Scrum Without Innovation Culture is a Car Going Nowhere

agile

Great article on why approaches like Scrum and Lean startup are about innovation, and change the culture of an organisation towards innovation. The author advocates that Lean/Agile coaching should be mostly change management. It should be about creating a culture of continuous innovation. I couldn’t agree more!

… if this explosion of Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters isn’t leading to a whole host of Scrum zombies, which will then lead to the conclusion in three years’ time that Scrum was a bit like drinking orange juice from jam jars: silly hipster shit. The emperor’s new clothes. Because nothing will actually have changed.

Read the whole article on Medium.

Image source: http://blog.agilistic.nl/content/images/2016/06/Zombie-Scrum—Johannes-en-Christiaan-1.jpg

Scrum Master

scrum
Scrum Master

“A good Scrum Master helps the team to solve their problems, helps them to reach the sprint goal.”

“A great Scrum Master helps the team to solve the most crucial problems, creates an environment for the emerge of new practices and emerging knowledge.”

Source: A Scrum Master’s Practical Toolbox

Image: http://paulheidema.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Blog-graphic-scrum-master.png

Challenging Sprint Retrospectives

continuous improvement / scrum

For the readers: A reference for organising retrospectives is the book “Agile Retrospectives – Making Good teams Great”, by Esther Derby & Diana Larsen. They describe the main steps of an agile retrospective.

The prime directive of retrospectives has been formulated by Norman Kerth in his book “Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews”.

“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

You can find online all kinds and sorts of formats (games) for retrospectives; I’ve found back a description of a ‘base’ agile retrospective, and I’d like to recommend this to anyone. It focuses on what went well, what could better, and next on identifying and committing to action points for improvement.

What are your thoughts about retrospective facilitation techniques?

Reference to post: “Challenging Sprint Retrospectives

The Art of Possibility (book tip)

book reviews

Learned about this interesting book – very promising to read / list:

First chapter: “It’s all invented”.

Standard social and business practices are built on certain assumptions— shared understandings that have evolved from older beliefs and conditions.

And while circumstances may have changed since the start of these practices, their continued use tends to reconfirm the old beliefs.

For this reason our daily practices feel right and true to us, regardless of whether they have evolved to keep up with the pace of change.

In just such a way a business culture arises and perpetuates itself, perhaps long after its usefulness has passed.

Read More

XP Days Benelux 2017 (Belgium)

conferences
XP Days Benelux 2017

It’s that time of the year!

XP Days Benelux 2017 call for sessions is open till 1st of May 2017.

XP Days Benelux 2017 will take place 30th of November and 1st of December in Elewijt Center.

Go to the XP Days website to get to know all about the conference!

XP Days is a two day conference on agile software development for and by practitioners.

XP Days Benelux 2016

XP Days Benelux 2016

The Agile landscape – should we care?

agile

Yes, “agile” is an umbrella term, the word was chosen by the signatories of the agile manifesto. Who-ever would be referring to the agile method, doesn’t understand what agile refers to.

The existence of many agile methods, frameworks and approaches (no, Scrum is not the only agile method) for single teams and multiple teams illustrates the continuous journey of exploring and uncovering new and better ways of developing products. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it? It would be worrying if the whole world would agree for a single method or way of working.

Illustrations as the one below show the diversity of methods in the whole “agile” landscape.

agile-landscape

Some thoughts…

Read More

Agile Manifesto Values add-on for large enterprises

agile / manifesto

We are uncovering better ways of working in large enterprises by doing it and helping others do it.

We value:

Delighting Customers First over Shareholder Returns First

Focusing on Delighting Customers First leads to Shareholder Returns

Enterprise-Wide Agility over Agile for Software Development only

Optimise for flow, learning and feedback along the whole value stream

Empowered Product Teams over Command & Control Role based Work Passing

Long live teams with high Alignment, Autonomy and Safety aligned to value stream

Achieving Big through Small over Achieving Big through Big

Small teams, hypothesis-driven investment, optimise for flow, for better outcomes faster

 

That is. We used to value to things on the right, we now value the things on the left more.

 

Source: https://medium.com/@jonathansmart1/agile-manifesto-values-add-on-for-large-enterprises-f3fdc1abcd65#.wtautdxcw

 

Plan-Do-Check-Act

continuous improvement / tools & techniques
Plan Do Check Act

Een belangrijk element in een continue verbeteringsproces is een continue cyclus van plannen, uitvoeren, verifiëren en bijstellen. De uitdaging is om deze cyclus herhaaldelijk te blijven uitvoeren, zodat de zin voor kwaliteitsverbetering een continue gegeven wordt.

De indeling van deze stappen zijn de stappen zoals aanwezig in de wetenschappelijke methode: het formuleren van een hypothese, het uitvoeren van een experiment, en het evalueren van de resultaten (om de hypothese juist of fout te verklaren). Deze Plan – Do – Check – Act cyclus (PDCA) is gekend als de kwaliteitscirkel van Deming. PDCA vormt de basis voor continue verbetering en is een element van lean productie.

Scrum als ontwikkelingsraamwerk voor complexe producten heeft zijn origine in lean productie (lean thinking). Het artikel (The New New Product Development Game) spreekt over “incrementele verbeteringen”.

Hoe “Plan – Do – Check – Act” zichtbaar maken in een team?

Read More

Playing Lean facilitator tips

lean startup

Playing Lean is a business simulation, in the format of a board-game to learn about lean startup principles and practices.

The following facilitator tips are based upon those experiences. Some of the tips are more advanced (meaning these take time to prepare). You might not agree with all recommendations, but hey it’s up to you to try 😉 (as an experiment)

Read More

Essential Agile

agile

The essentials of Agile software (product) development:

Accept that you start not knowing the solution. Understanding is emergent.

Take the following approach:

  1. Find out where you are
  2. Take a small step towards your goal (and if there are multiple choices here, take the path of least regret, or the one that makes future change easier)
  3. Adjust your understanding based on what you learned
  4. Repeat

(Yes, that’s it).

by Pragmatic Dave

Read More

XP Days Benelux 2016

conferences

XP Days Benelux 2016 edition took place at Kapellerput (Eindhoven, The Netherlands). Next year edition – 2017 – will take place in Belgium (Elewijt Center, Zemst)

We’ve enjoyed sessions such as:

  • retrospectives with Lego Serious Play
  • coaching stances
  • 50 ideas for graphical facilitation
  • How to create your own training games
  • evening boards games
  • Large-Scale transformation at BASE
  • etc

Photos of XP Days Benelux 2016, 24th & 25th of November, 2016, Heeze, The Netherlands.