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Showing posts from March, 2014

Exercise:: What motivates your team members?

Understanding why an organization thinks it needs to change is enlightening.  Many times the people at the bottom ranks of the organization have no idea the driving forces that necessitate a change.   As a group brainstorm a list of possible reasons for the change.


Dialogue on the difference between change and transition.  How long does change take?  What is a transition?   Bridges Transition Model:  Ending - Neutral Zone - New Beginning.

Dialogue on the difference between satisfiers and dissatisfaction in the workplace (Herzberg's Two-Factor theory).

See Gallup's Q12 Employee Engagement survey.


First just capture all the reasons that might be the answer to - Why change?

Typical reasons (if you need to prime the pump - or when the answers slow down - throw one of these out to head in a different direction).
Current process just doesn’t workDecrease time to market for new productsCost reductions, improve effecienciesScrum is the methodology of the decade (soup de-jour)We’ve tri…

List of Agile Team Exercises

A collection of blog post that describe team exercises - if you need more information about one of these please contact me.

Estimation simulation (paper folding) and why we re-estimate often
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2016/04/exercise-estimate-number-of-times-you.html

Video series on Scrum (short takes)
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2013/10/learn-scrum-video-series.html

A Release planning and Scrum simulation - Priates of the Carriballoonian
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2012/04/procuct-owner-scrum-immersion-workshop.html

Project success sliders
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2013/12/project-success-sliders.html

Quikie video explains relative vs absolute measures
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2013/11/relative-points-explained.html

Dog Grooming - agile estimation technique
http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2010/11/dog-grooming-exercise.html

Elements of an effective scrum boar…

Book Review: 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

I've listened to the audio book several times on trips across country, and each time I've said that I needed to buy the book (paper version) so that I could study it better.  So I did, and this is an attempt to outline the books major points.

The book:  The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking  by Burger & Starbird.

In the audio format I found it hard to visualize the 5 elements, perhaps because of the analogy to the classic elements of earth, fire, air, and water.   So before any confusion sets in, here are the author's 5 elements:


Grounding Your Thinking; Understand Deeply  [Earth]Igniting Insights through Mistakes; Fail to Succeed  [Fire]Creating Questions out of Thin Air; Be your own Socrates  [Air]Seeing the Flow of Ideas; Look Back, Look forward  [Water]Engaging Change; Transform Yourself  [the Quintessential element]"In any movie, play, or literary work, media scholars tell us how to determine who truly is the main character of the story -- it's the individua…

Agile Tetrahedron move above the PM Triangle for Value

Who can explain the classic Project Management Triangle?  I've found that everyone has heard of it and uses it fairly well in a sentence. But when it comes to actually explaining the analogy to the triangle the struggles begin.  Some call it the iron triangle - as if nothing can stretch or shrink it's features once set.  I created a plastic triangle that was adjustable to illustrate the nature of negotiation of each of the sides.


I want to move beyond the classic three variable problem of the project (scope, schedule & cost) and envision a model that describe the value that a project represents while maintaining the constraint relationship that these classic triangular relationships represent.  Enter the Tetrahedron - a platonic solid.  The tetrahedron has four faces, each face is a triangle, it is the simplest form of a pyramid with the base in the form of a triangle.

Jim Highsmith introduce the concept of treating the PM triangle of cost, schedule, and scope as constrai…

The Agile Late Majority has different needs

Are we applying a great solutions to a poorly understood problem?   What is the question - we know the answer is 42.

The early adopters of Scrum were seeking a method of controlling the chaos of emergent product development processes.  They needed empirical methods to discern if the product was moving in a meaningful direction.  They were willing to risk accepting technical debt to validate working solutions in the hands of real customers.  They were focused on delivering value, they wanted a process that optimized on value delivery and embraced the learning process required to explore new product domains.  They were organizations capable of thriving on the edge of chaos.  Organizations in the early adopters phase seek to keep options open (decide at the last responsible moment), to pivot  upon learning about the opening market space, to fulfill an undefined emergent need.

"Intelligence should be viewed as a physical process that tries to maximize future freedom of action and avo…

Before Scaling Up - consider...

Before one scales up their functioning teams (I'm assuming one would not want to scale up non-functioning teams - yet I've seen that done) one should look for alternatives to the scaling problem.
"Scaling Agile methods is the last thing you should do" —@martinfowler, 2003This scaling problem has been studied:
"In 1957, British naval historian and management satirist Northcote Parkinson [known for Parkinson's law: “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”] painted a cynical picture of a typical committee: It starts with four or five members, quickly grows to nine or ten, and, once it balloons to 20 and beyond, meetings become an utter waste of time – and all the important work is done before and after meetings by four or five most influential members."


Why Big Teams Suck by Robert Sutton is a Stanford Professor and co-author (with Huggy Rao) of Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less.
Studied in Academia "…