Keeping the "Up" in Daily StandUps

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.

Liftoffs Interview with Debbie Madden

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.”

Agile Teams

Endless Blessings for Your Team

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.”

How do you transform your Agile into the Best Job Ever!

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.

Focus on Learning

We’re happy to announce that FutureWorks Consulting staff, Willem Larsen and Diana Larsen, have published a new book through the innovative, interactive publishing service Leanpub. The Leanpub story is interesting in itself, and we hope you will check it out. But more about the book!

Teams and Leaders: Know Thyselves

Why do we use assessment tools?

"The bottom line is that personality matters to individuals because self-understanding allows a person to be strategic about his/her career choices and career development. Personality matters to employers because knowledge about a job applicant's personality allows them to be strategic about the hiring process."
Dr. Robert Hogan

Assessments help your organization increase productivity and maximize performance by hiring the right people, evaluating leadership potential, and developing the talents of key individuals in the specific areas that really matter for success.

Assessments help individual leaders like you understand limitations and strengths and how understanding can bring strategic awareness to...


Teams Leadership

A Good Ending - Disbanding the Team

A question recently came up about how to effectively disband a team – and more to the point, what steps to take to ensure a smooth closure of the team and how to help team members adjust if assigned to another team that did not operate according to agile values and principles.

This is a great question. First off, one must pay attention to the "adjourning" phase of the "-orming" cycle. It helps people move on to their next work assignment and gives team members a chance to say "farewell" to each other in a good way.

Bruce Tuckman, professor of...

Teams

Retrospectives: A Tool For Continuous Improvement

Many leaders focus on improving productivity and performance. Leaders who support regular retrospectives gain an effective organizational learning tool that guides project teams (and ongoing work groups) to reflect on their technical, human and organizational systems that affect performance. A well-facilitated retrospective gathers together significant project stakeholders (including the development team members and other critical players) to review their project experience, learn from the experience, and take action to improve - in the next iteration, the next release, and for all future projects.

Does your organization utilize retrospectives as part of its project management goals? If not, here are some simple...