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Starting along the coaching path

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  • Wilson, Michael
    Morning everyone o/ I m in a fairly strange but encouraging position. I ve recently took on a new position internally as a fledgling Xp/Agile Champion and
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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      Morning everyone o/

      I'm in a fairly strange but encouraging position. I've recently took on
      a new position internally as a fledgling Xp/Agile "Champion" and
      eventually as a coach and trainer. I've been writing software for 30+
      years (+ too many at this point) and while I'm fully infused with the
      Kool-Ade, I'm really at a bit of a loss as to how to start as I've only
      ever done Agile programming work in isolation.

      I came to TDD a few years ago and it was a truly bloody battle. The
      result is that I'm pretty passionate about it, but frankly I still get
      stumped a little easily.

      We had John Cunningham here last week for a couple days to give a brain
      dump to the relatively new guys. But in the past we've had the also
      delightful company of Mike Feathers, Mike Hill and Bob Martin. So it's
      not a new concept being mandated from on high. It's something people
      are at least marginally curious about. We have our curmudgeons

      As I see it so far the point where I can have the most effect today is
      in keeping enthusiasm up and greasing the wheels. We really want the
      concept to prove itself.

      Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more information on the
      evangelical side of things?

      - Mike


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      be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
      guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
      or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
      transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
      recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
      contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
      confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
      you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
      copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
      sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
      print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
      recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
      sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
      authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

      Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
      by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
      Technology Group, Inc.

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      all electronic communications through its network.

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David H.
      ... Hello Mike ... That is probably the worst thing you can do. If you think of it as something that comes from being an evangelist, if you think that a
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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        >
        Hello Mike

        >
        > Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more information on
        > the
        > evangelical side of things?
        >
        >
        That is probably the worst thing you can do. If you think of it as
        something that comes from being an evangelist, if you think that a
        dogmatic approach has anything to do with coaching and aiming to make
        others understand your view of a topic, then you will have a very hard
        time.

        I assume that this is simply a bad choice of words?
        Furthermore, without trying to be impolite, do you consider yourself a
        geek? I do not have the amount of experience that you have, but I
        think I have learned over the last years that having a good
        understanding of human nature, psychology and the way we communicate
        and perceive communication has helped me immensely.

        Not to mention reading old chinese books *chuckles*
      • Steven Gordon
        Congrats, Mike. A good source of strategies is Fearless Change is http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html . You might also consider taking a Scrum
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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          Congrats, Mike.

          A good source of strategies is Fearless Change is
          http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html . You might also consider
          taking a Scrum Masters Certification Class (not for the certification, but
          for what you could learn in just a couple of days).

          It is very important to think of your mission as an agile project. Do not
          try big upfront planning of the whole campaign. Instead, just establish
          initial specific goals for the first "iteration", work to achieve them,
          reflect on how it went with all the stakeholders, and repeat.

          The goals for each "iteration" should be based on reaching concensus with
          developers, customers and managers on:
          - what are the few most painful symptoms at your company (just a few),
          - measuring the current state of those symptoms, and
          - specific measurable improvements in those areas (initially, for just a few
          specific projects).

          Then, work collaboratively with everyone to make the improvements happen,
          reflect, replan and repeat.

          Steven Gordon

          On 11/2/07, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Morning everyone o/
          >
          > I'm in a fairly strange but encouraging position. I've recently took on
          > a new position internally as a fledgling Xp/Agile "Champion" and
          > eventually as a coach and trainer. I've been writing software for 30+
          > years (+ too many at this point) and while I'm fully infused with the
          > Kool-Ade, I'm really at a bit of a loss as to how to start as I've only
          > ever done Agile programming work in isolation.
          >
          > I came to TDD a few years ago and it was a truly bloody battle. The
          > result is that I'm pretty passionate about it, but frankly I still get
          > stumped a little easily.
          >
          > We had John Cunningham here last week for a couple days to give a brain
          > dump to the relatively new guys. But in the past we've had the also
          > delightful company of Mike Feathers, Mike Hill and Bob Martin. So it's
          > not a new concept being mandated from on high. It's something people
          > are at least marginally curious about. We have our curmudgeons
          >
          > As I see it so far the point where I can have the most effect today is
          > in keeping enthusiasm up and greasing the wheels. We really want the
          > concept to prove itself.
          >
          > Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more information on the
          > evangelical side of things?
          >
          > - Mike
          >
          >
          >
          > -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
          > This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is for
          > informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
          > be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
          > guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the
          > purchase
          > or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
          > transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain
          > any
          > recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
          > contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
          > confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
          > you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
          > copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify
          > the
          > sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
          > print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
          > recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
          > sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
          > authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.
          >
          > Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are
          > offered
          > by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
          > Technology Group, Inc.
          >
          > ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor and archive
          > all electronic communications through its network.
          >
          > ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
          >
          > -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Wilson, Michael
          I m definitely not interested in shoving things down someone s throat in the way that evangelical perhaps implied. Nobody could ve convinced me that it was
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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            I'm definitely not interested in shoving things down someone's throat in
            the way that "evangelical" perhaps implied. Nobody could've convinced
            me that it was the thing to do until I tried it myself and I certainly
            don't expect anybody else to believe it's a good way to do things just
            because someone told them so. These guys are smarter than that.

            Not impolite at all. Yeah, the fact that I get excited about writing
            assembler code for different processors and may be the only person
            (certainly that I know) who would rather work in c++ than any of these
            java/python/ruby languages probably means I'm pretty damn geeky (not to
            mention pig-headed beyond all reckoning.) Gregarious enough to be fit
            to the task I think.

            I think I understand the people I'm dealing with pretty well. It's new
            stuff to most of them and they don't know where to start.

            Some of the problems have to do with the odd stubborn hold-out here or
            there. There's the standard business-side faux adoption in a couple
            places "Xp was supposed to help me get software faster, so why is this
            taking so long? Xp's a bunch of c***!" And that's an easy to understand
            case of silver-bulletitis.

            Yeah, I'm a big fan of the old chinese books myself.

            - M

            -----Original Message-----
            From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David H.
            Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 10:58 AM
            To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [XP] Starting along the coaching path

            >
            Hello Mike

            >
            > Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more information on
            > the evangelical side of things?
            >
            >
            That is probably the worst thing you can do. If you think of it as
            something that comes from being an evangelist, if you think that a
            dogmatic approach has anything to do with coaching and aiming to make
            others understand your view of a topic, then you will have a very hard
            time.

