Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Minimal Project Management (hiltmon.com)
91 points by WA9ACE 35 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

"That is, again, why I hired them."

That's easy to say when there's only five. The problem is, that doesn't scale. At some point you need to proactively implement a culture (and M&Ps) that does scale. If you wait til you need then you run the risk of having waited too long. Veteran team members will be put off, new hires will be updating their CV.

I've experienced the office of about 6 people (mentioned in a post on Epic Games) as an ideal environment for software development, better than cube farms or single person offices.

Maybe instead of struggling to apply management concepts to the development process, companies would achieve more by breaking things up into 6-person sized teams.

I've always considered 5 the max, because each person tracks four [1] others.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864034/#!po=1....

This reminds me of Amazon's beloved 'two pizza team' idea.


Hopefully that is family-sized pizzas.

> Maybe instead of struggling to apply management concepts to the development process, companies would achieve more by breaking things up into 6-person sized teams.

How do you coordinate the six person teams, prevent them from ending up in contention, etc.?

The Amazon model to addressing this problem is to minimize to the greatest extent possible both team size and inter-team communication. The ideal team is characterized by 5-8 engineers who collectively design, build, test, deploy, and own in production a service exposed to the rest of the company only through API calls over the network. This mostly addresses the coordination problem because teams shouldn't need to coordinate, and it mostly addresses the contention problem because almost every decision is entirely owned within a particular team with no expectation that they consider external input.

user stories and delegation

Ah, the innocence that thinks that is enough.

The title is minimal :)

This also caught my eye,

“Developers with nothing to do become disruptive or lazy.”

So the trick is to pat yourself on the back for being so good at hiring (but please recognize that if your genius hires aren’t worked to 100% capacity they will suddenly become a problem) and then make sure they never have any downtime.

Seems easy enough.

Is this article satire? (some quotes)

> They do not need to be micro- or even macro-level managed

> Developers with nothing to do become disruptive or lazy.

> With all this advice and help, I can easily determine what work needs to be done first, what next, what can remain on-hold, and can assign work to the team.

> Once the Statement of Work is completed (and reviewed, filed and approved by me), the person starts executing the tasks and we move into a work and review phase.

If this isn’t micro management, what is? Where is the team empowered to improve their process? Where is tech debt addressed? Is estimation really so easy? Ever heard of pair programming?

Note to myself: never work for that person.

I wouldn't judge too much, but it's a shame the article is 3 years old. I would have loved to hear what he has learnt/adjusted in the meantime.

Make sure to issue a summary email after each weekly meeting, in a broad circulation and including multiple stakeholders that should be kept informed. Have all owner/action/date triplets clearly marked. Don’t be shy on the formatting, important points need to pop out clearly. Bullet points are your friends.

It’s great for the team to use as their own reference, it keeps outside people generally informed and it’s an immediate springboard for next week’s discussion.

My secrets of project mgmt

- write down and agree what we intend to do - (auto)record what I actually did - review why there is such a big gap - fix something, keep processing

Good write up. I manage multiple ongoing projects and my company is growing a team under me. This is a great approach that I will put in my toolbox.

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact