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Posts Tagged ‘Retrospective

Interview with Jim Highsmith

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InformIT has just posted my interview with Jim Highsmith. While the interview naturally focuses on the the new edition of Agile Project Management, Jim makes quite a few observations on deep truths. For example, in response to my asking him to do a quick “retrospective” of the period since he signed the Manifesto, Jim gives both perspective and retrospective. Here is an excerpt from his answer:

If the Agile movement is to continue, we have to better understand what the core Agile principles really are, and not just our personal interpretation, and then find ways to incorporate thoughts and ideas that may seem in conflict with our own ideas. Just because some Agile camps may have a more widespread audience, that doesn’t make them the source for all things Agile. The essence of change is tolerance for new ideas that conflict with our own.

Enjoy reading the full interview!

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Written by israelgat

August 17, 2009 at 8:21 am

A Note on the Kanban & Retrospectives Post by David Andreson

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David Anderson wrote an interesting post on Kanban & Retrospectives. David observes that some seasoned Kanban teams ceased doing “official” retrospectives. To quote David:

Some mature Kanban teams did drop the use of retrospectives. No one told them to do it. They just did. Retrospectives were not adding value in their lives and hence were seen as a wasteful activity that could be eliminated.

David carefully examines retrospectives in the Kanban context. His concluding recommendation is as follows:

Kanban can enable a team to reach a level of maturity where they may choose to eliminate retrospectives (or not.) It’s a choice! Every situation will be unique. The important thing is not to see elimination of retrospectives as wrong or bad or “not agile.” Equally, don’t rush in and eliminate retrospectives. Don’t proscribe retrospectives. Let the team make its own decision when it is ready and embrace the evolution of process that comes with continuous improvement.

I certainly understand where David is coming from and the sound logic of his reasoning. However, the question on my mind is whether core Scrum practices could be reduced without jeopardizing the method. The following excerpt from a recent Cutter Consortium post entitled Breaking the Facade of Truth: An Introspective View into and a Case Study About the “Apparent Truths” of Agile by David Spann nicely summarizes how minimalistic Scrum is:

Scrum, as a management methodology, is elegant in its design, requiring only three roles (i.e., product owner, ScrumMaster, and self-organized team), three ceremonies (sprint/iteration planning, daily Scrum/debrief, and sprint review meetings), and three artifacts (product and sprint backlogs and the burndown chart) — just-enough practical advice so agile teams do not overcomplicate the development lifecycle with too much ceremony and documentation

Can one meaningfully drop a core practice of a just-enough method?

Opinions please!

Written by israelgat

March 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Being Your Own Forcing Function

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A fascinating thread is becoming evident in many of my discussions with the penalists for the forthcoming Rally events in Denver, LA and NYC. I have de facto become a forcing function for panelists to take a good look at their Agile journey, to think deeper on the experience and to come to grips with difficult lessons. As I am careful not to interject my own thoughts in these pre-panel discussions, my forcing function effect is primarily a Google Calendar invite creating quality time for a vice president and some members of his staff to think aloud on their experience.

Suggestion: No matter how many Agile retrospectives you have already conducted, set a short meeting with your staff to brainstorm on your Agile experience in entirety. The action item from this meeting is creating a 10 minute presentation which summarizes your experience in a way that will be meaningful to other Agilists and executives. Once you got the presentation ready, post it in one public forum or another and solicit feedback.

It might sound naive, but I believe you will be nicely rewarded by being your own forcing function for this kind of reflection. It is that simple.

Written by israelgat

March 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Posted in Events, The Agile Leader

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