock. While working under extreme time pressure, they came up with fewer fresh ideas, not just on the day of the deadline but in the days that followed. Tight deadlines and creating a sense of urgency lose potency quickly and kill product teams.

It’s about autonomy, mastery and purpose - Dan Pink’s excellent book Drive explores what motivates people in detail and he suggests that the secret to high performance and home and at work boils down to 3 things: the deeply human need to direct our own lives (autonomy), to learn and create new things (mastery), and to do better by ourselves and our world (purpose).

In order to create a high performing team you need to embed these 3 virtues in it.

In this session we'll examine a number of practical techniques you can apply to create a high performing agile team.

About the Speaker

Aidan Casey is the Chief Technology Officer at Wavebreak Media, where he leads the development of DesignWizard, the company’s online graphic design software. As CTO he is not only responsible for driving the company’s technology vision, he helps shape the company’s culture through lean and agile principles.

He believes strongly that the first step to creating highly effective teams is building trust. Aidan has over 15 years' experience working with leading global brands performing leadership roles in agile transformation, architecture and software delivery. He is an international speaker and recognised by Microsoft as a Microsoft Azure MVP as a reflection of his cloud computing expertise, a willingness to share it and his community leadership.


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