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Leading a Meeting of Discovery

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  • Michael Wollin
    I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 30, 2012
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      I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

      I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

      Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
      Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
      First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

      Agenda
      I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
      II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
      Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
      II. b. Discussion
      III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
      IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

      My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

      Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

      Thanks

      Michael
    • Justin Urbanski
      Michael, I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren t open enough about discussing each of the principles. In subsequent
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 30, 2012
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        Michael,

        I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren't open enough about discussing each of the principles.
        In subsequent sessions I found it useful to have an understanding of what each of the principle might mean to the target audience to get the conversation going. One thing you could do is meet beforehand with key individuals (adopters) that are more open and explain what you intend to achieve from the sessions. This will give them time to prepare and hopefully push the discussion along. 

        In terms of not having done this format just dive in. It will be good for you as a coach. I learnt a lot about myself and the improvements I needed to make from facilitating them. I also found "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins very helpful. 

        It looks light you've done a lot of preparation and you have given me some good ideas also. 

        Good luck. 

        Justin Urbanski

        On 31/01/2012, at 11:09 AM, Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> wrote:

         

        I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

        I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

        Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
        Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
        First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

        Agenda
        I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
        II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
        Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
        II. b. Discussion
        III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
        IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

        My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

        Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

        Thanks

        Michael

      • Jean Richardson
        Michael - Your idea is a great one. I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 30, 2012
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          Michael –

           

          Your idea is a great one.  I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of agility.  Is part of your plan in these conversations to determine whether they want to be agile rather than iterative?  It’s of interest to me that teams often don’t want to do the work of becoming agile for a variety of reasons.  Did scrum come into the organization you are working with from the bottom up or the top down?

           

          Assuming the teams you work with are interested in becoming truly agile from the principle level up rather than just walking through an iterative process, then your overall approach sounds quite viable.  It can be surprising, from the perspective of someone who values and embraces agility, to see Teams reject it as too hard and their current state as not great but preferable to doing the work to become agile.  But, I’ve seen it happen.  Alanis Morrisette sings that “the only way out is through,” but some people are happy enough where they’re at.

           

          I’m not saying this is the situation on your teams, but just checking to see whether you’ve considered whether it is.

           

          --- Jean

           

          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Wollin
          Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:10 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

           

           

          I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

          I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

          Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
          Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
          First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

          Agenda
          I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
          II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
          Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
          II. b. Discussion
          III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
          IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

          My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

          Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

          Thanks

          Michael

        • Michael James
          In addition to what Jean said, consider reading (or re-reading) Harrison Owen s book on open space even if you re not intending to run an open space format.
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 30, 2012
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            In addition to what Jean said, consider reading (or re-reading) Harrison Owen's book on open space even if you're not intending to run an open space format.

            --mj


            On Jan 30, 2012, at 7:31 PM, "Jean Richardson" <jean@...> wrote:

             

            Michael –

             

            Your idea is a great one.  I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of agility.  Is part of your plan in these conversations to determine whether they want to be agile rather than iterative?  It’s of interest to me that teams often don’t want to do the work of becoming agile for a variety of reasons.  Did scrum come into the organization you are working with from the bottom up or the top down?

             

            Assuming the teams you work with are interested in becoming truly agile from the principle level up rather than just walking through an iterative process, then your overall approach sounds quite viable.  It can be surprising, from the perspective of someone who values and embraces agility, to see Teams reject it as too hard and their current state as not great but preferable to doing the work to become agile.  But, I’ve seen it happen.  Alanis Morrisette sings that “the only way out is through,” but some people are happy enough where they’re at.

             

            I’m not saying this is the situation on your teams, but just checking to see whether you’ve considered whether it is.

             

            --- Jean

             

            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Wollin
            Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:10 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

             

             

            I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

            I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

            Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
            Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
            First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

            Agenda
            I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
            II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
            Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
            II. b. Discussion
            III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
            IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

            My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

            Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

            Thanks

            Michael

          • Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu
            ... Just thinking, wouldn t it be a bit more effective approach to hire someone that is experienced in this stuff? You re preparing to make a battle on a
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 31, 2012
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              Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before.

