How Our Engineers Accidentally Defeated The Mythical Man-Month...

...And Found A Way To Make Agile Development Even More Agile

Every engineering leader knows about the Mythical Man-Month -- the wishful idea that a software project can be delivered faster simply by adding more people. We’ve all tried and failed at this. Recently, Cloverpop faced this problem as our engineering team grew faster and faster with each round of funding.

The higher the headcount, the more time each person spends trying to coordinate with everyone else. More questions, more training, more politics, more documentation, more meetings. Especially more meetings. So nobody was more shocked than I was when our per person productivity actually increased after a recent round of hirings. It felt like the software equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. It was magic.

Research Shows Diversity + Inclusion = Better Decision Making At Work

Every day there are more headlines about the challenges of workforce diversity. A focus on diversity often means a focus on hiring, and even with substantial investments of time and money, it takes years to turn the tide for companies with thousands of employees.

New Research: Inclusive Decision Making Increases Performance Of Diverse Global Companies

Cloverpop today published research that reveals how inclusive decision making allows companies, especially tech companies, to use diversity to improve business performance. The study -- lauded by experts and executives -- was based on 566 business decisions made by 184 different business teams in a wide variety of companies over two years. The research found that gender diverse business teams make 25 percent better decisions than all male teams, with this advantage increasing by up to 50 percent when a wide range of ages and geographic diversity are added to team compositions. A free white paper describing the study and resulting recommendations can be downloaded today. A free webinar will be held on Tuesday, September 26, at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET.

Product Managers: Countdown to Transparent Decision Making

Product managers are on the hook to make decisions and build consensus. Nothing is harder. In most organizations, no one reports to product management. The job requires execution by influence. There are many stakeholders: design, development, marketing, and sales, to name a few. And they all have differing needs and priorities.

Effective decision making is critical to success, but most companies treat it as a vague alchemy of charismatic leadership and gut judg

ment mixed with data and analysis, with no systems in place to transparently manage the decision-making process itself.

Since You’re No Steve Jobs: 7 Decision-Making Hacks For Product Managers

Steve Jobs was an iconic product genius. Many product managers want to be like Steve, but they’re not. And that’s not all bad. Aspiring to Steve's amazing product vision is laudable. But luckily most product people are not abusive jerks. This is because unlike Steve Jobs, you are a product manager, not a product tyrant. And as a manager, you understand that people skills matter, that your job is also about helping your product team be insanely great. You can aim higher than Steve.

Build Decisive Work Habits, Start A Decision Log - Free Template!

Do you see any of these decision-making problems at your work?

- Decisions take too long.
- Decisions don't involve the right people.
- Decisions are not data-driven.
- Decisions are not communicated consistently.
- Decision execution fails from poor follow-through.

If so, you not alone. Decision-making mistakes and inefficiencies happen again and again in business, damaging 20% of manager performance, and acting like a boat anchor on about 50% of employee engagement.

HBR: 7-Step Checklist for Faster, Better Business Decision Making

Decision making. It’s the bread and butter of managers and executives, who make about three billion decisions each year. Indeed, Bain & Company research found that decision effectiveness is 95 percent correlated with financial performance, while the UK Institute for Employment Studies found that decision making underlies 50 percent of employee engagement.

Unfortunately, decision practices at most organizations are sub-par. Our study of over 500 managers and executives found that they fail to apply effective decision practices 98% of the time.

If decision practices are so important, why are our decision practices stuck in the dark ages? Behavioral science has the answer.

Forbes: Six Simple Decision Practice Metrics To Kill Bad Meetings And Emails

Business leadership is largely about judgment and decisiveness. So it's no surprise that a Bain & Company study found that decision practices drive 95% of business performance. The real surprise is that we do such a bad job keeping track of our decisions and how they turn out!

What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets better. But companies don't measure decision practices, so decision making stays slow, inefficient and stuck in the past. In the end, our old decision practices are why our calendars are crammed with endless meetings and our inboxes are flooded with 100s of burning emails.