DevOpsChat Special Guests: Jim and Michele McCarthy

In the lead up to the Transformation:BOOT that they will be running in Crystal Lake from 15th – 20th July 2018, we are absolutely thrilled that Jim and Michele McCarthy are joining us for this special #DevOpsChat about how individuals and teams can transform to be more successful. You can see the questions for this DevOpsChat at the bottom of this page.

Their research (involving thousands of people and spanning over two decades) into how to create high performing teams resulted in the publication of The Core Protocols (which are distributed under the GNU General Public License). They are a set of interpersonal practices which, if applied, will greatly enhance the results achieved by groups of people working together to build  products.

They both co-wrote Software For Your Head, have run many BootCamps around the world, and co-host The McCarthy Show podcast.

They also created and moderate The Booted Facebook group, a discussion group for people interested in the Core Protocols.

While at Microsoft and Bell Laboratories, Jim McCarthy saw there was a better way to build products by focusing on the team around him.  He used this observation to create one of the greatest Microsoft teams, the Visual C++ team.  Much of Microsoft adopted his ideas as articulated in the seminal book: Dynamics of Software Development. They formed the basis of Microsoft Solutions Framework and were a catalyst for the Agile movement.

Michele McCarthy graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a Master’s in engineering. Beginning in 1990, Michele worked at Microsoft as a program manager on five projects, establishing a reputation for shipping on time. Jim McCarthy met Michele and encouraged her to move to the Visual C++ group where she began innovating in the area of team dynamics. While at Microsoft, Michele reached many of the insights that led her and Jim to leave Microsoft and create McCarthy Technologies, Inc.

Video Interview

In this video Jim and Michele share their views and experience about how to create successful teams, covering a range of topics including:

  • Why alignment matters and how to achieve it
  • Where and how to start a transformation
  • The importance of sharing feelings and psychological safety

Questions for this DevOpsChat

  1. Many people and teams want to become more successful. How would you define success?
  2. What common barriers do you think prevent teams from reaching their full potential?
  3. Most would agree that when people on a team are “aligned” then the team will perform better. What do you think “alignment” means and how can you achieve it?
  4. Which aspects of team work do you find most challenging?  Bonus point: which of the core protocols do you think could help with this? (Read the Core Protocols)
  5. The Core Protocols list 11 commitments. Which of them resonate most with you and why? (Read the Core Protocols)
  6. What action could you commit to taking tomorrow to help you/your team/your company transform and become more successful?

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