              Just thinking, wouldn't it be a bit more effective approach to hire someone that is experienced in this stuff? You're preparing to make a battle on a battleground you're not familiar with.


              31 Ocak 2012 02:09 tarihinde Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> yazdı:
               

              I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

              I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

              Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
              Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
              First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

              Agenda
              I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
              II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
              Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
              II. b. Discussion
              III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
              IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

              My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

              Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

              Thanks

              Michael


            • Wouter Lagerweij
              Hi Michael, First of all: great that you re doing this. Things only change if someone starts changing things. Some things that occur to me Why do *you* think
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 31, 2012
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                Hi Michael,

                First of all: great that you're doing this. Things only change if someone starts changing things.

                Some things that occur to me

                Why do *you* think that teams are not owning their process? Is it just that they don't know what is possible? How is the  broader organisation encouraging and rewarding active push for changes?

                I think that, if you manage to get teams talking about what they'd like to change, one hour is going to feel very short. 

                I also think that it might be more powerful to (also?) help the teams perform their retrospectives ("guest facilitator"), and spend some time setting up a company broad improvement backlog, agreeing with management to visibly put it on a wall, and to pick up the top x items within an agreed timeframe. 

                Again, what you're doing is good. Make sure the teams feel that it's going to result in some real change.

                Wouter

                On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM, Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> wrote:
                 

                I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

                I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

                Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

                Agenda
                I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                II. b. Discussion
                III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

                My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

                Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

                Thanks

                Michael




                --
                Wouter Lagerweij         | wouter@...
              • Jean Richardson
                You know, that’s a great idea. If you can do an Open Space half-day on the current state and future hopes for the organization’s agile process with all
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 31, 2012
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                  You know, that’s a great idea.  If you can do an Open Space half-day on the current state and future hopes for the organization’s agile process with all these teams, you might end up surfacing exactly what you want to discuss in these individual conversations, particularly if you facilitate the Open Space session with an opening “fireside chat” along those lines.

                   

                  If you go forward with this effort, we’ll definitely want to hear about it back here on the list.  You’re grappling with one of the slipperiest problems in an agile/scrum adoption, I think.

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael James
                  Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 10:25 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

                   

                   

                  In addition to what Jean said, consider reading (or re-reading) Harrison Owen's book on open space even if you're not intending to run an open space format.

                  --mj

                   


                  On Jan 30, 2012, at 7:31 PM, "Jean Richardson" <jean@...> wrote:

                   

                  Michael –

                   

                  Your idea is a great one.  I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of agility.  Is part of your plan in these conversations to determine whether they want to be agile rather than iterative?  It’s of interest to me that teams often don’t want to do the work of becoming agile for a variety of reasons.  Did scrum come into the organization you are working with from the bottom up or the top down?

                   

                  Assuming the teams you work with are interested in becoming truly agile from the principle level up rather than just walking through an iterative process, then your overall approach sounds quite viable.  It can be surprising, from the perspective of someone who values and embraces agility, to see Teams reject it as too hard and their current state as not great but preferable to doing the work to become agile.  But, I’ve seen it happen.  Alanis Morrisette sings that “the only way out is through,” but some people are happy enough where they’re at.

                   

                  I’m not saying this is the situation on your teams, but just checking to see whether you’ve considered whether it is.

                   

                  --- Jean

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Wollin
                  Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:10 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

                   

                   

                  I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

                  I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

                  Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                  Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                  First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

                  Agenda
                  I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                  II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                  Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                  II. b. Discussion
                  III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                  IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

                  My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

                  Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

                  Thanks

                  Michael

                • Justin Urbanski
                  Michael, I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren t open enough about discussing each of the principles. In subsequent
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 31, 2012
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                    Michael,

                    I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren't open enough about discussing each of the principles.
                    In subsequent sessions I found it useful to have an understanding of what each of the principle might mean to the target audience to get the conversation going. One thing you could do is meet beforehand with key individuals (adopters) that are more open and explain what you intend to achieve from the sessions. This will give them time to prepare and hopefully push the discussion along.

