Tom Demarco

Very successful companies have never struck me as particularly busy; in fact, they are, as a group, rather laid back. Energy is evident in the workplace, but it's not the energy tinged with fear that comes from being slightly behind on everything.

TOM DEMARCO

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The 100% Utilization Myth - DZone Agile

dzone.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Team capacity is a simple function of the hours worked by the number of team members. One flaw is how many hours can be expected as 'working hours'. 

Working continuously for the entire 'working hours' would be 100% utilization. This means there is no extra time during the day to say hi to a coworker. 

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Burnout

Running at 100% capacity will lead to burnout. This is not MIGHT, this WILL happen. Even our computer running at 100% CPU capacity will burnout. Our brian is the same way.

A standard work day of 8 hours might be reduced to 5 or 6 hours of productivity. This should be factored into team capacity. Capacity studies should focus on less than 100% utilization to avoid employee burnout.

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Don't confuse busy with productive. Just because you have wall to wall meetings, doesn't meet you have a productive day. That means you are too busy to be productive and are not utilizing your time effectively. 

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To avoid over meeting for no reason

  • Need to have specific question or specific information that cannot be done by email
  • Reduce default time from 1 hour to 30 min
  • block meeting free times for your team in their calendar

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A meta-skill is a high order skill that allows you to engage with functional expertise more effectively

It magnifies and activates other skills and is a catalyst for learning and building new skills faster. 

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The Metaskills You Need to Thrive in the 21st Century - Thrive Global

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Platform level problems

TLDR; Scaling teams are hard. A platform team done right can help ease the hardships.

At Conde Nast International we grew from a team of 20 engineers to less than 100 in less than a year. We found out that building out a system that will be used in many markets has a lot of moving parts and repetition. For example rebuilding the infrastructure and application configuration. Adding third party add-on software. Building the application using CDN redirects. DNS registration and configuration.

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How to build a platform team now! the secrets to successful engineering

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The agile framework

The agile framework is about optimizing performance. One way to inspire that improvement and help teams grow in the process is by celebrating wins and setbacks.

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Why And How Successful Teams Celebrate Wins And Failures

blog.trello.com