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Showing posts from May, 2017

When Agile is not common sense

It's been about 8 years since I got my Agile training from James Grenning and started an Agile Pilot with my team. Right from the start I was super keen and got people practising TDD and Pair Programming even though I didn't really know if that effort would pay off. I just knew we had lots of problems with the old way so I wanted to embrace the new.

So I'd run my own little sessions with the broader team in Sydney sharing Agile concepts and ideas. Giving us a chance to discuss things and keep learning long after James had left. But often I would present new ideas and a few people in the group would respond "oh of course, that's just common sense". Initially I thought it was great as they were embracing these ideas as valuable even though it was not what we were doing before. But after a while I started to get frustrated because they we're not really listening. If some small part of a concept fit nicely with their "common sense" then they took th…

Applying the Toyota Kata

Last year I got to attend a workshop on the Toyota Kata by Hakan Forss and I could immediately see how it could be useful but I didn't have an obvious place to apply it until recently.

So what is the Toyota Kata? I see it as an alternative to retrospectives. It lets you define a collection of goals and run experiments to see if you can get progress towards that goal. Unlike retrospectives you can define goals that may seem distant (release to customers on every passing commit), may be simply something you want to maintain (have zero bugs in production) or be impossible (have zero wait time in moving a story from backlog to done). Once you've built this collection of measurable goals you decide what you're going to try and your expected outcome (we will to TDD and have 50% less bugs in production). You can define what the period is before you check in again and decide on the next step. But as with anything Agile; shorter is better. You can work it into a normal two week scr…

So I've been advised to create a Coaching Manual

I'm trying to build up my skills as an Agile Coach. In a way I've been doing this already now for about 8 years. But it's getting a bit more structure and organisation.

The way I see it learning is part of software development. It always has been. Some people get comfortable with their knowledge and workload and stop learning but that has never been me. When I get too comfortable I start looking for something else to do.

But my learnings are just a jumble in my brain. Sometimes it impresses me as I can pull out a name, a quote or apply a process to something specific. And sometimes it lets me down so I have to revisit and revise like I'm doing right now. I'm listening to Esther Derby talk about her Six Rules of Change and writing this at the same time. Not something I recommend but I just want a refresher as I've studied it before. I'll probably grab the slides later and use it as part of a mini-presentation. Sorry you just ran into my jumble.

What I'm …