Its a catastrophe – the reality check approach

I have been exploring some ways to help people and teams tackle major challenges, impediments and catastrophes.

But my final approach is one I learned from my parents when I was young.  Its not in any of the agile coaching approaches, but I have found I use it often.

I also find this is the approach that my mentors and family have used to help me when I am worrying about something.

It’s called “a reality check,” or a “kick in the pants.Continue reading “Its a catastrophe – the reality check approach”

Its a catastrophe – the kindergarten approach

I have been discussing some approaches to help teams deal with both “catastrophes” and “impediments.”

This time I am looking at an approach that really is about catastrophes, by which I mean things that are really overwhelming a person or team.

In this situation people feel out of control and potentially panicked. So we want to find an effective way to deal with overwhelming, major challenges.

You might be surprised though where I found this approach.  It was in kindergarten.

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Its a catastrophe – the doctor’s office

I have been publishing a couple of suggestions for dealing with “catastrophes” and also “minor impediments” with agile teams.  In each case I either shared some questions or put some boxes on a wall.

In the last two articles, I stole someone else’s simple approach and re-framed it as a problem solving or “catastrophe” re-framing approach.  But this time I thought I would share an approach I came up with myself – I call it “The doctor is in.”

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Using a story wall to add learning

A story wall helps us to focus our attention on the present, by allowing us to take a snapshot of the state of our work in any given moment. Doing so allows us to see bottlenecks and priorities and generally take better control of our work in progress. But in my last article I mentioned that we can extend the use of our story wall to help the team apply “second loop learning” as well as managing their daily work. I do not intend to explore second loop learning here again in detail, but I do intend to show how … Continue reading Using a story wall to add learning

Coaching in the Fire Swamp

I saw a great movie a long time ago. It was called “The Princess Bride.” It had so many great quotes and absurd scenes that I could write an entire blog article about it. There was one thing though, that I am reminded of now when I am talking to people about coaching teams (agile teams or even just teams of good people). In the movie, people are warned not to go into “The Fire Swamp.” It has 3 great perils in it that you do not want to face – Flame spurts, Lightning sand and R.O.U.S (Rodents of Unusual … Continue reading Coaching in the Fire Swamp

The problem with project managers and product based thinking

Once upon a time I used to run projects.

To be honest I am probably a better BA than a PM, but I have run quite a few projects and my projects always seemed to come through OK.

So when I encountered agile projects with product owners on them, I was pretty relaxed.

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How we defined the problem in our workshop, plus a plan on a page

I ran a mini workshop as part of a training course   I didn’t really follow the course notes in this exercise so we did not have any standard material to refer back to.

People took notes and photos as we went, but I promised to publish a generic version of what we did.  So here it is.

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