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    40 blog articles in this category

      Making up combined roles - it is rarely a good idea

      Scrum Manager. Developing Architect. Fullstack Developer/Designer. The new roles are popping up left and right these days. Some are clearly just another way to say "generalist", but others are roles that have a very high chance of making people sick. Why do we see these ads? I think it is because the people writing them do not know the craft.
      For me, who actually is a generalist with pretty decent competence in multiple fields, I find these ads very amusing. Rather than writing that they need multiple roles filled, but only have budget for one, they make up new roles. Presumably in the hopes of getting someone who can do most of what they think they need.
      Because this is the thing, most people that write these ads don't really know what they need. I have seen ads that sound like someone making a frankensteins monster out of the roles. Clearly with little to no understanding of what the different roles actually mean. Some ads just try to mix the best of two worlds, like the Scrum Manager that combines the caring/facilitating aspect of the Scrum Master with the managing/controling role of the Project Manager.
      From the person who write the ad it probably makes sense and that is because they do not understand the work involved. From their perspective they probably see a scrum master and a project manager as both having management descriptions, so it should be ok to mix. The fact that they work in different directions where the scrum master work down towards the team and the project manager work up towards the steering group does not seem to occur to them.
      In most cases this is not so much of an issue because what you will get in most cases is a generalist. A Scrum Manager for example will be a general manager with some understanding of the scrum process and some understanding of the financial side of project management. The person will not be optimized for any of the roles, but will get things done. Sometimes at the expense of either the project or the team. Or both.
      The biggest risk with making these combined roles is that unless you really know that you are compromising the roles you can cause serious damage. Not just to the deliveries and the teams as they do not get the attention they need, but also to the individual you are trying to hire. It is very easy to burn someone out with a combined role, especially if the expectations if that you should do both roles at 100%. The very least you must always do when defining combined roles is to define the ratio. How much time should be spent where and why.
      For anyone looking to fill a combined role, here are some examples and some sugegstions on how to approach them:
      Scrum Manager - Focus on the Scrum Master part. By making the team working well you will get most of the work as a project manager for free. Deliver reports to the steering with focus on risk mitigation and finance. Progress will come of itself if you focus on the Scrum Master part correctly. If put in a compromised position, always protect the team. It will serve you best in the long run. This is a sure way to burn yourself out if you try to do both at 100%, so be weary of the signs and make sure you get plenty of time to actually work and not just sit in meetings.
        Full stack x - Most designers or developers are full stack, kind of. We do take an interest in what is around us and we dabble in the surrounding fields naturally. So just make sure you are not expected to actually be responsible for anything you are not comfortable with and you will be fine.
        Developing Architect/Scrum Master - This is one of the most devestating roles you can have. As an architect or Scrum Master you will be in meetings constantly, whch means that any attempts to actually develop anything will be a massive source of frustration. If you will attempt this, dedicate blocks of time to development that can not be disturbed. Preferably you work from home or in a separate room with phone, mail and other distractions turned off. Minimum of 4 hours blocks, but I suggest full days for focused work. Avoid this if possible or accept that the amount of developing you will do is most likely next to nothing or will happen during weekends and night time.
        Scrum Master and QA - While most Scrum Master will assist in QA by doing tests or gathering requirements, that is not their actual job. Being a tester or a reuirements analyst is a full time job, just like being a scrum master. If you are going to split your attention between the two, make sure you understand the cost both to you and your team. You will not be doing any 40 hour weeks, but rather do 60 hour weeks to make this work and the stress will be intense. Be mindful of combined roles as they can spiral and become very stressful. What may look like an opportunity to show your skills, especially if you are new in the role(s) can put you on the bech for years if you are unlucky.
      If you are looking for people to join your team, always look towards who need that role. Is it for management taking care of the need of the people above, then hire a manager. If the person is taking care of the team, then hire a scrum master. If you need someone to do focused develop, hire a developer. If you need someone to take responsibility for the code structure, hire an architect, or elevate a development lead. And so on...
      Combined roles have always been a part of working in IT. As long as you know what you are expected to do and know you can handle it even when things get rough, then ignore the title and do the job. Also be careful about dividing your work because that also can cause serious health issues.
      Above I have some of the combined roles I see a lot.
      What roles do you see and how do you handle them?

      Struggling to find work? - you are not alone.

