Learning to teach online:what do you think?

Someone emailed me today to ask what trends I thought were emerging that us trainer/consultant/wanderers should be taking notice of.

Two trends I have been noticing that are both scary and exciting to me are

  • People are making knowledge and ideas available for free.  This blog includes some of my trade secrets in the hope that they will be useful to others.  But that is nothing compared to MIT publishing entire course curricula online or the sheer volume of free information you can get in wikipedia, youtube and other places;
  • People are increasingly interacting, doing business and learning online. I did my entire masters degree online and yet even that experience was pretty mundane compared to the emerging opportunities that are emerging – youtube based videos, ebooks, Secondlife (yes – I still think we can do a lot of training in 3d worlds) and even mentoring by Skype and twitter.

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Agile governance and the problem with measuring self-organising teams

I have been in some interesting conversations recently about agile development teams and sound organisational governance. 

One of the challenges faced by organisations is that the traditional measures used to monitor and control teams are not necessarily suited to the style and approach of agile teams, while agile approaches may seem to remain silent on, or even discourage, the outside governance of project teams.

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Fortunately this is not a new problem and people have been discussing it since self-organising teams (or work cells, or self-managed teams) first appeared in management theory.

Continue reading “Agile governance and the problem with measuring self-organising teams”

Er .. um … is co-locating a team bad for projects?

I had a really challenging question in a training course recently.  I normally like these because I get a chance to say “good question, hmm – what do the rest of the group think?”.  Then I sit back and learn from the group. This time the question stumped all of us though so my initial response was “what, no not really, er, yes but also … hmmm”. Here is the context and the question.  We had been discussing self “organising teams” (teams that take accountability for their own decisions rather than being told what to do").  I said that “colocation” … Continue reading Er .. um … is co-locating a team bad for projects?

Risk outrage – look out for falling coconuts

A participant in a workshop alleged that coconuts are more dangerous in some parts of the world than sharks. Apparently he has seen statistics showing that in the South Pacific there are substantially more deaths related to falling coconuts than shark attacks. So at a typical resort by the beach, people will be worried about sharks when in the water, but be quite relaxed about sitting under (a potentially lethal) coconut tree. I guess sharks are a bit  scarier than falling coconuts. Many of us have seen Jaws but nobody has yet agreed to film my script for “Coconut Apocalypse” where a resort tries to cover up … Continue reading Risk outrage – look out for falling coconuts

Talking about retrospectives on another blog

I was running a course on “facilitating workshops in agile projects” when some of the crew asked what different questions they could ask in retrospectives (instead of just “what worked and what didn’t). We got talking about the retrospective at the end of a project.  So I published a story of sorts on how to run a retro for 70 people at the end of a project. At the end of the discussion I promissed to publish some of my comments so I put them together in a short story about running a retrospective.  You can read it hear if you are … Continue reading Talking about retrospectives on another blog