Hey why do engineers get all the fun!Back when I was an engineer I learnt to pair programme. Now I'm a project manager, I don't pair any more.
Let's recap some of the benefits of pair programming:
- Sharing knowledge - anyone can work in any part of the project
- Sharing experience - everyone becomes a better coder
- Acting as one anothers' conscience - ensuring that the tests (or specs) are written first, the code is properly factored, and whatever other tasks a programmer might be tempted to slide under the carpet
- Working together is more fun than working on your own!
I think all this works for PMs too:
- Sharing knowledge - everyone understands each others' projects and the broader business context, and can switch project if necessary
- Sharing experience - everyone becomes a better PM
- Acting as one anothers' conscience - ensuring that the release management has been considered, the training needs have been addressed, and whatever other tasks a PM might be tempted to slide under the carpet
- Working together is still more fun than working on your own!
So what am I doing about it?
So later this week I'm running a Pair-PM session. We're not going to shadow each other and we're not going to play chicken at each others' Scrums (though I think that would be a great next step).
We're going to get together, pair off and just chat about our projects. What's going great? What's vexing us? Where could we do with another brain? It doesn't matter if a novice pairs with a past-master and much of the learning's one-way - next time the past-master will pair with someone else. And we'll be breaking out of our usual boxes and hierarchies.
I'll post again to tell you how it went.