(VIDEO) Book Week Day 2: From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams

get ready to talk about chaos

It’s not news that managing virtual teams is not a piece of cake. But thankfully, with the right tools and books, managing our teams is a lot easier. Today marks the second day of book week, and Luis shares his insights about this valuable piece called From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams by Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby.

The book contains over 30 years of experience from Johanna and Mark managing Agile teams, long before remote work became the norm. Luis mentions how reading this book helped him manage his remote team a lot better, and it’s one of the books you should definitely read if you’re a remote leader.

Don’t miss the other book recommendation coming up this week!

Video Transcript

It’s book week, day two, and get ready to talk about chaos over coffee. And yes, I started early. Sorry, but there’s still enough coffee to talk a bit about how to go From Chaos To Successfully Distributed Agile Teams.

This is Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis for Think Remote and this book, this book by Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby is a book that reminds me of a story about a teacher of mine. Very smart, very successful teacher. He gave me some good advice in life. And one of those, one of the best of those advices was, “Luis, you should always try to read books that make you feel stupid.”

And this, this is definitely one of the books that has made me feel the stupidest over the last couple of years. That’s because a book like that usually challenges you and usually gives you information that you wouldn’t be able to acquire any other way except for working at it during many, many years. It’s like compressed, an injection of compressed experience and that’s exactly what you get from Johanna and Mark.

They have over 30 years, I’m sorry if I’m selling you short, but they have over 30 years of experience with distributed agile teams. They have been doing this before remote work was even a thing, was even a word, an expression that you used, and they have the experience with agile in that sense. So of course, it’s going a book that’s compressing 30 years of experience into something into a couple of hundred pages. Yes, of course, that’s going to be challenging, but think about the payoff, right?

What you get with this book, let’s say that you take, I took about two months to get through the book. It’s insane considering that I usually read a book a week or something like that. And this took me eight times as much as I usually do to go through a book and I didn’t assimilate all on it, but just the talk that I got so many years of experience in just a couple of months.

What if you can do the same, right? This is a very technical book. It gets very technical, especially because it assumes also, at least from my understanding, maybe I’m misjudging it, but from when I was reading, I was constantly going to look up some agile terms and stuff like that. But I felt that I really got an education.

And even though I’m going to tell you, I can’t really say that I become an authority in the subject, but I was able to grab so many things, so many things. Some things that I was already doing intuitively on my team. Others that I was doing that were counterintuitive and that I started to doing. It just gave, what it gave me was really a good holistic picture of how remote, how distributed teams can be organized and how to organize themselves and what kind of setups and ways of communication and ways of assigning and distributing and organizing work I have at my disposal in order to create the results that I want, that I have.

And I’m going to be honest with you. I still need to get back to it every now and then, right? Read a little bit, update my knowledge, because it’s just such a huge concentrate of knowledge that it’s hard to take it in all at once, but it does come highly recommended. Plenty of coffee also recommended to go through it, because you need to have your mind sharp, right?

And this is a real education. This is not the book that you’re going to read and then at the end of it, you’re going to be, after a casual read you are going to be done with it. No, it’s absolutely a really education that Johanna and Mark put here, and I’m grateful for their work. It’s really a solid, well, not the solid, because it’s digital. I used to have a solid version of it in my library, but I gave it to a friend. So now I have it digitally, but it’s, metaphorically, a solid addition to any library about remote work.

So that’s it. Get the book From Chaos To Successful Distributed Agile Teams by Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby And I hope you got some value from this video. You will certainly get value from think remote.com. Sign up for the newsletter. We have some goodies to give to the people who sign up for the newsletter, physical goodies actually you who sign up to the newsletter over our first month. And if you enjoyed these videos, if you like having some coffee with me… Almost done. Please like, share, subscribe. This was Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. Stay tuned because tomorrow we’re going to have book week, day three. See you then.

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