Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Every day, across a wide variety of software and IT organizations, people are working in an unhealthy environment.

An unhealthy work environment has become so systemic, so ingrained, and so accepted as "business as usual" or "the culture around here" that it is effectively invisible. In the software industry we casually talk about "death marches" and how people that give up their vacations, weekends, and special events at their kid's schools are "real team players."

We routinely set ridiculous deadlines that nobody believes in to "motivate" people into "giving it their all." And for what? Is a little extra bonus money worth the broken relationships, lost time with your children, high stress, guilt, unhappiness, and impact on health?

Unfortunately, one of the reasons that Agile adoptions fail is that implementing the principles and values of the Agile Manifesto requires breaking the deeply ingrained habits that lead to an unhealthy work environment.

It is time to do more than just offer the solution of Agile development, it is time bring the subject to light and provide ways to counteract the behaviors that lead to an unhealthy work environment. Who is to blame? Is it a certain personality type or role? No. The root cause is not a person; it is the practices and organizational structures of traditional development itself. It is the system, not the people.

Truly addressing the problem means changing the practices and organizational structures to support a healthy work environment. But the path to change starts with awareness and coping mechanisms.

In this session, participants will share their stories, learn ways to peacefully and constructively counteract the unhealthy behaviors, and come up with new countermeasures.