            I assume that this is simply a bad choice of words?
            Furthermore, without trying to be impolite, do you consider yourself a
            geek? I do not have the amount of experience that you have, but I think
            I have learned over the last years that having a good understanding of
            human nature, psychology and the way we communicate and perceive
            communication has helped me immensely.

            Not to mention reading old chinese books *chuckles*




            To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...

            To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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            Yahoo! Groups Links



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            This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is for
            informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
            be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
            guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
            or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
            transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
            recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
            contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
            confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
            you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
            copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
            sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
            print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
            recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
            sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
            authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

            Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
            by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
            Technology Group, Inc.

            ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor and archive
            all electronic communications through its network.

            ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
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          • Wilson, Michael
            Nice resource, thanks. Yay Amazon. reaching concensus with developeres, customers and managers sure sounds Sysephean. But then that s BDUF thinking anyway.
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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              Nice resource, thanks. Yay Amazon.

              "reaching concensus with developeres, customers and managers"

              sure sounds Sysephean.

              But then that's BDUF thinking anyway. I suppose.

              My old team (where I was for a year and a half) I think is best primed.
              If we can get a solid real-world example of the benefits then I think
              that will really carry far more weight than having someone in the
              explicit role I have, which necessarily causes suspicion among the
              cagey.

              The only problem is that it's fundamentally a gui team so TDD, FIT
              testing, etc. are really though to implement. But they're also the most
              enthusiastic.

              I've certainly got my work cut out for me.

              - M

              -----Original Message-----
              From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Gordon
              Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 11:05 AM
              To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [XP] Starting along the coaching path

              Congrats, Mike.

              A good source of strategies is Fearless Change is
              http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html . You might also
              consider taking a Scrum Masters Certification Class (not for the
              certification, but for what you could learn in just a couple of days).

              It is very important to think of your mission as an agile project. Do
              not try big upfront planning of the whole campaign. Instead, just
              establish initial specific goals for the first "iteration", work to
              achieve them, reflect on how it went with all the stakeholders, and
              repeat.

              The goals for each "iteration" should be based on reaching concensus
              with developers, customers and managers on:
              - what are the few most painful symptoms at your company (just a few),
              - measuring the current state of those symptoms, and
              - specific measurable improvements in those areas (initially, for just a
              few specific projects).

              Then, work collaboratively with everyone to make the improvements
              happen, reflect, replan and repeat.

              Steven Gordon

              On 11/2/07, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Morning everyone o/
              >
              > I'm in a fairly strange but encouraging position. I've recently took
              > on a new position internally as a fledgling Xp/Agile "Champion" and
              > eventually as a coach and trainer. I've been writing software for 30+
              > years (+ too many at this point) and while I'm fully infused with the
              > Kool-Ade, I'm really at a bit of a loss as to how to start as I've
              > only ever done Agile programming work in isolation.
              >
              > I came to TDD a few years ago and it was a truly bloody battle. The
              > result is that I'm pretty passionate about it, but frankly I still get

              > stumped a little easily.
              >
              > We had John Cunningham here last week for a couple days to give a
              > brain dump to the relatively new guys. But in the past we've had the
              > also delightful company of Mike Feathers, Mike Hill and Bob Martin. So

              > it's not a new concept being mandated from on high. It's something
              > people are at least marginally curious about. We have our curmudgeons
              >
              > As I see it so far the point where I can have the most effect today is

              > in keeping enthusiasm up and greasing the wheels. We really want the
              > concept to prove itself.
              >
              > Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more information on
              > the evangelical side of things?
              >
              > - Mike
              >
              >
              >
              >
              -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
              -+-
              > This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is

              > for informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources
              > believed to be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its
              > accuracy cannot be guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or
              > solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or
              > as an official confirmation of any transaction. Moreover, this
              > material should not be construed to contain any recommendation
              > regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may contain
              > confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
              > confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.

              > If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and

              > all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and
              > notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use,
              > disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you
              > are not the intended recipient. Any views expressed in this message
              > are those of the individual sender, except where the message states
              > otherwise and the sender is authorized to state them to be the views
              > of any such entity.
              >
              > Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are
              > offered by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of
              > Investment Technology Group, Inc.
              >
              > ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor and
              > archive all electronic communications through its network.
              >
              > ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
              >
              >
              -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
              -+-
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



              To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...

              To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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              This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is for
              informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
              be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
              guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
              or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
              transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
              recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
              contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
              confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
              you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
              copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
              sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
              print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
              recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
              sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
              authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

              Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
              by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
              Technology Group, Inc.

              ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor and archive
              all electronic communications through its network.

              ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
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            • Steven Gordon
              ... The key difference is that under agile you should be reaching concensus for what the goals over a fairly short period of time, and then reaching a new
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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                On 11/2/07, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                >
                > Nice resource, thanks. Yay Amazon.
                >
                > "reaching concensus with developeres, customers and managers"
                >
                > sure sounds Sysephean.
                >
                > But then that's BDUF thinking anyway. I suppose.

                The key difference is that under agile you should be reaching
                concensus for what the goals over a fairly short period of time, and
                then reaching a new concensus after each such time period based on
                what has happened since.

                For organizational transformations, 2 week iterations might be too
                short but 1 or 2 months might not be too short to assess progress and
                reconsider the goals and strategies.

                >
                > My old team (where I was for a year and a half) I think is best primed.
                > If we can get a solid real-world example of the benefits then I think
                > that will really carry far more weight than having someone in the
                > explicit role I have, which necessarily causes suspicion among the
                > cagey.
                >
                > The only problem is that it's fundamentally a gui team so TDD, FIT
                > testing, etc. are really though to implement. But they're also the most
                > enthusiastic.
                >
                > I've certainly got my work cut out for me.
                >
                > - M
                >
              • Matt Heusser
                Ditto to Steve Gordon on the Scrum stuff. If you don t have training money for a Scrum course, I would point out that you can get a *lot* out of just reading
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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                  Ditto to Steve Gordon on the Scrum stuff. If you don't have training money
                  for a Scrum course, I would point out that you can get a *lot* out of just
                  reading the first book. (Black cover, words that are colors on it.)

