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Topics for Lunch-N-Learn



Brainstorming a list of topics for a Scrum/Agile lunch-N-learn session.

  • Pair Programming - simulation using Tangrams & Face Drawing 
  • Practices for Daily Standup - review and discuss: It's Not Just Standing Up: Patterns for Daily Standup Meetings
  • Slicing Stories – resources to slice vertical stories of value 
  • Story Writing techniques: w/ Q & A based upon participants real stories 
  • Estimation techniques: Affinity Estimation; T-shirt sizing -> converting to numbers; Planning Poker (the rule book) 
  • Team building tools: Infinite Loops; Helium Stick; Warp Speed; Pair Drawing, etc. 
  • Pair Programming - an introduction via puzzel solving
  • Definition of Done/Ready exercise 
  • Release Planning How to derive duration with a complicated backlog 
  • Agile Library Initiation Bring books, make the rules, get funding, 1,2,3, GO! 
  • Management 3.0 Book Club - join a group reading the best Agile book written. 
  • Making Visual Information Radiators - define Radiator/Cooler; elements of a Scrum board 
  • Aspects of an effective Product Backlog 
  • Agile Portfolio Planning - tools and techniques; estimation, cost of delay, prioritization, deciding what NOT to do 
  • The principle of TDD via LEGO building; anyone can learn the power of test first development 
  • Does you development rest on a SOLID foundation - an overview of the SOLID principles 
  • Collaboration Games to understand the customer; 12 Innovation Games; Other resources 
  • User Story Maps technique to achieve higher level understanding of the backlog 
  • Launching a Team; what’s required, best practices, examples and techniques 
  • Team Practices: a collection of quick tools to increase team work and collaboration 
  • Learn Backlog Prioritization techniques: Cost of Delay, Perceived ROI, Delivery Order, Gut Feeling, Loudest Yeller 
  • Agile Planning - paradigm changes in planning, the planning flame, release planning, road maps, etc.



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David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

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What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.

Introduction

Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…

What is your Engagement Model?

What must an Agile Transformation initiative have to be reasonably assured of success?

We "change agents" or Agilist, or Organizational Development peeps, or Trouble Makers, or Agile Coaches have been at this for nearly two decades now... one would think we have some idea of the prerequisites for one of these Transformations to actually occur.  Wonder if eight Agile Coaches in a group could come up with ONE list of necessary and sufficient conditions - an interesting experiment.  Will that list contain an "engagement model"?  I venture to assert that it will not.  When asked very few Agile Coaches, thought leaders, and change agents mention much about employee engagement in their plans, models, and "frameworks".  Stop and ask yourselves ... why?

Now good Organizational Development peeps know this is crucial, so I purposely omitted them from that list to query.

One, central very important aspect of your Agile Transformation will be your Engagement model.  

Exercise:: Definition of Ready & Done

Assuming you are on a Scrum/Agile software development team, then one of the first 'working agreements' you have created with your team is a 'Definition of Done' - right?



Oh - you don't have a definition of what aspects a user story that is done will exhibit. Well then, you need to create a list of attributes of a done story. One way to do this would be to Google 'definition of done' ... here let me do that for you: http://tinyurl.com/3br9o6n. Then you could just use someone else's definition - there DONE!

But that would be cheating -- right? It is not the artifact - the list of done criteria, that is important for your team - it is the act of doing it for themselves, it is that shared understanding of having a debate over some of the gray areas that create a true working agreement. If some of the team believes that a story being done means that there can be no bugs found in the code - but some believe that there can be some minor issues - well, …

Refactoring - examples from the book

Martin Fowler's book Refactoring:  Improving the Design of Existing Code has a simple example of a movie rental domain model, which he refactors from a less than ideal object-oriented design to a more robust OO design. Included in this Refactoring_FirstExample.zip Zip file are the Java source code files of the Movie, Rental, and Customer classes. Along with a JUnit CustomerTest class. Using these example source files you too can follow along with the refactoring that Fowler presents in the first few chapters of his book.


Metrics for a Scrum Team (examples)

What metrics do you collect to analyze your scrum team?

We live in a world of data and information.  Some people have a mindset that numbers will diagnose all problems – “just show me the data.”  Therefore many directors and senior managers wish to see some list of metrics that should indicate the productivity and efficiency of the Scrum team.  I personally believe this is something that can be felt, that human intuition is much better in this decision realm than the data that can be collected.  However, one would have to actually spend time and carefully observe the team in action to get this powerful connection to the energy in a high-performing team space.  Few leaders are willing to take this time, they delegate this information synthesis task to managers via the typical report/dashboard request.  Therefore we are asked to collect data, to condense this data into information, all while ignoring the intangible obvious signals (read Honest Signals by Sandy Pentland of MIT).
What if …