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Are you attending Oredev? Come help me out with "Plan 2 weeks in one Hour"

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  • Erik
    Plan 2 weeks in an Hour - No more Death by (Agile) Meetings Erik Lundh at Oredev conference Nov 5 at 10:15 Track: Aspects Of Leadership http://korturl.se/uvrz
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2009
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      Plan 2 weeks in an Hour - No more Death by (Agile) Meetings

      Erik Lundh at Oredev conference Nov 5 at 10:15 Track: Aspects Of Leadership
      http://korturl.se/uvrz (www.ordev.org)

      Do you attend the Oredev conference in Malmo Sweden on Nov 5? Come over and give me a hand with my session "Plan 2 weeks in an Hour" that aims to explain the benefits of, and how to, plan a two week iteration in 60 minutes.

      I expect a few seasoned agilists/XP-ers but also many novices from "the open-space of methods" as Uncle Bob Martin put it. I could use a few experienced xp-ers in the audience to get some interaction.

      We will use the classic XP Planning Game as an example on how to avoid endless meetings and workshops, which all hands feel compelled to attend but few feel rewarding.

      Don't spend more than an hour with all resources and stakeholders to put together the iteration plan for another two weeks!
      I will share as much as I can of how we have been able to keep the one hour planning promise.
      When we keep that promise, all sorts of "VIP with no time" have suddenly been able to attend our Planning Games, get involved and give valuable input.
      The challenge is to get the people in the audience to go home and try a similar approach. Up to this point, I have always been able to coach personally (or sent coaches that we trained ourselves) to help the teams fulfill the 1 hour promise.
      Part of this is social effects at the workplace, part is using the Planning Game with certain things emphasized. The customers/product managers get realistic expectations on result from each iteration instead of pushing the team with dressed-up taylorism/push-mentality such as burn-down charts and aggressive roles and terminology.
      I started with XP in 1999/2000, After two years with surprisingly successful agile team, small startup companies at research parks, I got the chance to implement XP/Agile at one branch of Swedens second largest software company. I soon realized that the same Planning Game with a similar sized team that took a couple of hours in startup companies expanded to hours and days in a large mature company. Unlike the startups, the "VIPs" in the large company that we needed input and decisions from did not see our particular projects as the make or break for the company. One sign of this was that the important people delegated many decisions to others. Another sign was that project managers tended to "manage" planning meetings, and make the low-intensity take-your-turn affairs.)
      We turned the knobs to cure this. We asked how short a planning meeting had to be to get VIP attendance. "You said 1 hour? Well, we will do it in one hour!" And it worked! We suddenly had a pull system that made people collaborate and prepare before planning meetings to get the reward of big boss decisions on the spot at the iteration planning. And we could go from ordered sets of user stories (either trees of stories or must have/can wait/nice to have) that could get reprioritized during the hour to full sets of tasks for a 4-12 head team in 60 minutes!

      I have tinkered with the 60 minute meeting and the Planning Game flavors ever since. The 60 minute Planning Game has enabled teams to do an iteration in a day. It was also part of the secret sauce that made "my" teams more successful than oh-so-enthusiastic scrum teams at a strange "agile beauty contest" at another of Swedens largest software companies a few years ago.


      /Erik Lundh
      (Quite disturbing things has happened to my usual mail and web. Use gmail for now. I am erik.l.lundh at Gmail)
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