Current working methods are limiting and require certain kind of developers. Companies let a lot of talent to table with bad leading style. The current most popular management styles have become old because of things like remote working. Lankinen’s Developer Leading (LDL) tries to fix these problems and be flexible to constantly changing environments. In stead of giving the company all rights to choose the working style LDL tries to give this choice for the developers.
Right now a good developers are team players, local, and interested of meetings. This doesn’t fit to all programmers and this is why a lot talent is left to the table. The big idea behind LDL is to use people who are hidden in their houses or foreign countries. These people are great developers and they should be used too. Of course traditional developers also enjoy LDL because it is flexible and they can work pretty much the same way they are used to work or think something totally new.
Simply, the idea of LDL is that project(s) will be handled in a way that everyone can do anything as long as their work makes progress. The idea was inspired by how open source projects work. In open source projects even thousands of people can contribute to a project without proper communication, groups, or managing. In LDL, company has two groups of people “monitors” and “developers”. Monitors’ job is to create tasks and monitor people’s work. They are kind of like product managers. They have meetings every week where they review the current tasks in task board and add new. They give some initial value for each task although the real value is determined by market. All other developers are just “developers” and they can choose tasks from the job board which they can do in groups or alone. They can also suggest new tasks which will be reviewed by monitors.
This is the most important tool to execute LDL. Job board is a list of works which contain description, (maybe tags for better filtering), but most importantly the value. Each task is so small that it can be easily done max one day. The value is calculated from the time it’s been on the board and the initial value monitors defined. The idea is that if monitors give too small value (which is often recommended) it will increase the value over time until it reaches the point where the difficulty matches with the real value. This way markets define the final value for each task making them more accurate.
Monitors can assign tasks to the board but lock them until a certain date or event. This way for example they can add task called “publish the app to App Store” and lock it before all the other tasks have been done. It’s also important to define the right value increase over time. This is probably something that needs to be adjusted for different tasks but the speed probably should be fast enough that the task will be done in a week. (I’m going to develop this software in the future)
As pointed above each task should, in theory, contain the value that matches the difficulty level. This way it’s easy to compare employees with each other at some level. Some things affect this like how many employees enjoy doing certain thing (like tests might get higher value because there are less people interested in those) and sometimes the tasks might take a lot more than expected. Moving average of a couple of previous months although should be pretty accurate estimation of how much each employee worked. This way monitors can pay attention to people who seem to get less points and try to understand why this happens. Maybe they just started and needs some time to learn the tools or maybe they are just bad and should be fired.
Tests and Deploying
Not all developers like doing tests. That is why it’s important to separate tests and the implementation. Company can decided how to make these. For example, they can lock the task until the test has been done.
Deploying code changes a lot based on company. LDL doesn’t take a stand to any direction. If company wants to peer review the codes before deploying it can be easily done with task board or monitors. I personally prefer Amazon’s style of having small components that work independently and communicate with APIs. This way mistakes doesn’t have huge effects.
When a company hires new employees it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First of all monitors should be aware of what kind of tasks don’t have much developers working and the new employees should fit into those tasks. This way a company can maintain diversity among the people and get all tasks done.
The second thing to pay attention is to make sure each person is supervised either actively or passively. Active supervising means that monitors give feedback about the code, work, and other things the way typical managers do. Passive supervising on the other hand means that each employee’s Git commits will be monitored to make sure they really do something. This works for some people but in general people like having manager/coach/mentor like authors talked in “Trillion Dollar Coach”.
LDL will bring a lot of new kinds of benefits to the company. First of all there is no sprints, meetings, planning, or any this kind of stuff some people hate. These might help others to be more productive and it should not be restricted. These kind of people can group up with others and work the way they decide. They can have a group of 5 people and use scrum the same way people do nowadays in companies.
LDL makes it possible to work alone without any connection to other co-workers. This way remote workers can be easily integrated into the company without any modifications. Every developer start by taking a task from the task board. They of course pay attention to the value because their goal is to maximize their own score. After they finish the task they just take the next task. This way they always have something to do without the problem of planning. They can also choose the tasks they like the most or see over valued. In theory every employee is working at their maximum level at the tasks they are the best.
This like all systems have problems. Employees might find ways to take advantage of the system to look better in scores. The goal of course is to make employees do more and offer a way to easily track their progress. It hopefully helps employees to find ways to improve their productivity like maybe they get more done by working in local coffee shop instead of an office.
I’m happy to hear feedback about this. This is how I see it but I’m always open to learn more and see things from different angles. I will update this when I learn more and change my opinions.
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