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RE: [XP] Starting along the coaching path

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  • 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 1 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*




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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 2 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
        >
        >
        >
        >
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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 3 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 4 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 5 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
              >
              >
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              > obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but it is not
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              > purchase or sale of any financial instrument or as an
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              > 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
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              > disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message
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              > 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
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            • Ilja Preuss
              ... Seconded. Great book! Cheers, Ilja
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 3, 2007
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                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 7 of 25 , Nov 4, 2007
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                  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 8 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                    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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                    This message is for the named person's use only. This communication is for
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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
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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 9 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                      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 10 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                        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 11 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                          > 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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                        • 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 12 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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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                            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
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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 13 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 14 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
                                >


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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
                                by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
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                              • Steven Gordon
                                Try to get the manager to read the first Scrum book
                                Message 15 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
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 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
                                  > by ITG Canada Corp. (member CIPF and IDA), an affiliate of Investment
                                  > Technology Group, Inc.
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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 16 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 17 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 18 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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                                        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,
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                                        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
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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 19 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                          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 20 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                            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/


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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 21 of 25 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                              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 22 of 25 , Nov 10, 2007
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                                                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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