Standups offer the most benefit when they are kept brief (30-60 seconds per team member) and to the point––sustaining communication about the state of the work. It helps when team members know the questions ahead of time and come prepared to answer them succinctly.
In December, Debbie Madden, from Stride Tech, interviewed Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies, the co-authors of Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams. Debbie called Liftoff (the first edition), “one of my all-time favorite reads.”
Calling all testers and QA focused team members! Have you wondered about how your work and perspectives fit in James Shore and Diana Larsen’s Agile Fluency Model?
Recently, I read an interview between Bernie DeKoven (who has aliases as varied as: Major Fun, The Shaman of Play, and more) and Barry Joseph (Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives, at the American Museum of Natural History). While the whole interview is delightful, and I recommend it, I was particularly struck by the game called “The Out Blessing Game” or “Endless Blessings.”
There’s this thing…as Jim (James Shore) and I have mentioned before, in the early days of Agile we would visit teams and hear, “This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love this work.” People who were doing Agile (usually Extreme Programming) were excited about it, they shared it with others, who did it, and got excited. But at some point, someone shared it with someone who got excited about it and shared it but didn’t DO it, so their sharing lost a bit of fidelity, like a copy of a copy.
Steve Berczuk writes a short and succinct article on TechWell describing, “Why Agile Retrospectives are Important in Software Development.” I’m looking forward to reading the comments and responses he gets.
More and more I think of Agile Retrospectives as an opportunity for the kind of learning that leads to real adaptive action in complex situations.
Coincidence is a funny thing. Have you noticed that some topic/issue/concept/activity will come up in your life, then for a while you bump into it everywhere? Happens to me all the time. Lately, I’ve been bumping into new ideas for check-in activities, and reminders about familiar ones.
Every time I ask about team’s challenges with retrospectives, a recurring theme comes up: Acting on Actions. I hear, “Our team doesn’t follow through on our plans for action.” Or I hear, “Our team never identifies improvement actions.” Both are retrospective “smells.”
Add "Project Weather" to your retrospective design to both "Set the Stage" and "Close the Retrospective". As an opening, it provides a useful segue into creating a shared story and begins the process of gathering data. As a closing, it illustrates any shifts in team members' perspectives that have occurred as a result of their collaboration in the retrospective.
Create a pre-drawn flip chart with a heading at the top: Project Weather. Add hand drawn graphics across the top, like a sun coming out from behind clouds, clouds and rain, or even the occasional tornado! Divide the flip chart...
As part of my commitment to my own professional development, a few months ago I attended a certification training program on effective practices in organizational change and leadership development. Although it required more time commitment than usual on my part, I found the experience well worth it. I would make the same decision again if I had it to do over. So when I heard that the Human Systems Dynamics Institute was bringing its HSDP Certification Training Program to Portland in January 2012, I wanted to share my experiences and how the HSD methodology has positively impacted my practice and my work with my clients.
Over at her “Insights You Can Use” blog Esther Derby has posted two pieces on how teams can benefit from the lens of Double Loop Learning in their retrospectives.
Team member: How will we know when we've found an impediment? What do they look like?
Sponsor: How can I know what impediments block our teams' productivity?
Scrum Master: How can I get the team to mention impediments in our daily meeting and retrospectives?
Product Owner: Why is everyone whining about impediments? Why don't we just get the work done?
It's all fine and well to say identify and remove impediments but often we bump up against a stumbling block, find a way around, and make things work anyway without further thought. It's second nature. Moving forward is what's important. And,...
In a article at the Six Sigma IQPC site, Christian Loyer offers a new twist on the old fishbone diagram root cause analysis approach.