Diary of this past week

Hi everyone, how was this week for you? Hope it was really cool. If you are in the Netherlands, it probably was a bit wet, but today looks much better.

So what was interesting this week?

🗣 A Keynote

At the beginning of this week, I got the opportunity to go and speak at the Axians Developer Conference. It was so much fun. Sharing my journey to agility, from my first projects in Waterfall, the mistakes I committed and the pitfalls I experience.

The main goal was to plant a small seed on everyone in the room, that no matter what project management framework you use, what matters is what you deliver in the end. So don’t spend time doing things that are not worth it. This was the final slide.

I think the message was well received and some seeds got planted.

👷‍♂️ A workshop

On the 2nd day there, bright and early, right after breakfast, it was time for a workshop. The title of the workshop was “Is agile for you? Come figure it out”. The goal was the same as the talk. Plant a small seed of better ways of working, but this time, instead of me talking, you would try it by yourself.

To start, I gave a quick introduction to the agile manifesto and Scrum. The Scrum intro was just focused on the 3 roles of scrum, in a way I like to call, the 3 little piggies of Scrum.

After a quick intro, we went right into the practical side. Each team got 20 marbles, as the “Product Owner” my goal for the team was to pass as many marbles as possible. There were some rules aka acceptance criteria.

  • Each marble needs to have air time
  • Each marble needs to be passed to everyone in the team

Simple right? We did 3 sprints of 2 minutes with a retrospective/planning of 30 seconds. It is amazing how the results go just by having 3 simple iterations, and the difference if they had to do it for a full 6 minutes.

The team started estimating they would be able to deliver between 15 and 25 marbles by the end of the first sprint. Some failed at that commitment, not by much though, but one team went 10x on theirs. The beauty about transparency is that the SM of the other team understood what this team had done, and got the learning to their team. In Sprint 3, the teams were committing between 500 and 600 marbles.

If this is not a good example of how Scrum can help you, then something is really wrong.

👀 A Retrospective

After all this excitement in France and the Axians Developers Conference, it was time to come back to work. Here I got another opportunity to help a newly formed team do their first retrospective together.

These guys were not new to retrospectives, far from it, but it was the first one they would do together as a team. My idea, instead of going for the standard, was to try and push the team member on thinking what they should start, stop, do more, do less or keep doing, to be an amazing team.

This is an example of the board I’ve set up.

The team liked it and they found some actions to double down on the things they like and some ideas of things to stop. We kept it to only 3 actions, 3 achievable things the team can implement in their next 2 weeks iteration.

And you, how was your week?



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