                    In terms of not having done this format just dive in. It will be good for you as a coach. I learnt a lot about myself and the improvements I needed to make from facilitating them. I also found "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins very helpful.

                    It looks light you've done a lot of preparation and you have given me some good ideas also.

                    Good luck.

                    Justin Urbanski
                  • Michael James
                    This book has stuff I wish I d known years ago:
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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                      This book has stuff I wish I'd known years ago:

                      I agree with the comment someone wrote that one hour probably isn't enough for what the original poster is trying to do.  In this situation I might start with some type of retrospective about the processes that have been followed thus far.  If trust is reasonably high* it's useful to have people stand on a number line from 0 to 10, representing how good they think the current processes are.

                      --mj


                      On Jan 31, 2012, at 3:47 PM, Justin Urbanski wrote:

                       

                      Michael,

                      I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren't open enough about discussing each of the principles.
                      In subsequent sessions I found it useful to have an understanding of what each of the principle might mean to the target audience to get the conversation going. One thing you could do is meet beforehand with key individuals (adopters) that are more open and explain what you intend to achieve from the sessions. This will give them time to prepare and hopefully push the discussion along.

                      In terms of not having done this format just dive in. It will be good for you as a coach. I learnt a lot about myself and the improvements I needed to make from facilitating them. I also found "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins very helpful.

                      It looks light you've done a lot of preparation and you have given me some good ideas also.

                      Good luck.

                      Justin Urbanski


                    • JackM
                      Run the airplane factory exercise with the teams. Works great and really get s the message across. You should find the details of this exercise on the net.
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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                        Run the airplane factory exercise with the teams. Works great and really get's the message across. You should find the details of this exercise on the net.

                        Hope this helps. It's a lot of fun.

                        CHeers
                        Jack
                        www.agilebuddy.com

                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.
                        >
                        > I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.
                        >
                        > Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                        > Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                        > First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.
                        >
                        > Agenda
                        > I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                        > II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                        > Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                        > II. b. Discussion
                        > III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                        > IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)
                        >
                        > My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).
                        >
                        > Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.
                        >
                        > Thanks
                        >
                        > Michael
                        >
                      • Michael Wollin
                        Thanks, Jean. I am not sure what you mean specifically by agile versus iterative, but I can guess and there is some of that going on. Mostly, I am guessing
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 3, 2012
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                          Thanks, Jean.

                          I am not sure what you mean specifically by agile versus iterative, but I can guess and there is some of that going on. Mostly, I am guessing that we might be seeing the effects of top down. Most everyone sees benefits. This is about going to the next level. I don't think they really get what's possible for them in the workplace (i.e., hyperproductivity, fun). I'm out to create that, to open the door. I think as human beings they will naturally become interested in being truly agile. We jumped from Shu to Ha too soon :)

                          Michael

                          On Jan 30, 2012, at 10:31 PM, Jean Richardson wrote:

                           

                          Michael –

                           

                          Your idea is a great one.  I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of agility.  Is part of your plan in these conversations to determine whether they want to be agile rather than iterative?  It’s of interest to me that teams often don’t want to do the work of becoming agile for a variety of reasons.  Did scrum come into the organization you are working with from the bottom up or the top down?

                           

                          Assuming the teams you work with are interested in becoming truly agile from the principle level up rather than just walking through an iterative process, then your overall approach sounds quite viable.  It can be surprising, from the perspective of someone who values and embraces agility, to see Teams reject it as too hard and their current state as not great but preferable to doing the work to become agile.  But, I’ve seen it happen.  Alanis Morrisette sings that “the only way out is through,” but some people are happy enough where they’re at.

                           

                          I’m not saying this is the situation on your teams, but just checking to see whether you’ve considered whether it is.

                           

                          --- Jean

                           

                          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Wollin
                          Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:10 PM
                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

                           

                           

                          I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

                          I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

                          Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                          Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                          First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

                          Agenda
                          I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                          II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                          Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                          II. b. Discussion
                          III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                          IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

                          My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

                          Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

                          Thanks

                          Michael



                        • Michael Wollin
                          Answers below: ... I think it is in party that. Changes that come are sometimes entropic in nature, like user stories for testing or stand ups that are status
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 3, 2012
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                            Answers below:

                            On Jan 31, 2012, at 10:46 AM, Wouter Lagerweij wrote:

                             

                            Hi Michael,


                            First of all: great that you're doing this. Things only change if someone starts changing things.