                  Although you can try the "Let's try (process X) on this pilot project", I've
                  had a lot of success with simply running projects that focus more on the
                  left side of the agile manifesto that the right.

                  Don't ask permission - just do it. Schedule a daily stand-up. Plan the
                  schedule to build something periodically, in priority order. Get buy-in
                  from the developers on estimates. Build in thin slices, end-to-end.
                  Automate Unit tests. Focus on conversations (capture them with a voice
                  recorder if you must), examples, and lots of white board time. Get your team
                  dedicated to one project and all in one room. And so on.

                  Do one thing, do it well, have people see and feel the success, and then
                  move on to the next.

                  One final note: There are certain key words in United States culture that
                  can throw conversation off. For example: "Drinking the Kool Aid" is
                  actually a reference to a tragic, cultic suicide in the 1970's. It is *not*
                  considered a good thing. Likewise, US citizens may respond to the term
                  "evangelizing" in a strong negative way, because we associate it with
                  genuine religion.

                  I should say that these problems exist for both against Americans and for
                  them. For example, google "Presentation Zen." In oriental cultures that
                  take Zen seriously, it might be a real conversation stopper. (Would you go
                  to talk on "Christian C++"?)

                  My suspicion is that a few of these terms are making the conversation harder
                  than it needs to be, so I suggest we have covered that, let's get back to
                  helping the new coach!

                  Regards,


                  --
                  Matthew Heusser,
                  Blog: http://xndev.blogspot.com


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Charlie Poole
                  Hi Mike, ... Getting people to work as teams will be a challenge for you then. Make lemonade: tell the teams you work with about your limitations and ask them
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 2, 2007
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                    Hi Mike,

                    > I'm in a fairly strange but encouraging position. I've
                    > recently took on a new position internally as a fledgling
                    > Xp/Agile "Champion" and eventually as a coach and trainer.
                    > I've been writing software for 30+ years (+ too many at this
                    > point) and while I'm fully infused with the Kool-Ade, I'm
                    > really at a bit of a loss as to how to start as I've only
                    > ever done Agile programming work in isolation.

                    Getting people to work as teams will be a challenge for you
                    then. Make lemonade: tell the teams you work with about your
                    limitations and ask them to help you figure it out. A coach
                    does not have to know everything.

                    > I came to TDD a few years ago and it was a truly bloody
                    > battle. The result is that I'm pretty passionate about it,
                    > but frankly I still get stumped a little easily.
                    >
                    > We had John Cunningham here last week for a couple days to
                    > give a brain dump to the relatively new guys. But in the
                    > past we've had the also delightful company of Mike Feathers,
                    > Mike Hill and Bob Martin. So it's not a new concept being
                    > mandated from on high. It's something people are at least
                    > marginally curious about. We have our curmudgeons

                    Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)

                    > As I see it so far the point where I can have the most effect
                    > today is in keeping enthusiasm up and greasing the wheels.
                    > We really want the concept to prove itself.
                    >
                    > Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to go for more
                    > information on the evangelical side of things?

                    As others have said, don't be "evangelical" about it at all.

                    Make sure everyone understands that management wants agility,
                    defined in terms of agile output, not in terms of the steps
                    we take to create that output.

                    Make sure each team is empowered and responsible to invent
                    their own agile practices and make sure they understand that
                    you're their to help them do it, not to tell them how.

                    Avoid the apparent shortcut of just establishing "standard
                    practices."

                    For everything you do, leave the team a degree of freedom
                    in the details. For example, if you are working on pair
                    programming as a practice, force a group decision on the
                    exact rules - for your project - of which tasks call for
                    pairing an which don't.

                    If you really think there is only one right way to do
                    something, say so, but invent a way to leave people a bit of
                    freedom in how they implement it. The degree of difference
                    between their implementation and your "perfect" version is
                    likely to be small, while the difference between practices
                    that are owned by the team and those that are just given
                    (or taught) to them can be quite large.

                    If you get into trouble, don't be afraid to ask for help.
                    Consider bringin in an experienced coach to mentor you
                    in your own coaching - but don't let that person take over
                    coaching the team.

                    Charlie

                    > - Mike
                    >
                    >
                    > -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
                    > -+-+-+-+-+-+-
                    > This message is for the named person's use only. This
                    > communication is for informational purposes only and has been
                    > obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but it is not
                    > necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
                    > It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the
                    > purchase or sale of any financial instrument or as an
                    > official confirmation of any transaction. Moreover, this
                    > material should not be construed to contain any
                    > recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any
                    > security. It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally
                    > privileged information. No confidentiality or privilege is
                    > waived or lost by any mistransmission. If you receive this
                    > message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies
                    > of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and
                    > notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use,
                    > disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message
                    > if you are not the intended recipient. Any views expressed
                    > in this message are those of the individual sender, except
                    > where the message states otherwise and the sender is
                    > authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.
                    >
                    > Securities products and services provided to Canadian
                    > investors are offered by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and
                    > IDA), an affiliate of Investment Technology Group, Inc.
                    >
                    > ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor
                    > and archive all electronic communications through its network.
                    >
                    > ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
                    > -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
                    > -+-+-+-+-+-+-
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                    >
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                    > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
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                    >
                  • Ilja Preuss
                    ... Seconded. Great book! Cheers, Ilja
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 3, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Steven Gordon wrote:
                      > Congrats, Mike.
                      >
                      > A good source of strategies is Fearless Change is
                      > http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html .

                      Seconded. Great book!

                      Cheers, Ilja
                    • William Pietri
                      ... This is a good instinct to have. Being able to say Come and see how we are working is so much better received than I think you should do X . ... My big
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 4, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Wilson, Michael wrote:
                        > My old team (where I was for a year and a half) I think is best primed.
                        > If we can get a solid real-world example of the benefits then I think
                        > that will really carry far more weight than having someone in the
                        > explicit role I have, which necessarily causes suspicion among the
                        > cagey.
                        >

                        This is a good instinct to have. Being able to say "Come and see how we
                        are working" is so much better received than "I think you should do X".


                        > The only problem is that it's fundamentally a gui team so TDD, FIT
                        > testing, etc. are really though to implement. But they're also the most
                        > enthusiastic.
                        >
                        > I've certainly got my work cut out for me.

