Step 2: Write, introduce values to the team making a short description of each value and trying to connect them with everyday practices. Good definitions to start:
Communication:Everyone is part of the team and we communicate face to face daily. We will work together on everything from requirements to code. We will create the best solution to our problem that we can together
Simplicity:We will do what is needed and asked for, but no more. This will maximize the value created for the investment made to date. We will take small simple steps to our goal and mitigate failures as they happen. We will create something we are proud of and maintain it long term for reasonable costs
Courage: We will tell the truth about progress and estimates. We don’t document excuses for failure because we plan to succeed. We don’t fear anything because no one ever works alone. We will adapt to changes when ever they happen.
Respect: Everyone gives and feels the respect they deserve as a valued team member. Everyone contributes value even if it’s simply enthusiasm. Developers respect the expertise of the customers and vice versa. Management respects our right to accept responsibility and receive authority over our own work
Feedback: We will take every iteration commitment seriously by delivering working software. We demonstrate our software early and often then listen carefully and make any changes needed. We will talk about the project and adapt our process to it, not the other way around
Step 3: Let the team make it real and link these values to their current practices… Let the discussion go !
Step 4 : Do the self assessment, anonymously, with a scale of 0-10 : how well the team is doing with the 5 agile values ?
Agile Value Card - Rate each value - 0 (not at all) to 10 (as much as possible) - It's anonymous !
Step 5: Collect the cards immediately after the exercise, Do the average by axis
Step 6: : Discuss the results and use it to track progress: NEXT SPRINT WE FOCUS ON FEEDBACK !
Sprint 1 vs Sprint 2 : Do you notice the progress ?
Precious to reinforce agile values
Very useful to generate insights and discussion around practices / values
Quick and easy
Useful to identity strengths and weaknesses of a team in a « Kaizen » approach
Very good for retrospectives and intresting in training and everyday coaching
One more time… and in small groups please: more fun, more feedback and more information collected even if you need more preparation effort (related to realistic content, screenshots and elements cutting, materials provided).
Design Workshop :Paper prototyping in small groups
At a time when others are still searching and waiting for the magic prototyping tool to make wireframe, Paper prototyping deliberately focuses on proximity, human interactions, feedback, collaboration, and simplicity… some core agile values.
According to me, even more in Agile contexts, the real strength of Wireframe format is on its ability:
To be done in a collaborative mode,
To generate feedback,
To share the Vision of the User interface
To support business and development activities
To stay at a « just enough » level (documentation, process, effort…)
And this is exactly what paper prototyping offers…
Moreover, Paper prototyping technique is FAST, EASY and FLEXIBLE (in terms of protocols…).
This is what I have observed in some group sessions:
It is highly collaborative with a rich feedback generation (especially for group sessions)
It enables multi disciplinary teams, various actors to get a common vision,
It reduces communication issues: we do it in groups, face to face, in the same room…
It fosters creativity by giving the impression that nothing is fixed and that we can change things easily
It’s interactive and fun with direct manipulation and collective activities (far from the passivity of some traditional meetings)
It is adaptive and scalable with various facilitation techniques adjusted to different contexts
To conclude, take a look at this huge session of paper prototyping:
One of the first differences observed with Agile is the way we estimate the size and duration of an IT project.
The entire team is made responsible for the estimate of the product Backlog (the list of all functionality desired in the product). Indeed, the team is invited to estimate collectively this list of valuable items that will require his work.
Scrum teams use Story Points and Planning Poker for this activity.
Story Points represent a measurement of the effort required by a team to implement a Story.
Planning Poker is an effective (and funny) way to assign collectively story points to user stories on the product backlog. It isa special card game based on the Fibonacci sequence. The idea is to pick a representative story and assign it a point value, then estimate the other stories relative to this standard (consensus must be reached for each user story)
Planning Poker Deck
Collective intelligence is the pillar of this new way to estimate … an effective team-based estimation technique but not so natural at first. Relative size and consensus are not so easy for the teams new to agile.
Teams often lose the thread of their estimates. They have difficulty in comparing or lack of benchmarks.
Use a visual display of the planning poker values in columns, and place the user stories in the appropriate column during the activity.
Visual display of the estimates
It is an effective form of visual management
It facilitates comparison and triangulation
It reinforces the concept of relative size (effort)
It reinforces the idea that result is not frozen during the activity: change is easy t!
Christmas is coming and kids know it. This is what happened to me last weekend …
My kids « Dad … Dad for Christmas … can we play the sticky notes game »
Me: « Okay kids, but this time we’re going to change the rules »
In one year, I had the time to improve the process 🙂 even if the constraints are almost the same:
Santa Claus is very busy
His sledge is not expandable
The deadlines are tight
The delivery date cannot be moved
In addition, my kids as good Product Owners have understood two important things making them realize the importance of priorities:
You cannot have everything (even if you always want more),
Being good (or not) can potentially impact on what you’d receive
Scrum / XP from … Home!
Or how we set priorities to write the letter to Santa Claus 🙂
Step1 : Brainstorming, data collection and workshops
Passionate reading for weeks, intensive research from several sources, and interviews with the little brother to finally cut in the magazines the images of the toys they like
Step 2: Backlog Initialization
The images are cut. In case of several kids, ask them to place their images in an envelope. Use one envelope by child then one image by sticky note. The backlog is initiated.
Step 3: Backlog Prioritization
Notes are laid on the ground. Ask the kids to rank in order of preference by placing on the top toys they want most, the most important to them…
Step 4: Backlog Display
Notes are now prioritized on the ground. We had to find a wall or a door to display them vertically (visual management …).
My daughter’s wall (not very reasonable):
My son’s wall (moderate …)
Retrospective: We had a good time and kids were very happy !
My wife and I’ll take care of the estimation (points/ euros) 🙂
VALUE, FEEDBACK & ADAPTATION, COURAGE, TRANSPARENCY: this is the Lean and Agile mindset.
More than ever focus on value and waste elimination are organizations’ high priorities : lean thinking must drive our projects. And it starts by your meetings !
ROTI (Return on Time Investment) is a quick and easy method to gauge the time spent on meetings or workshops, and to improve their effectiveness.
How does it work ?
Take 5-15 minutes at the end of the meeting to ask participants to rate their return on time invested, using the Fist of Five technique and this 1-5 scale:
If you receive a majority of 1 or 2 fingers votes, you know there is a problem. Anyway, discuss with the participants who rated 1 or 2, discover why and react, plan to do something else, better, the next time.
I use the Return On Time Invested technique intensively (meetings, workshops, conferences), and really appreciate it. It’s VISUAL and provides you with IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK (but are you ready to receive it ?). The focus on what is really valuable but also commitment, empowerment, transparency, continuous Improvement are the key benefits I notice.
ROTI is quick, easy, sometimes funny, and works very well, even with top management.