25 April, 2023

How to Tell if Your Developer is Lying to You – with Duncan McGregor

Is your developer lying to you? If so, why? And how can you tell? Software engineer, Duncan McGregor, spills the beans and shares his take on Agile, from the point of view of an experienced developer.

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

Duncan McGregor

Although like all the best people, Duncan was trained as a physicist, he discovered a talent and love for writing software from his teenage years. He has been a professional developer for 35 years, writing code and running projects for clients including the UK Ministry of Defence, Siemens, Sony, Sky, LVMH, NatWest, and most recently The Met Office.

That’s why I wanted to speak with him about how and why your software team is lying to you. We discussed:

  1. 1. What does the development team care about?
  2. What might cause a developer to mislead you?
  3. How can you tell when they are lying to you?
  4. How should you manage the development team, to avoid them feeling the need to lie to you?

Getting in Touch with Duncan McGregor

Our Conversation

  • 00:00 – Duncan McGregor
  • 01:00 – What’s important to a development team?
  • 03:20 – Lying: why might developers lie to their Project Manager?
  • 04:14 – Reasons 1 – 3
  • 05:00 – Reasons 4 – 6
  • 05:58 – Reasons 7 & 8
  • 06:59 – How can you tell if your team is lying to you?
  • 08:59 – Validating the evidence
  • 10:41 – Can velocity measures produce useful data?
  • 11:04 – Estimates or No estimates? #NoEstimates
  • 16:58 – How to get the best from your Development Team
  • 18:18 – ‘Psychological Safety
  • 20:38 – Continuous Delivery
  • 21:15 – How to lead a Development Team
  • 21:42 – Distinguish between Managerial and Leadership behaviors – Agile from a developer PoV
  • 25:41 – Software engineering and construction engineering
  • 28:10 – Stock control system as an analog of software development
  • 32:48 – Do people understand Agile?
  • 33:53 – Last thoughts from Duncan
  • 37:21 – Getting in touch with Duncan McGregor
  • 38:16 – Close

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What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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