Knowing how people think or feel about a certain subject can be very helpful in building trust, creating a team and to reveal impediments. Of course it can be very difficult to get team members to express their real opinions, especially when a team has just started. I think with patience and the right approach trust can (and will) be built and it will be easier to get real issues out in the open. The following practice can help you start this and make explicit what individual opinions in a team are.
I have used the following retrospective practice for several years now:
Continue reading How to fill your happiness metric
Last friday I gave a Masterclass called ‘Lean Agile Architecting’ to architects. Very interesting masterclass and a couple of things struck me. The issue for architects in an Agile environment is their position and responsibility.
The thing with the change from waterfall to agile is that architects feel their role is being undercut, the team just goes fast and are only paying attention to the Product Owner. The standard answer they seem to get is: ‘then join the team’, but they feel reluctant to do so, and most of the times they can not fully commit (full time). So they pass, and they feel miserable about it, since now this Agile project is going to make mistakes, and can not learn from past experiences and their expertise.
The answer lies in the closer observation of the definition of Agile and Architecture.
Continue reading Architect in Scrum
Searching the web for new Agile games I came across: You sunk my Methodology. This game seemed like a strong metaphor to show the power of early feedback, while using Scrum.
Each shot costs 10.000 and when you sink a ship you get the_ships_size * 50.000 (e.g. the submarine of size 3 will reward you with 150.000). If you keep track of the balance after each iteration, you could also try to get across the idea that stopping after a few iterations might give ‘good enough’ rewards.
It can be downloaded from our GitHub repository as a zip or you can take a look at our code. Just double click on the index.html (in the public folder) to start a game.
**Update: Now also direct playable on GitHub.
Development teams new to Scrum are introduced to a number of mandatory aspects that come with the framework. One of these is the Daily Scrum, or often referred to as the Daily Standup (meeting) or Standup in short. The purpose of this meeting is to synchronize the status of the development team and to do this in a short and focused manner. In this post I’d like to discuss an anti-pattern I see observing and being part of Daily Scrum meetings and how to overcome it.
Continue reading Use your Daily Scrum as a success driver
I am a big fan of Big Visible Charts, also referred to as Information Radiators. By radiating information using such charts everything is visible and people can use that information to act upon it. Recent observations made me realize that not all charts are visible though. Even when they are big and in your face.
Continue reading Big -but not so visible- charts
Recently I conducted a code review for one of our customers. They already are using A3 reports internally as problem solving and report tool. I really like A3, so I thought why not try if a code review fits in a A3 report.
Continue reading Lightweight code review reports
This week I visited the Scrum Gathering in Amsterdam. I attended a session were the Product Owner was referred to as Single Wringable Neck. We make the Product Owner responsible for the outcome of the project, as a motivator for him to make the right choices. And if he doesn’t we will wring his neck. Like other people, I don’t like that comparison. But I had no hard evidence to back it up other then feeling related reasons like “it’s team work” and what not. But ever since I watched Dan Pink’s TED talk on motivation I think I found the evidence to safely say the single wringable neck is harmful and should not be used as incentive or motivator anymore.
Continue reading Single Wringable Neck considered harmful