About Contact me Presentations rss feed  rss

Answering questions about Bytesize Architecture sessions - On the team attitude to collaboration

05 Jan 2024

During October I spoke about Bytesize Architecure Sessions at the Global Software Architecture Summit. I got some interesting questions in the Q&A. We didn’t get through all of them, so have grouped them and answering in smaller posts. This one is about the team attitude to collaboration.

Some collaboration anti-patterns and can Bytesize Architecture Sessions can help?

When people are disengaged or interrupt each other often, these can be signals of team issues, some chaos is to be expected when many people attend a meeting but the patterns are something to pay attention to in the long run.

The questions asked were:

Bytesize sessions are created to be short, the idea being that a group of people doesn’t tend to stay engaged for very long. So, set expectations about interruptions and the duration of the session at the very start of the session, and if you see behaviour you didn’t like say it during the mini retro at the end of the session. I find that these are useful guidelines for all successful meetings of more than three people.

When it comes to apathy, sometimes that happens because people feel like their ideas are not represented. Daniel Minor and others, including myself have experienced that the Bytesize Architecture Sessions can be a great way to have ideas raised by all participants in the session. If you find that the whole team mood is low it might be worth running retrospectives on that particular issue, and act on the feedback received there.

My first instinct here is to focus on setting expectations. If this question is more general and not just about people talking at lenght at the “wrong time” then I am curious: Is this a behaviour everyone in your team exhibits ? If so, it seems that they are modelling their behaviour on someone they are learning from, is that the culture you want in your team? Alternatively, if this is one person, it might be worth having a 1 to 1 and try to explore how they communicate and help them learn about effective communication patterns.

I love this question! Bytesize sessions work especially well when there is high diversity of knowledge types.

The time Alone together is where each participant works individually on the same task, allowing them to focus and formulate specific questions. This quiet time is crucial as it provides an opportunity for participants to realize the gaps in their understanding and identify areas for further investigation. Inmediately after that, there is the Consensus part, where the participants pool together to create one model that pools all the knowledge just displayed individually, participants here can choose to be more or less vocal, however their input was seen (and heard) by everyone attending

Suggested reading

As I was answering these questions I kept thinking about two references that might interests those who are interested in these questions

Categories:   bytesize-architecture-sessions   software-architecture   Goal-of-the-Session

Want to discuss this post? the best place right now for me is mastodon, please message me with your comment or question.