      In today's crazy world many face unemployment or struggle to find work. Some of you might just have started your journey as productive adults and feel trapped you do not have the experience quite yet. This can be frustrating, but there is one thing that is more important than anything in this situation and that is to ask for help.
      You might think that there is no point asking for help because you think no one will help you. Maybe you think that no one in your network even can help. This is a common misconception because we forget that our network is just the first connection in a massive network. Just because your friends do not have what you need, their friends or their friends friends might.
      if you take a look at LinkedIn right now you will find several people starting threads to help others find work. Simply inviting your network to post what they need will go a very long way to help them find someone to fulfill that need. There are people out there that also work every day to match people with work, like Johan Sacklén from Demando and Diana Itaoui from Tech Relations.  Others like Michael Saliba dedicate themselves to matchmaking out of passion and love for making others dreams come true.
      These are just 3 people from a huge number of people that can, and will, help you find work. If you let them.
      Today alone I have 3 recruitment suggestions in my inbox and I have 3 people contacting me looking for advice on finding work. This is not uncommon and I always try my best to help people by suggesting who to contact or acting as a point of reference. If you look around your network you will most likely see that others also get recruitment suggestions or have picked up a need somewhere. If they do not know that you are looking for something new, then they will not pass these on to you and you have a missed opportunity.
      So how do you get started?
      First of all, make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile. Also make sure that it is updated properly because it is used very often when you look for work. Secondly make sure you have a CV and if you are a designer you should have a portfolio. This is the basis and now you need to get the word out that you look for work. Start with asking your network for suggestions on who to contact. If you get a contact this way, then it is very useful, because you actually get a referral for free. This will increase your chances to land a job.
      Be active on LinkedIn. Don't spam things, just interact with others and if you see someone you can help, then do so. This is not only a great way to make new contacts, but it will naturally lead to others wanting to do the same to you. Follow companies you think are interesting and pay special attention to new companies because they often need to hire people in the startup phase. Also make sure you follow companies that you think are awesome like Naes & Friends, Heep and my old colleagues at Top of Minds Go. These are companies that I like because they care passionately about their work and the people they work with.
      Be patient. I know it's a cliché, but it is true. Good things happen, you just have to work hard and let it take time. More often than not it takes far less time then you think. I find it helps to keep in mind that the work you do when you look for work is never wasted. I still have contacts from 25 years ago when I looked for work. They have never stopped giving me leads or helped me in more ways than I can count over the years. No contact is ever wasted because just like you people change in life and you never know where they might end up.
      You are not alone. This is more true today than any time before sadly. Not only are there many others that also look for work, but everyone have at one time or the other struggled to find work. We all know how hard that is and everyone that is not a selfish prick will lend a helping hand if they can. When many are looking for work there are competition, but there is also opportunities.
      You can join with others and help each other find work through your extended networks. You can also band together and start new companies, which is actually not a bad idea in these trying times.  Regardless you never have to struggle alone. This site is just one of many dedicated to help others, so find the ones that makes sense to you and sign up.
      Don't be Silent.  It is ok to ask for help, in fact it is more than ok. Not everyone might be in a position to help, but a lot of people are! The important thing to remember though is to ask for help, don't demand or spam it. Find the channels where you can ask others for ideas and suggestions on how to locate people that might have work for you. I have been successful in finding work on LinkedIn of course, but also Twitter is very useful. Finding communities like Reddit or one of the many slack communities are also good options.
      Things will be ok!
      Things might seem grim and it is easy to get stressed, but thing WILL be ok. Every single day is filled with opportunity and you WILL find work. It might take a while, but you will get there. Until you get there know that you are always welcome here and I will not only listen, but try my very best to help you. Others will also do the same, but only if you let them.
      So make some noise and let he world know you are ready for new adventures!

      A new section for amazing people has arrived!

      As I posted earlier I have been working on a section for people. It has been a fun experience to build this section and now I am ready to add this to the resources section. I have added a handful people that I think is amazing and I will continue doing this of course to present some of the most amazing people I know.
      Building this section was fun, but also quite educational as to how Pages from Invisioncommunity works. There are a few areas where it was a bit tricky to get the fields to work the way I wanted. For example I wanted the Personality types to be in a list, but I also wanted to link the types to a website where you can read more about them. This turned out to be easier than first expected, but it took some experimenting to figure out.
      The form for adding new people is still not very pretty, but I have not put any effort into changing that yet. Pages can have custom forms that you can assign to databases so I can make this much better in the future if I want. This is what I love about Pages and all other parts of the Invisioncommunity suite. It is so versatile and there is always new things to learn.
      So enjoy this new section on the site where I will continuously add amazing people. Some will have interviews and some will not, but you can rest assured that there will be new people added almost weekly. For me it bring in some of the most amazing people to my site and for the people I add I will do my very best to promote them and show the world what I see in them.
      As I know a lot of people this will be an endless work and I can not possibly add everyone I know due to time constraints. Me not adding you here does not mean I do not think you are amazing, only that time has not allowed me to add you here yet.  I will add you as soon as time permits however, so please just be patient.
      Because you are amazing.

      People are amazing and it is (almost) time to show that.

      I have always thought that people are amazing. I love meeting people from different cultures, religions, gender and political views. What I find is that if we look past the stereotypes and generalizations you find that all people have something valuable and amazing inside them. This is something I want to bring into this site and I am building a section for just that purpose.
      In my daily work I meet so many amazing people. People that not always get the attention they deserve. People who enrich this world with hard work, but also with dreams and very often with a seed of awesomeness inside them. This is something I want to nourish and hopefully make blossom. I want to help connect people with others that are amazing so they can grow and take a few more steps towards their inner potential.
      It does not matter to me if you are just getting out of school or if you come from another country. It does not matter if you are changing your career or take a bold step to start your own business. If I can help you just a little, then maybe that will be enough for you to  make your dream come true and nothing could be more fulfilling than that.
      This is why I am creating a section called simply "People". It is a section where I present people and give them visibility here on my site. I will interview them and link to their websites and linkedin profiles. This new section will soon show up and I have several amazing people already prepared to show you. I want to show the world who you are and why you are amazing.
      Because you are amazing.

      We are Zington - Formerly known as Claremont

      This weekend my company went to Croatia for a conference as Claremont and returned as Zington. This is yet another step in our journey to strengthen our brand for expanding out in the world. It feels good to have a new name to go with our new profile on top of our strong core values.
      "We wanted a name that didn't mean anything but wasn't taken either, so we started looking. We are very pleased with the name and have had a transparency towards the employees during the process of the new name, although only about 50 people knew about the name."  - Per Thörnkvist
      This is of course a big step, but thanks to a transparent process led by our amazing Tharanga Kulamithra, I feel nothing but joy and pride over this change. It is an amazing transformation to be a part of to first build the new graphical profile and then make a brand change of this magnitude.
      Now we move forward, towards a bright future where we take our culture and out values to the world.
      We are Zington.
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