                        My big tip is to get people into an experimental mindset.

                        First you get the team's observations on what the problems are, as
                        people are most likely to change in response to perceived pain. For
                        example, maybe the problem is last-minute discovery of missed deadlines,
                        which makes everybody annoyed and disheartened.

                        Then you jointly come up with as many hypotheses as possible about what
                        might fix that. E.g., daily standups; a shared engineering task board; a
                        burn-down chart; a detailed MS Project plan for all tasks.

                        Then everybody jointly picks one hypothesis to try for a limited time.
                        You can steer them in the direction of the ones that are the most agile,
                        or the lowest cost to implement.

                        Once they've started to try it, support them, keep asking them how it's
                        going, and draw their attention to things they may be too close to
                        notice. Eventually they'll either accept it or reject it.


                        The reason I think this approach is important is that a lot of people
                        tend to think of process changes as permanent. They will thus fiercely
                        resist any change that might not be perfect. But if they truly believe
                        the real decision will come later, and that they'll be involved, then
                        they will be much more willing to try something new.

                        William

                        --
                        William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
                        Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
                        Use your geek-fu to fight poverty: http://www.mifos.org/
                      • Wilson, Michael
                        Charlie, ... This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a single programmer who is the original author and he s been on the team since it was a team
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Charlie,

                          > Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)

                          This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a single
                          programmer who is the original author and he's been on the team since it
                          was a team of one. When anything XP comes up in conversation he carps,
                          rolls his eyes and shuts it down. He seems to have almost perfectly
                          poisoned the well against new adoption.

                          So... what value? I'd really love to find some but I just feel
                          thwarted.

                          - Mike

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                        • Chris Wheeler
                          ... Are you introducing XP for some specific reason, or are you doing it just because... ? Without an identifiable reason to introduce it, this person is well
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On Nov 5, 2007 10:25 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:

                            > Charlie,
                            >
                            > > Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)
                            >
                            > This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a single
                            > programmer who is the original author and he's been on the team since it
                            > was a team of one. When anything XP comes up in conversation he carps,
                            > rolls his eyes and shuts it down. He seems to have almost perfectly
                            > poisoned the well against new adoption.
                            >
                            > So... what value? I'd really love to find some but I just feel
                            > thwarted.
                            >

                            Are you introducing XP for some specific reason, or are you doing it 'just
                            because...'? Without an identifiable reason to introduce it, this person is
                            well within rights to not bother with it.

                            Chris.


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Steven Gordon
                            Not Charlie, but: It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you were not around. Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Not Charlie, but:

                              It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you were
                              not around.

                              Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch and find
                              out what problems he sees with how thing have been done in the past
                              (this is why gaining consensus on what the current problems are is
                              critical before making any changes).

                              Then try to make a bet: if any change does not makes things better
                              after a month, you will agree to support rolling back that change, but
                              if any change does make things better, he agrees to accpet the change.
                              Given that he is the most skeptical person, if he starts accepting
                              the changes that make things better, everyone else will, too.

                              Then you have to do what it takes to motivate the changes that will
                              actually make things visibly better.

                              Steve

                              On Nov 5, 2007 8:25 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Charlie,
                              >
                              > > Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)
                              >
                              > This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a single
                              > programmer who is the original author and he's been on the team since it
                              > was a team of one. When anything XP comes up in conversation he carps,
                              > rolls his eyes and shuts it down. He seems to have almost perfectly
                              > poisoned the well against new adoption.
                              >
                              > So... what value? I'd really love to find some but I just feel
                              > thwarted.
                              >
                              > - Mike
                              >
                            • Wilson, Michael
                              ... just because... ? Without an identifiable reason to introduce it, this ... Around the organization teams are moving at their own rates towards Xp. People
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                > Are you introducing XP for some specific reason, or are you doing it
                                'just because...'? Without an identifiable reason to introduce it, this
                                > person is well within rights to not bother with it.

                                Around the organization teams are moving at their own rates towards Xp.
                                People who've adopted it really love it. Our QA teams have embraced it
                                very well and love the idea of FIT and other forms of automated testing
                                (what QA person wouldn't?) It's only slightly exaggerated to say
                                "Everything here is moving in that direction."

                                Most of the classic software mismanagement issues are biting this team
                                really badly.

                                - A release date hasn't been met in ... it might actually be years.
                                - features are shipped half-baked.
                                - Requirements are very poorly defined.
                                - There are frequent "oops" patch releases. (average of one or more per
                                normal feature release.)
                                - When a release does go out nobody's exactly sure what was in it.
                                - Schedule slips are taken out of, you guessed it, testing and QA time
                                leading to frequent "No Go" releases.
                                - Confidence from the business is through the floor.

                                This project BEGs for an agile approach as do most of the people
                                involved with it ("begs" might be a bit too strong, but not as much as
                                you might think.) It would be one thing if it was all waterfally (or ad
                                hoc, which is closer to the truth) and everything was going fine. But
                                it's not. It's the eyeroller project.

                                Unfortunately none of this seems important to my buddy (actually it's
                                not a mystery, he's said exactly that.) He just sees it all as noise
                                that goes on around him that's a part of the normal process. He just
                                comes in, does his thing and leaves, with seemingly no attachment to the
                                larger scope at all. "People just need to relax." *sigh*

                                My tact has really been to work with the rest of the team and the dev
                                manager as much as I can just to create the team dynamic forward
                                pressure. It's a little early to say if it's working.

                                There's a reason it's my *old* team. ;-)

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                                guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
                                or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
                                transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
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                                contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
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                                Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
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                              • Wilson, Michael
                                One problem is that he doesn t see the slightest problem. It s all just the standard noise of doing software development to him. I was going the other route.
                                Message 15 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                  One problem is that he doesn't see the slightest problem. It's all just
                                  the standard noise of doing software development to him.

                                  I was going the other route. Cherry pick the people who are interested
                                  and self motivated to create upward momentum. Let the team dynamic do
                                  as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Otherwise I feel like I'm
                                  playing HR guy.

                                  Or am I just skirting the possibility of a confrontation and phrasing it
                                  cleverly to myself? ;-)

                                  - M

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                  [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Gordon
                                  Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:18 AM
                                  To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along the
                                  coaching path)

                                  Not Charlie, but:

                                  It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you were
                                  not around.

