How to get a hold of what's going on when getting ownership of the running project?
How to achieve results when strictly time- and resource-boxed?
How to keep team members focused on objectives and reduce distraction?
Here is what I've done:
- Visualizing and modeling. White board is my best friend to get fast hold on what is going on. White board defines clearly "theater of operations".
- Setting clear daily goals. Allows evaluation of progress by end of the day.
- Define fine grained tasks. Allows assign short term achievable tasks to each member and also see how it contributes to the whole project.
- Making sure tasks are clearly understood and clearly assigned. Never assume "it is understood" rather ask for reflection. Even simplest things ever can be misunderstood.
- Making sure there is parallel work can be done. Sometimes there are situations when one team waits on another to move forward. Find proper short task to avoid idle time.
- Doing short sprints of tasks. Allows quickly get results or re-evaluate the course of execution when tasks are failed.
- Conducting quick sync meeting before lunch (it ensures the meeting will be short). Allows to evaluate daily progress and adjust while it is not (there is another half of day).
- Conducting sum up sync meeting by the end of the day. Reflects on daily progress and evaluates the goal.
- Collecting and organize data while conducting tests. Allows re-evaluate the course of execution and saves time in the end of lab.
- Focus on objectives. Objectives help scope and keep things on track. When things get off track, or things get emotional, focusing on objectives brings everybody back to common ground.
- Celebrate the day. Each restaurant we went in Munich offered fantastic food and of course a lots of beer. Recharges and set right spirit for another hard work day.
- The team overcame numerous obstacles to stabilize the system in the lab and actually conduct load tests and profiling of different types.
- The team Identified ineffective data access approaches.
- The team Identified ineffective algorithms.
- The team Identified ineffective serialization mechanisms.
- The team identified arch changes need to be made to reduce network round trips.
- The team was able to collect and distill the data in the way decision makers can make their decisions.
It perfectly visualize how to not get lost among many tasks.
It was my first time in Munich and Germany as well. Amazing country.
Special thanks go to Rolf, Olaf & Olaf for warm hosting and professionalism each one offered in his area of expertise - Thanks!