Session type:

Case Study

Presented by:

Giorgio Sironi

eLife Sciences

Session time:

29 Jun 12:00 12:30

Session duration:

30 minutes

About the session

Peek into the experience of a team formed a few days into lockdown, that started out as a fully-remote ensemble: the whole team working on one screen, at the same time, on the same project.

Their definition of progress changed from individuals opening pull requests to a one-piece flow where code is owned collectively, there are no waiting times for review, nor dark alleys everyone is scared to touch.

Participant takeaways:

  • How keeping everyone involved can be a leverage to allow daily delivery never to stop; it aligns collective code ownership with the Lean principles of avoiding hand-offs and task switching, and amplifies everyone's learning.
  • How an ensemble environment is ideal for leaders (not just managers) to observe the group dynamics, and understand who needs help and when. It's very difficult to care for team members in contexts where they disappear into writing code in a room, alone.
  • How energy levels vary non-intuitively in a group formed by 2 to 5 people, as opposed to working alone, and how they can be sustained throughout days and weeks.
  • How fully remote work is perfectly compatible with ensemble programming, and lets team members contribute from their own setups into a digital world free of constraints such as having the right colour sticky note.
  • What range of skills are we looking for that differ from the purely technical: communication, collaboration, and behaviours that aid psychological safety.

Themes: Ensemble programming, Remote work, Cross-functional Team, Lean

About the speaker(s)