                                  Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch and find out
                                  what problems he sees with how thing have been done in the past (this is
                                  why gaining consensus on what the current problems are is critical
                                  before making any changes).

                                  Then try to make a bet: if any change does not makes things better after
                                  a month, you will agree to support rolling back that change, but if any
                                  change does make things better, he agrees to accpet the change.
                                  Given that he is the most skeptical person, if he starts accepting the
                                  changes that make things better, everyone else will, too.

                                  Then you have to do what it takes to motivate the changes that will
                                  actually make things visibly better.

                                  Steve

                                  On Nov 5, 2007 8:25 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Charlie,
                                  >
                                  > > Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)
                                  >
                                  > This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a single
                                  > programmer who is the original author and he's been on the team since
                                  > it was a team of one. When anything XP comes up in conversation he
                                  > carps, rolls his eyes and shuts it down. He seems to have almost
                                  > perfectly poisoned the well against new adoption.
                                  >
                                  > So... what value? I'd really love to find some but I just feel
                                  > thwarted.
                                  >
                                  > - Mike
                                  >


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                                  informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
                                  be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
                                  guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
                                  or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
                                  transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
                                  recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
                                  contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
                                  confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
                                  you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
                                  copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
                                  sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
                                  print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
                                  recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
                                  sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
                                  authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

                                  Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
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                                • Steven Gordon
                                  If management has decided to not accept this team s performance any longer and this person does not accept that there are even any performance problems, then
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                    If management has decided to not accept this team's performance any
                                    longer and this person does not accept that there are even any
                                    performance problems, then management will have to insist that this
                                    person choose between being part of the problem or part of the
                                    solution.

                                    As coach you are not in a position to make such an ultimatum. The
                                    best you might be able to do is to marginalize him by asking for
                                    permission to form a new team from the people who care about improving
                                    performance, and just work with this new team.

                                    On Nov 5, 2007 9:34 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > One problem is that he doesn't see the slightest problem. It's all just
                                    > the standard noise of doing software development to him.
                                    >
                                    > I was going the other route. Cherry pick the people who are interested
                                    > and self motivated to create upward momentum. Let the team dynamic do
                                    > as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Otherwise I feel like I'm
                                    > playing HR guy.
                                    >
                                    > Or am I just skirting the possibility of a confrontation and phrasing it
                                    > cleverly to myself? ;-)
                                    >
                                    > - M
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Gordon
                                    > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:18 AM
                                    > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along the
                                    > coaching path)
                                    >
                                    > Not Charlie, but:
                                    >
                                    > It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you were
                                    > not around.
                                    >
                                    > Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch and find out
                                    > what problems he sees with how thing have been done in the past (this is
                                    > why gaining consensus on what the current problems are is critical
                                    > before making any changes).
                                    >
                                    > Then try to make a bet: if any change does not makes things better after
                                    > a month, you will agree to support rolling back that change, but if any
                                    > change does make things better, he agrees to accpet the change.
                                    > Given that he is the most skeptical person, if he starts accepting the
                                    > changes that make things better, everyone else will, too.
                                    >
                                    > Then you have to do what it takes to motivate the changes that will
                                    > actually make things visibly better.
                                    >
                                    > Steve
                                    >
                                  • Wilson, Michael
                                    a HA! I see I ve now codified my position effectively enough that I m seeing what I expected to see which is either a success or failure on my part. I m
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      a HA! I see I've now codified my position effectively enough that I'm
                                      seeing what I expected to see which is either a success or failure on my
                                      part. I'm never sure which.

                                      You've done the wonderful conversational task of restating something in
                                      a way that gives me a couple good solid ideas.

                                      Most of this team is new, including the manager. He is fairly big on
                                      not having full team meetings and instead just bringing a couple people
                                      to the table at a time depending on the issue. And this is for
                                      fact-finding stuff not exclusionary work assignments, which go the
                                      normal Xp route. I think he does it as a method of avoiding
                                      committee-itis.

                                      Yeah, I've gotta roll this around in my head a bit.

                                      Thanks,

                                      - Mike

                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Gordon
                                      Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:51 AM
                                      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along the
                                      coaching path)

                                      If management has decided to not accept this team's performance any
                                      longer and this person does not accept that there are even any
                                      performance problems, then management will have to insist that this
                                      person choose between being part of the problem or part of the solution.

                                      As coach you are not in a position to make such an ultimatum. The best
                                      you might be able to do is to marginalize him by asking for permission
                                      to form a new team from the people who care about improving performance,
                                      and just work with this new team.

                                      On Nov 5, 2007 9:34 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > One problem is that he doesn't see the slightest problem. It's all
                                      > just the standard noise of doing software development to him.
                                      >
                                      > I was going the other route. Cherry pick the people who are
                                      > interested and self motivated to create upward momentum. Let the team

                                      > dynamic do as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Otherwise I feel

                                      > like I'm playing HR guy.
                                      >
                                      > Or am I just skirting the possibility of a confrontation and phrasing

                                      > it cleverly to myself? ;-)
                                      >
                                      > - M
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven
                                      > Gordon
                                      > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:18 AM
                                      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along
                                      > the coaching path)
                                      >
                                      > Not Charlie, but:
                                      >
                                      > It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you
                                      > were not around.
                                      >
                                      > Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch and find
                                      > out what problems he sees with how thing have been done in the past
                                      > (this is why gaining consensus on what the current problems are is
                                      > critical before making any changes).
                                      >
                                      > Then try to make a bet: if any change does not makes things better
                                      > after a month, you will agree to support rolling back that change,
                                      > but if any change does make things better, he agrees to accpet the
                                      change.
                                      > Given that he is the most skeptical person, if he starts accepting
                                      > the changes that make things better, everyone else will, too.
                                      >
                                      > Then you have to do what it takes to motivate the changes that will
                                      > actually make things visibly better.
                                      >
                                      > Steve
                                      >


                                      To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...

                                      To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                      extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...

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                                      This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is for
                                      informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
                                      be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
                                      guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
                                      or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
                                      transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
                                      recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
                                      contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
                                      confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
                                      you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
                                      copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
                                      sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
                                      print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
                                      recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
                                      sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
                                      authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

                                      Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
                                      by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
                                      Technology Group, Inc.

