Native Agile Psychology of Teams and Individuals

Native Agile Psychology of Teams and Individuals

Have you ever wondered how teams and individuals form a product vision? What soft skills do people with product vision have, and can these skills be nurtured and developed? Does company culture affect the personal qualities and values ​of its employees? Do our mindset and personal qualities affect our level of happiness?

I have analyzed how various teams at JetBrains work and come up with a list of common qualities and values shared by all of our teams. Based on this experience, I will try to prove that the key factor in our products’ success is the mindset of the people who create these products.

I will describe the special qualities that our people, teams, and the company as a whole exemplify, and how these talents can be cultivated and nurtured. I will also touch upon the dark side of such a flexible and informal process and illustrate the concept of a meaningful life as a part of happiness at work.

At my session you will discover:
* a set of practices that you can apply to your team;
* a set of personal soft skills that team members need to have product vision; and
* a recipe for nurturing these skills on the individual, team and company levels.


Valerie Andrianova

July 18, 2018


  1. 1.

    Native Agile Psychology in Teams and Individuals Valerie Andrianova Product

    Marketing Manager, JetBrains Agile on the Beach 2018
  2. 3.

    How We Work • Flat structure • No Product Managers

    in most teams • The whole team is involved in Product Management • Mostly create products to relieve our pain • Native Agile company
  3. 4.

    The Agile Manifesto says “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give

    them the environment support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
  4. 12.
  5. 15.

    Product Manager Role in Rider Shared among all: • Team

    Lead — mediator • Subsystem owners — locally • Each team member to some degree
  6. 16.

    Release Planning 1. Team Lead formulates a raw plan. 2.

    Communicates with the subsystem owners and separate groups. 3. A minimum plan of required features is created. 4.Small features are added in the process.
  7. 17.

    How Rider forms their backlog • Our ideas • Conferences

    • Meetings with clients • Hackathon • Slack channel • User group meetings
  8. 18.

    Feedback • Feature prototype demo to the team — internal

    feedback • Personal communication between the Team lead and the developers during the development process • Weekly EAP builds — external feedback
  9. 20.

    Product Manager Role in YouTrack Shared among all: • Team

    Lead = Product Owner • Scrum Master — “balance of forces” • Subsystem owners — locally • Each team member to some degree
  10. 27.

    What are the company values and where do they come

    from? “… company values aren’t something that need to be written down in an employee guide.” Maxim Shafirov, CEO
  11. 28.

    Does company culture affect the personal qualities and values of

    its employees? “Values are best shared by setting an example.” “Our decisions are not always driven by financial considerations, and that's good.” Eugene Toporov, VP of Marketing
  12. 29.

    Are we looking for specific people with a predefined mindset?

    “JetBrains is a set of subcultures, which organically coexist together.” “It’s important to make sure that people do what’s really interesting for them.” Natalia Chisler, HR Director
  13. 30.
  14. 31.

    The dark side • Discipline, self-management, and responsibility can be

    challenging • Routine may kill creativeness
  15. 33.

    How we solve these problems • 20% side project •

    Switching the team • Switching the role • Hackathon
  16. 47.

    Transformation always starts in our heads, values, and beliefs –

    not in processes that we follow as a team or a company.