Are my stakeholders logical?

When I went to university, I learned a lot about decision making in a business context. I learned that decisions should be sound and logical, based on good analysis, which in turn depends on the collection of evidence that is relevant, reliable and free from bias. That is not exactly what I found when I starting working though. Instead, most decisions seemed to be instinctive, based on a spur of the moment assessment of whatever information was immediately at hand. At first I assumed that small decisions must be based on quick input and that large decisions should be based … Continue reading Are my stakeholders logical?

Technical excellence and a geek tragedy

I had an idea for a story. A kind of “geek tragedy,” based on the idea that the very things that the team are most proud of, might also be the seeds of their DOOM. I thought I would play with an outline here and see if the story comes to anything. Idea one – a theoretical team of techies Let’s say we have an agile teams that wants to continually focus on technical excellence. In fact excelling technically is something that is very dear to them. They are a small team that works on a stand alone product. Things … Continue reading Technical excellence and a geek tragedy

Perhaps product based thinking is holding agile back

I was running projects when I first encountered agile techniques. I still remember the joy of reading the book “Agile Project Management” and seeing clearly how I could improve the way I ran projects. Even before that though, I had adopted improved ways of working that were really just common sense, even before I knew that they were agile). In particular I found agile approaches brought two very powerful things to project delivery: We leverage the community to deliver, rather than aligning resources to critical paths; and We continuously manage risk using a “sense and respond” approach rather than “Planning … Continue reading Perhaps product based thinking is holding agile back

Goal Setting (By a 9 year old)

Goal setting is something I have to do, as we have to do it a lot during school. I think that goal setting is a great idea, but it is not always the easiest to do. Hopefully this article helps you with it. Types of goals Goals can be silly. Last week we had to make a goal in music and mine was to be able to carry my trombone in its case, as it is REALLY heavy. Though in other things, my goals are less silly. My maths goal isn’t silly. My maths goal is to be able to … Continue reading Goal Setting (By a 9 year old)

Sunset on the pub based retro?

I have been having a lot of online meetings lately and they obviously have their challenges. Rather strangely though, online meetings often seem more efficient than face to face meetings. There is no waiting for a meeting room and no trouble booking a room. Best of all, people are eager to get through the agenda and get out of the meeting. I was wonder if, when people are face to face, they might start to expect the same etiquette and efficiency that they expect online. But not all meetings are meant to be efficient, something I had forgotten that until … Continue reading Sunset on the pub based retro?

Stress-o-meter cards for retros

I was talking to a friend of mine who is also coaching people at the moment. His team are currently distributed and working from home, due to the current pandemic. We talked about how both the pandemic and the need to work with people you are not in physical contact with creates has an ongoing impact on energy and motivation. We get through a day’s work well enough, but I think it is like there is a small leak draining my energy during the day. Like a tap dripping in the background or a battery slowly running flat even when … Continue reading Stress-o-meter cards for retros

A skills backlog with a capability table

I wrote an article a while ago, suggesting that it is a good idea to invest in the growth of our crew. I promised at the time that I would also explain the concept of a “skills backlog”. Now, several months later, I thought I would write the promised article. The approach is quite simple: Identify the skills you want to improve; and Continuously work on improving them. We have already looked at some ways to identify areas for improvement, which is nice, but I have found that I often get really busy after that and seem to focus on … Continue reading A skills backlog with a capability table

Growth mindsets and lucky coaches

Editor’s warning – a long article with personal comments and opinions. Probably 10 minutes to read. My daughter Kiran recently published an article on the growth mindset. After she published her article, I spent some time thinking about the topic in a little more depth. I decided that would be much easier to teach a class full of kids, if they all have a growth mindset. Here is my reasoning: Kids with growth mindsets will seek opportunities learn from and will regularly ask for feedback that they can use improve their learning. They are also more fun to be around … Continue reading Growth mindsets and lucky coaches