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                                    • Steven Gordon
                                      Try to get the manager to read the first Scrum book
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Try to get the manager to read the first Scrum book

                                        On Nov 5, 2007 9:58 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > a HA! I see I've now codified my position effectively enough that I'm
                                        > seeing what I expected to see which is either a success or failure on my
                                        > part. I'm never sure which.
                                        >
                                        > You've done the wonderful conversational task of restating something in
                                        > a way that gives me a couple good solid ideas.
                                        >
                                        > Most of this team is new, including the manager. He is fairly big on
                                        > not having full team meetings and instead just bringing a couple people
                                        > to the table at a time depending on the issue. And this is for
                                        > fact-finding stuff not exclusionary work assignments, which go the
                                        > normal Xp route. I think he does it as a method of avoiding
                                        > committee-itis.
                                        >
                                        > Yeah, I've gotta roll this around in my head a bit.
                                        >
                                        > Thanks,
                                        >
                                        > - Mike
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Gordon
                                        >
                                        > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:51 AM
                                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along the
                                        > coaching path)
                                        >
                                        > If management has decided to not accept this team's performance any
                                        > longer and this person does not accept that there are even any
                                        > performance problems, then management will have to insist that this
                                        > person choose between being part of the problem or part of the solution.
                                        >
                                        > As coach you are not in a position to make such an ultimatum. The best
                                        > you might be able to do is to marginalize him by asking for permission
                                        > to form a new team from the people who care about improving performance,
                                        > and just work with this new team.
                                        >
                                        > On Nov 5, 2007 9:34 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > One problem is that he doesn't see the slightest problem. It's all
                                        > > just the standard noise of doing software development to him.
                                        > >
                                        > > I was going the other route. Cherry pick the people who are
                                        > > interested and self motivated to create upward momentum. Let the team
                                        >
                                        > > dynamic do as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Otherwise I feel
                                        >
                                        > > like I'm playing HR guy.
                                        > >
                                        > > Or am I just skirting the possibility of a confrontation and phrasing
                                        >
                                        > > it cleverly to myself? ;-)
                                        > >
                                        > > - M
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > -----Original Message-----
                                        > > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven
                                        > > Gordon
                                        > > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:18 AM
                                        > > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along
                                        > > the coaching path)
                                        > >
                                        > > Not Charlie, but:
                                        > >
                                        > > It would be worse if this programmer was only doing this when you
                                        > > were not around.
                                        > >
                                        > > Now, you know who you have to win over. Take him to lunch and find
                                        > > out what problems he sees with how thing have been done in the past
                                        > > (this is why gaining consensus on what the current problems are is
                                        > > critical before making any changes).
                                        > >
                                        > > Then try to make a bet: if any change does not makes things better
                                        > > after a month, you will agree to support rolling back that change,
                                        > > but if any change does make things better, he agrees to accpet the
                                        > change.
                                        > > Given that he is the most skeptical person, if he starts accepting
                                        > > the changes that make things better, everyone else will, too.
                                        > >
                                        > > Then you have to do what it takes to motivate the changes that will
                                        > > actually make things visibly better.
                                        > >
                                        > > Steve
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
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                                      • Chris Wheeler
                                        ... Has XP fixed all of these problems on other projects, and do you have proof of it (iow, can you show your friend the before/after picture, concretely, or
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          On Nov 5, 2007 11:29 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:

                                          >
                                          > Most of the classic software mismanagement issues are biting this team
                                          > really badly.
                                          >
                                          > - A release date hasn't been met in ... it might actually be years.
                                          > - features are shipped half-baked.
                                          > - Requirements are very poorly defined.
                                          > - There are frequent "oops" patch releases. (average of one or more per
                                          > normal feature release.)
                                          > - When a release does go out nobody's exactly sure what was in it.
                                          > - Schedule slips are taken out of, you guessed it, testing and QA time
                                          > leading to frequent "No Go" releases.
                                          > - Confidence from the business is through the floor.
                                          >

                                          Has XP fixed all of these problems on other projects, and do you have proof
                                          of it (iow, can you show your friend the before/after picture, concretely,
                                          or do you only have a gut feel to go on? If it's gut feel, all guts are made
                                          equally.)

                                          Chris.


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • geoffrey_slinker
                                          ... are made ... All guts are not made equally. When I used to be involved heavily into illegal street racing my gut feel on a vibration or sound from my 280ZX
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Wheeler"
                                            <christopher.wheeler@...> wrote:

                                            > or do you only have a gut feel to go on? If it's gut feel, all guts
                                            are made
                                            > equally.)

                                            All guts are not made equally. When I used to be involved heavily into
                                            illegal street racing my gut feel on a vibration or sound from my
                                            280ZX was a much better gut feel than an a passenger or the local
                                            mechanic. So for the Chevelle and the '57 Chevy pick-up with 456 gears
                                            and a 283 for 1/8th mile races.

                                            Gut feels are seldom just guesses. That's my gut feel on it.

                                            Geoff
                                          • Wilson, Michael
                                            He just doesn t have the personal investment for that approach to lead anywhere. Negative pressure has historically achieved very little in this rather
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              He just doesn't have the personal investment for that approach to lead
                                              anywhere. "Negative pressure" has historically achieved very little in
                                              this rather particular regard.

                                              So far it looks likethe most effective thing I can do is work with the
                                              people who are interested.

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                              [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Chris Wheeler
                                              Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 1:10 PM
                                              To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: The Value of Curmudgeons (was: RE: [XP] Starting along the
                                              coaching path)

                                              On Nov 5, 2007 11:29 AM, Wilson, Michael <michael.wilson@...> wrote:

                                              >
                                              > Most of the classic software mismanagement issues are biting this team

                                              > really badly.
                                              >
                                              > - A release date hasn't been met in ... it might actually be years.
                                              > - features are shipped half-baked.
                                              > - Requirements are very poorly defined.
                                              > - There are frequent "oops" patch releases. (average of one or more
                                              > per normal feature release.)
                                              > - When a release does go out nobody's exactly sure what was in it.
                                              > - Schedule slips are taken out of, you guessed it, testing and QA time

                                              > leading to frequent "No Go" releases.
                                              > - Confidence from the business is through the floor.
                                              >

                                              Has XP fixed all of these problems on other projects, and do you have
                                              proof of it (iow, can you show your friend the before/after picture,
                                              concretely, or do you only have a gut feel to go on? If it's gut feel,
                                              all guts are made
                                              equally.)

