May 8, 2013 (Justin’s table)


Topics that made the cut:

  1. Clipboard, Habit Maker, & Retro follow-through
    • Shared tools for helping changes from retrospectives stick
      1. A very large picture is put on the wall. Then covered with post-its that represent behavior changes to make (e.g., pair on a task). As team members complete the behavior change tasks, they remove the post-its. The first team member to guess what the image underneath is gets a prize.
      2. Behavior changes are put on a clipboard. A team member caries the clipboard and visits team members reminding them of the change. This is not a governance activity, but a reminder.
    • Justin points out that a group has to get to planning actions before they can follow through on them. Considered using a technique from above as “bait” to get a team to form actionable changes from a retrospective.
  2. Accelerated Learning
    • Framework for learning from Willem Larsen. Featured in the book-in-progress Name This Book.
    • 5 Items: Alive, Fluency, Signal, Focus & Setting.
    • If you take only one thing from the model, create learning environments that recognize people’s humanity.
    • Noted that the “environment” and setting for retrospectives can greatly affect their effectiveness.
  3. Water-SCRUM-fall, is it worth the pain?
    • When a program is structured very large and slow, with a staged release plan (e.g. in the first year, we’ll build the db…) but is to be run “agile” this causes pain for teams. What do to?
    • Team members tend to see activities such as iteration planning, backlog management, retrospectives, demos, etc. as “stupid” and “a waste of time”.
    • If you don’t have a purpose, it’s hard to know if you’re making
      progress toward a goal. Team may need to set its own sub-goals, if the business isn’t providing them.
    • Need to get the big program focussed on results. Outcomes, not output.
    • May come from fear of actually releasing. Business may not want the
      changes that would come from producing a result.
  4. Agile/Kanban as Organiz. Design
  5. Tricks for breaking out of ruts
    • I’m in a rut. How do you break out of ruts?
    • The Plateau Effect may help.
    • What about the 5 rules of Accelerated Learning?
    • Try getting others to see the same problem you see. Then you are not alone in working on the problem and not alone in the rut.
    • Ruts represent a conflict of desires. Boredom comes from prevention from doing what you want to do.
  6. How do you use Lean for your extra-work creative projects?
    • Talked a lot about Personal Kanban
      • Books: Personal Kanban, Factory of One, David Starr has written a book about it, featured in WSJ.
      • Tools: LeanKit, trello
      • Beware the tyranny of the list. Kanban does not remove this.
      • Differentiate between “holding” and “blocked” items.
      • Can try to sort tasks by size. Then when presenting with time to take on a task, grab one that fits the available time.
      • How about Family Kanban?
    • Briefly touched on family retrospectives.
  7. Merging two overlapping products and technology stacks
    • Merging (through acquisition) two products that overlap in both audience and functionality.
    • Anti-recommendation: bigwigs decide how people will work, ignoring realities. Instead, try to bring people doing the work together early and give them a chance to solve the problem from the engineering perspective. Create value teams.
    • What does success look like? What will failure look like?
    • Is there common understanding of the overlap? Figure out how to make the people excited about doing the work – technical challenges? how will it build their careers?
    • Recognize what’s been learned so far.
    • Focus on merging people over merging technology
    • What do the people stand to gain?