Facilitation tip – introducing new ideas

I gave a friend some feedback on his facilitation style recently. I suggested the he “introduce new ideas really well and stuff.”  Great advice, but perhaps not very specific or useful.

Then I ran a facilitation related course and gave people feedback on, among other things, presenting ideas to the team.  There seemed to be a pattern where people were passionate about what they were saying, but not clear on exactly how to say it.

So what does “introducing new ideas really well and stuff” entail?

Firstly, passion and authenticity count. But there are also some basic mechanical steps that you can take to structure a message so that you are clear on what you want to say and the audience is more likely to take it in.

Continue reading “Facilitation tip – introducing new ideas”

Advertisements

My keynote at the Melbourne BA development day

I went to the IIBA professional day in Melbourne and I gave the morning keynote for the day.  There were about 270 business analysts their to learn about all things BA.

I thought I would publish the talk because a couple of people asked me about the content.  Apparently there is still some confusion about business analysts on agile projects … and I assume also on data science, political and design thinking type projects.

Continue reading “My keynote at the Melbourne BA development day”

Is it really that hard to learn agile?

I work with people going agile.  Sometimes it is an awesome experience and sometimes it is quite depressing.

For example, I worked with some good, experienced people a while back.  They were were pretty sad before I turned up and pretty happy that I came to help them. This is the part of the agile coaching experience that is awesome.

Before the dawn of agile:

  • Business cases took longer to get approval than some projects took to deliver; and
  • Worse than that, some projects took longer to die than the fading spirit of the team members on the project.

Then I arrived, crashing through the window with index cards in one hand and a mandate to free the people from tyranny in the other.

This is where I like to play.

Editor’s note – Unfortunately this article turns out to be a long read, so grab a cup of tea, or just look for some nice pictures and skip all the boring text.

Continue reading “Is it really that hard to learn agile?”

“What why how” coaching for skills

I recently wrote an article on coaching where I suggested building a toolkit of different approaches to use when coaching people and teams in different things.

This is my (very basic) tool for teaching a skill – it is called “what why how”.

I use it when I want to help someone develop a specific skill that I am confident I can teach and give feedback on.  For example, running agile meetings or business scoping workshops.

Continue reading ““What why how” coaching for skills”

Quick view: Is 2 speed IT a good thing?

I was talking to someone today about “2-speed IT” and whether it is:

  • An excuse to avoid going agile, while still hoping to be invited to all the cool “go digital” fun projects; or
  • A recognition that different types of technology require different approaches, requiring IT teams to adopt a strategic view.

I started to explore my thinking on this when I found that the argument had already been succinctly captured elsewhere. So here is a quick summary of other people’s thinking about what “2-speed IT” means and why it is good or bad.

Continue reading “Quick view: Is 2 speed IT a good thing?”

Use the river diagram to communicate data

I run a lot of workshops, including planning workshops and retrospectives.  Sometimes the crew votes on things like “what is the best feature, or how did we go this time.”

But sometimes we collect data and then want to discuss it as a team.  And this presents a challenge – I like data in a spreadsheet and I like pictures on the wall but sometimes it seems hard to capture numbers in a useful way in the workshop.

But do not fear – the River Diagram is here and this is exactly what it is for.

river1

Continue reading “Use the river diagram to communicate data”

Somehow I missed agile going mainstream

I recently stumbled on this article again – Original article talking scrum.

Actually someone posted it in LinkedIn .

The ideas seemed so clear and so right when I read the article. In fact it seemed like something “the old guard” had ignored in their ignorance.

This was fresh, free thinking that the old guard would ignore now to their peril, while we who understood it would usher in a new world.

But then I realised that it was written in the 1980’s and was already quite old when I read it the first time.

I had an epiphany.

I used to laugh at old guys who said things like “Cool Daddy o” and “Rock on.” They seemed to think that they were radical and a bit out of control, but to me their music was “what my parents used to listen to.”

It hit me that not long ago, “agile” was something we talked about in cafes as part of the anti-establishment fight against pointless bureaucracy.

Continue reading “Somehow I missed agile going mainstream”