                                              Chris.


                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                                            • William Pietri
                                              ... Do you feel that he s burnt out? Or merely skeptical? Honestly, I now love the skeptics. Some of the best practitioners I have trained were initially the
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Wilson, Michael wrote:
                                                > Unfortunately none of this seems important to my buddy (actually it's
                                                > not a mystery, he's said exactly that.) He just sees it all as noise
                                                > that goes on around him that's a part of the normal process. He just
                                                > comes in, does his thing and leaves, with seemingly no attachment to the
                                                > larger scope at all. "People just need to relax." *sigh*
                                                >


                                                Do you feel that he's burnt out? Or merely skeptical?

                                                Honestly, I now love the skeptics. Some of the best practitioners I have
                                                trained were initially the most skeptical. Their strength of character
                                                works against you in the beginning, but strongly for you once they see
                                                actual value.


                                                If he's burnt out, though, that's a big issue. In my experience the
                                                number one motivator for change is perceived pain. If he no longer
                                                notices that things suck, or if he is too tired to care, or if he is
                                                deeply disengaged, then I don't think it's too dramatic to say that he
                                                could wreck the team.

                                                Some possible strategies:

                                                Reconnect him to the pain others are feeling. If some people are unhappy
                                                with the team's poor record, bring them around for a discussion with the
                                                team. This does not have to involve yelling, and should certainly not
                                                include finger-pointing. It's much better if people just talk openly but
                                                sincerely about the negative consequences of the team's poor
                                                performance. And not just the business consequences, but how it makes
                                                them feel. They can share their pain.

                                                Place him in extended close contact to somebody who really cares about
                                                the project. One of the things I like best about war rooms is working
                                                with product managers who really care about their products. When they
                                                are excited or sad, I can't help but feel some of what they feel. That
                                                helps me care myself.

                                                Give him a break. If he's burnt out, some serious time off may help him
                                                recover and get perspective. But it has to be a real break, like a month
                                                in a quiet Mexican seaside town, or a few weeks hiking the Pacific Crest
                                                Trail. No pager, no calls into work, no frenetic tours. Just rest and a
                                                chance to become himself again.

                                                Move him into in an advisory role for a while. Find him an office on the
                                                other side of the building. Give him some non-urgent things to research.
                                                Or let him pick some. Let the team come to him when they need his
                                                advice, but otherwise give him an in-office vacation, so he can
                                                disengage for a while. Once the team is running smoothly and he is
                                                recovered, the difference should be both obvious and appealing to him.


                                                Sorry to go on at such length, but I've seen people like that either
                                                destroy agile adoptions or get fired. Or, worse, both. None of those
                                                outcomes appeals to me much.


                                                I hope that helps. Please let us know how it goes!

                                                William


                                                --
                                                William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
                                                Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
                                                Instant video gratification: http://www.sidereel.com/
                                              • Wilson, Michael
                                                He just seems, to quote a particularly juicy LA Law episode, Overwrought with ambivalence. As though he s just marking time at a job as good or bad as any
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  He just seems, to quote a particularly juicy LA Law episode,
                                                  "Overwrought with ambivalence." As though he's just marking time at a
                                                  job as good or bad as any other.

                                                  I almost wish I had the power to explore some of those options. I
                                                  really like a lot of those ideas (hell I may do some of those myself.)
                                                  But I'm really just a interdepartmental advocate too far outside the org
                                                  structure to have any reasonable input at that level.

                                                  I was a developer on that team for over a year and found his obstinance
                                                  intractable and it figured largely in my original desire to resign,
                                                  having tried everything I knew how to try. The opportunity to move in
                                                  to this role came as quite a shock. I had put in my two weeks notice
                                                  and it was my 2nd to last day. The irony that it's the first team I'm
                                                  working with really helps me appreciate the sense of humor inherent in
                                                  the divine plan ;)

                                                  If he watches it working on his project I think he'll come around. He's
                                                  obstinant but he's smart enough to be beyond disregarding and I've
                                                  watched him fight tooth and nail for his point of view on other stuff
                                                  then change his mind, genuinely convinced when the reality of the
                                                  situation became obvious.

                                                  One of the big trials about this project in particular is that it's a
                                                  gui. It's "just" a gui. There really isn't so much "separating
                                                  business logic" that can happen. A lot of the code-time practices of Xp
                                                  (TDD most notably) become very very difficult. Finding suitable targets
                                                  for FIT acceptance testing, things like that. So seeing it work on a
                                                  server-side app is deemed largely irrelevant.


                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                  [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Pietri
                                                  Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 4:35 PM
                                                  To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: [XP] Re: The Value of Curmudgeons

                                                  Wilson, Michael wrote:
                                                  > Unfortunately none of this seems important to my buddy (actually it's
                                                  > not a mystery, he's said exactly that.) He just sees it all as noise
                                                  > that goes on around him that's a part of the normal process. He just
                                                  > comes in, does his thing and leaves, with seemingly no attachment to
                                                  > the larger scope at all. "People just need to relax." *sigh*
                                                  >


                                                  Do you feel that he's burnt out? Or merely skeptical?

                                                  Honestly, I now love the skeptics. Some of the best practitioners I have
                                                  trained were initially the most skeptical. Their strength of character
                                                  works against you in the beginning, but strongly for you once they see
                                                  actual value.


                                                  If he's burnt out, though, that's a big issue. In my experience the
                                                  number one motivator for change is perceived pain. If he no longer
                                                  notices that things suck, or if he is too tired to care, or if he is
                                                  deeply disengaged, then I don't think it's too dramatic to say that he
                                                  could wreck the team.

                                                  Some possible strategies:

                                                  Reconnect him to the pain others are feeling. If some people are unhappy
                                                  with the team's poor record, bring them around for a discussion with the
                                                  team. This does not have to involve yelling, and should certainly not
                                                  include finger-pointing. It's much better if people just talk openly but
                                                  sincerely about the negative consequences of the team's poor
                                                  performance. And not just the business consequences, but how it makes
                                                  them feel. They can share their pain.

