Working in an agile team can sometimes be stressful, when the needs of the customers are unclear, if there is a lot of work to be done, or when team members are having difficulties doing their work. You might ask the question if having fun could reduce the feelings of stress, increase motivation, or increase productivity? And if that is true, then what can you do to have more fun in agile teams?
Agile adoption in organizations where command and control is the most dominant management style can be tricky. There have been situations where an agile transition didn’t deliver the expected improvements, or even failed and was stopped. Several authors suggested ways to adopt agile in organizations with a command and control management style. How did you deal with it when transitioning to agile?
Agile retrospectives are used by teams to improve their performance, by reflecting on the way of working and defining improvement actions. But retrospectives can also be used for personal improvement, additional to or as a replacement of performance appraisals. Such retrospectives can be done as a one-on-one by a manager and an employee, individually by an employee, or in a team.
Teams sometimes consider to skip a retrospective meeting, when they feel time pressure, or do not see direct benefits of doing one. Next they question themselves if they have to keep doing retrospectives? Agile retrospectives help teams to learn and improve continuously, and there are valid reasons to keep doing them also with mature teams.
Retrospectives are often considered to be a valuable agile technique, but sometimes teams have difficulties doing them: insufficient control of things, thinking that they can’t improve, difficulties defining good actions, or much complaining. Teams may find retrospectives boring, and a waste of their time. How to deal with this, and help teams to discover better ways to do retrospectives?
Retrospectives help teams to learn and improve their way of working. Several agile coaches have scaled retrospectives to cover larger projects or programs with multiple teams. Let’s explore how they did it.
Two video lessons covering agile coaching and organizational change were released by Pearson/Addison-Wesley in the last quarter of 2012. They provide a different way to increase knowledge on agile adoption for visual and audible learners.
To become more flexible, durable and increase organizational effectiveness, retrospectives can be used in adopting agile. Some experiences stories and examples of how teams use retrospectives as a sustainable and adaptable solution for agile adoption, to implement continuous improvement with them.
Double-loop learning can be a great model for encouraging transformational improvements in teams by challenging key assumptions and strategies. Retrospectives and Lean Startup provide a framework to incorporate this learning model.
Tony Wong, a project management blackbelt, enumerates some practical points on individual procutivity. This article wonders how well these apply to software development and contrasts his list with that of other lists.
Usually failures result in anger, frustration and playing the blame game. However, failures are wasted if there is no learning from them. How can Agile teams make failures beautiful?
Retrospectives and feedback loops are at the heart of any successful Agile/Scrum implementation. They’re the tool we use to help teams improve. Yet in two day introduction to Agile classes they often get glossed over. Lacking time trainers (including this one) often race through the topic outlining only one simple type of retrospectives.
Angela Harms recently blogged about the Agile Retrospective Prime Directive. She discusses how the language of the prime directive around "everyone doing their best" could be seen as patronizing and insulting to team members. Other commentators who have discussed the intent of the Prime Directive include Esther Derby and George Dinwiddie. How useful is the Retrospective Prime Directive?
Stakeholders of an Agile project often seek the help of a seasoned Agile coach to gauge the effectiveness of the Agile process and practices that their team is following. The intention is to plug the holes and make the team more effective. Recently, on the Scrum Development group, Scott Killen started a thread on how to do an audit on an Agile team.
James Carr recently published a list of five rules to help improve the effectiveness of retrospectives. The rules are based on his experiences in hundreds of retrospectives, both successful and not.