                            Some things that occur to me

                            Why do *you* think that teams are not owning their process? Is it just that they don't know what is possible? How is the  broader organisation encouraging and rewarding active push for changes?


                            I think it is in party that. Changes that come are sometimes entropic in nature, like user stories for testing or stand ups that are status meetings. This simply suggests to me that the why has not been grasped. 

                            I think that, if you manage to get teams talking about what they'd like to change, one hour is going to feel very short. 

                            I've gone to two hours, and presume there will be follow on meetings. 


                            I also think that it might be more powerful to (also?) help the teams perform their retrospectives ("guest facilitator"), and spend some time setting up a company broad improvement backlog, agreeing with management to visibly put it on a wall, and to pick up the top x items within an agreed timeframe. 

                            Facilitating team retrospectives I have done, for some teams but not all. I don't think a company-wide backlog is feasible for me to undertake. 


                            Again, what you're doing is good. Make sure the teams feel that it's going to result in some real change.

                            They will be skeptical, and rightly so, if I even promise change. That's not my focus. My focus is to empower them, and to have them drive the change. 

                            Thanks!!



                            Wouter

                            On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM, Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> wrote:
                             

                            I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

                            I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

                            Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                            Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                            First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

                            Agenda
                            I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                            II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                            Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                            II. b. Discussion
                            III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                            IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

                            My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

                            Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

                            Thanks

                            Michael




                            --
                            Wouter Lagerweij         | wouter@...


                          • Michael Wollin
                            I wish I had more experience leading open space meetings. I like your stand that it would work naturally! ... I wish I had more experience leading open space
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 3, 2012
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                              I wish I had more experience leading open space meetings. I like your stand that it would work naturally!

                              On Jan 31, 2012, at 12:19 PM, Jean Richardson wrote:

                               

                              You know, that’s a great idea.  If you can do an Open Space half-day on the current state and future hopes for the organization’s agile process with all these teams, you might end up surfacing exactly what you want to discuss in these individual conversations, particularly if you facilitate the Open Space session with an opening “fireside chat” along those lines.

                               

                              If you go forward with this effort, we’ll definitely want to hear about it back here on the list.  You’re grappling with one of the slipperiest problems in an agile/scrum adoption, I think.

                               

                              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael James
                              Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 10:25 PM
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

                               

                               

                              In addition to what Jean said, consider reading (or re-reading) Harrison Owen's book on open space even if you're not intending to run an open space format.

                              --mj

                               


                              On Jan 30, 2012, at 7:31 PM, "Jean Richardson" <jean@...> wrote:

                               

                              Michael –

                               

                              Your idea is a great one.  I can sympathize with your desire to help the teams you work with become present to the benefits and implications of agility.  Is part of your plan in these conversations to determine whether they want to be agile rather than iterative?  It’s of interest to me that teams often don’t want to do the work of becoming agile for a variety of reasons.  Did scrum come into the organization you are working with from the bottom up or the top down?

                               

                              Assuming the teams you work with are interested in becoming truly agile from the principle level up rather than just walking through an iterative process, then your overall approach sounds quite viable.  It can be surprising, from the perspective of someone who values and embraces agility, to see Teams reject it as too hard and their current state as not great but preferable to doing the work to become agile.  But, I’ve seen it happen.  Alanis Morrisette sings that “the only way out is through,” but some people are happy enough where they’re at.

                               

                              I’m not saying this is the situation on your teams, but just checking to see whether you’ve considered whether it is.

                               

                              --- Jean

                               

                              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Wollin
                              Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:10 PM
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Leading a Meeting of Discovery

                               

                               

                              I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.

                              I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.

                              Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                              Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                              First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.

                              Agenda
                              I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                              II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                              Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                              II. b. Discussion
                              III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                              IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)

                              My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).