                                                  Place him in extended close contact to somebody who really cares about
                                                  the project. One of the things I like best about war rooms is working
                                                  with product managers who really care about their products. When they
                                                  are excited or sad, I can't help but feel some of what they feel. That
                                                  helps me care myself.

                                                  Give him a break. If he's burnt out, some serious time off may help him
                                                  recover and get perspective. But it has to be a real break, like a month
                                                  in a quiet Mexican seaside town, or a few weeks hiking the Pacific Crest
                                                  Trail. No pager, no calls into work, no frenetic tours. Just rest and a
                                                  chance to become himself again.

                                                  Move him into in an advisory role for a while. Find him an office on the
                                                  other side of the building. Give him some non-urgent things to research.

                                                  Or let him pick some. Let the team come to him when they need his
                                                  advice, but otherwise give him an in-office vacation, so he can
                                                  disengage for a while. Once the team is running smoothly and he is
                                                  recovered, the difference should be both obvious and appealing to him.


                                                  Sorry to go on at such length, but I've seen people like that either
                                                  destroy agile adoptions or get fired. Or, worse, both. None of those
                                                  outcomes appeals to me much.


                                                  I hope that helps. Please let us know how it goes!

                                                  William


                                                  --
                                                  William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024 Agile consulting,
                                                  coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/ Instant video
                                                  gratification: http://www.sidereel.com/


                                                  To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...

                                                  To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                                  extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...

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                                                  informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources believed to
                                                  be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be
                                                  guaranteed. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
                                                  or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation of any
                                                  transaction. Moreover, this material should not be construed to contain any
                                                  recommendation regarding, or opinion concerning, any security. It may
                                                  contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
                                                  confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If
                                                  you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all
                                                  copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the
                                                  sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute,
                                                  print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended
                                                  recipient. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
                                                  sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
                                                  authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.

                                                  Securities products and services provided to Canadian investors are offered
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                                                  Technology Group, Inc.

                                                  ITG Inc. and/or its affiliates reserves the right to monitor and archive
                                                  all electronic communications through its network.

                                                  ITG Inc. Member NASD, SIPC
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                                                • William Pietri
                                                  ... Nice phrase! When I ve been in that state, it was a defensive posture. I tried caring, but things were too awful to actually care about. So I refused to
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Wilson, Michael wrote:
                                                    > He just seems, to quote a particularly juicy LA Law episode,
                                                    > "Overwrought with ambivalence." As though he's just marking time at a
                                                    > job as good or bad as any other.
                                                    >

                                                    Nice phrase!

                                                    When I've been in that state, it was a defensive posture. I tried
                                                    caring, but things were too awful to actually care about. So I refused
                                                    to engage. I hope he manages to escape!


                                                    > But I'm really just a interdepartmental advocate too far outside the org
                                                    > structure to have any reasonable input at that level.
                                                    >

                                                    Well, there's power and there's power. I hear the book "Getting It Done:
                                                    How to Lead When You're Not in Charge" has some good tips around that.

                                                    > I was a developer on that team for over a year and found his obstinance
                                                    > intractable and it figured largely in my original desire to resign,
                                                    > having tried everything I knew how to try. The opportunity to move in
                                                    > to this role came as quite a shock. I had put in my two weeks notice
                                                    > and it was my 2nd to last day. The irony that it's the first team I'm
                                                    > working with really helps me appreciate the sense of humor inherent in
                                                    > the divine plan
                                                    >

                                                    Have you told him or his manager this? I'm not suggesting you do it in
                                                    an accusatory way. More like: "Hey, you have these behaviors. You may
                                                    not know how they makes people feel. In fact, I hid my feelings from you
                                                    because I didn't want to look weak. But let me tell you about my
                                                    experience."

                                                    He might just scoff, of course. But odds are he didn't mean to almost
                                                    drive you out of the company. So if you can, as the therapists say, own
                                                    your feelings during the discussion, you may be able to wake him up to
                                                    things a little.

                                                    > If he watches it working on his project I think he'll come around. He's
                                                    > obstinant but he's smart enough to be beyond disregarding and I've
                                                    > watched him fight tooth and nail for his point of view on other stuff
                                                    > then change his mind, genuinely convinced when the reality of the
                                                    > situation became obvious.
                                                    >

                                                    That's a great sign. With somebody like that, the, "let's try an
                                                    experiment for a month" approach can work well. If you can turn his
                                                    powers of analysis toward tinkering with the process, you may be able to
                                                    hook him on continuous improvement. That's what happened to me, and
                                                    seven years later I'm still hooked.


                                                    > One of the big trials about this project in particular is that it's a
                                                    > gui. It's "just" a gui.

                                                    I know very little about modern thick-client GUIs, but there are plenty
                                                    here with experience. Once you get into that, feel free to start a
                                                    thread on that.


                                                    Good luck with your new role!

                                                    William


                                                    --
                                                    William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
                                                    Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
                                                    Instant video gratification: http://www.sidereel.com/
                                                  • Charlie Poole
                                                    Hi Michael, ... Sorry for the late reply... I ve been at a conference this week and haven t had much time to think about this question. I ll tell you what I
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Nov 10, 2007
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Hi Michael,

                                                      > > Even the curmudgeons are valuable - or maybe especially. :-)
                                                      >
                                                      > This is actually my biggest visible problem. We have a
                                                      > single programmer who is the original author and he's been on
                                                      > the team since it was a team of one. When anything XP comes
                                                      > up in conversation he carps, rolls his eyes and shuts it
                                                      > down. He seems to have almost perfectly poisoned the well
                                                      > against new adoption.

                                                      Sorry for the late reply... I've been at a conference this week
                                                      and haven't had much time to think about this question.

                                                      I'll tell you what I might do in this situation, with the proviso
                                                      that it may not work for you, particularly if both you and the
                                                      "curmudgeon" are clearly established as opponents. But it might.

                                                      I would offer something like this: "Obviously, we have to be
                                                      careful as we begin to adopt new practices. You are someone
                                                      who isn't afraid to speak up when the an idea does't make sense.
                                                      I'd like you to keep doing this, but with greater focus on
                                                      improving our implementation. You'll be our official
                                                      Devil's Advocate. I know that any set of practices that we
                                                      end up adopting will be better for incorporating your ideas."

                                                      As I suggested at the start, YMMV.

                                                      Charlie
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