                              Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.

                              Thanks

                              Michael



                            • Michael Wollin
                              I will get that book, but won t have time to read it before I start this process. Thank you. We have retrospecrtives. I assert they can be greatly expanded by
                              Message 14 of 15 , Feb 3, 2012
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                                I will get that book, but won't have time to read it before I start this process. Thank you. 

                                We have retrospecrtives. I assert they can be greatly expanded by seeing a wider world. Safety is an issue. One does what one can. 

                                On Feb 1, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Michael James wrote:

                                 

                                This book has stuff I wish I'd known years ago:


                                I agree with the comment someone wrote that one hour probably isn't enough for what the original poster is trying to do.  In this situation I might start with some type of retrospective about the processes that have been followed thus far.  If trust is reasonably high* it's useful to have people stand on a number line from 0 to 10, representing how good they think the current processes are.

                                --mj


                                On Jan 31, 2012, at 3:47 PM, Justin Urbanski wrote:

                                 

                                Michael,

                                I did this recently and my first attempt failed miserably. The team just weren't open enough about discussing each of the principles.
                                In subsequent sessions I found it useful to have an understanding of what each of the principle might mean to the target audience to get the conversation going. One thing you could do is meet beforehand with key individuals (adopters) that are more open and explain what you intend to achieve from the sessions. This will give them time to prepare and hopefully push the discussion along.

                                In terms of not having done this format just dive in. It will be good for you as a coach. I learnt a lot about myself and the improvements I needed to make from facilitating them. I also found "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins very helpful.

                                It looks light you've done a lot of preparation and you have given me some good ideas also.

                                Good luck.

                                Justin Urbanski




                              • Michael Wollin
                                I skimmed it and will take a deeper look this weekend. Thanks!
                                Message 15 of 15 , Feb 3, 2012
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                                  I skimmed it and will take a deeper look this weekend. Thanks!

                                  On Feb 1, 2012, at 10:36 PM, JackM wrote:

                                   

                                  Run the airplane factory exercise with the teams. Works great and really get's the message across. You should find the details of this exercise on the net.

                                  Hope this helps. It's a lot of fun.

                                  CHeers
                                  Jack
                                  www.agilebuddy.com

                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael Wollin <yahoo@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I am planning to meet for an hour with each of our agile teams to lead a conversation. My intention is to ground them in the values of agile, and to have them start to own, demand and drive the process (i.e. to discover for themselves what's in it for them). My premise is that they are not present to the benefits and implications of agility, it's just the process we use as set forth by management (or some similar view). I want them to become present for themselves any gap between where we are (which is not bad) and where we could be.
                                  >
                                  > I am stretching myself as a coach, taking on a format that I have never done or had any training in. Here is my rough idea. Any advice would be most welcome.
                                  >
                                  > Intention: To have the values of agile become alive present to each and every team member, the world of it. To have them begin to see what they have a right to expect.
                                  > Approach: A guided conversation, an open format exploration, an opportunity for self-discovery
                                  > First meeting is one hour in a conference room. Team sizes are between 5 and 7.
                                  >
                                  > Agenda
                                  > I. Some fun team building exercise to get the energy up and create a safe space
                                  > II. a. A short video that directly points out what's possible for them (fun, fulfillment, empowerment, etc.)
                                  > Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqhuPHS45U
                                  > II. b. Discussion
                                  > III. Review one-by-one the Twelve Principals of Agile Software. Lead a guided conversation where they explore for themselves the meaning and implications of each.
                                  > IV. Feedback - Inspect and Adapt (How can this meeting format be better next time?)
                                  >
                                  > My preparation is to have my own list of collected implications, and listen for the team to find most of the important ones on their own (with perhaps subtle guidance using open-ended questions).
                                  >
                                  > Like I said, I have never done anything like this meeting format before. Any advice would be appreciated so much. Also references, especially good online articles on agile values, the 12 principals and the manifesto, teams having fun being an agile value, and suggestions on a short and fun team building game to start off with.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks
                                  >
                                  > Michael
                                  >


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