Hello Quarantiners !!!
Today I want to share with you one of my last and fresh thougths.
The Field Principle
The Soccer teams has a big advantage over Software Teams: they have a Field.
In this Field managers cannot walk in during the game play.
This Field is the space where they can play the game. Inside this constraints, they can be self-organized. That means: they can take a sort amount of decisions by them self. In front of a problem, they are empowered to immediately implement a solution. Actually, they are accountable for.
Imagine how annoying could be for the players if outside people just walk in, control the ball, give them some indications, tell them "what to do", and a long etcetera...
Let your teams play
Let your people do their job. They will be thankful.
In a Scrum Team, the scrum master is accountable for keeping the rules in the game, and in this case, to keep the "Field" clean from intruders.
But be careful with the metaphor, "putting a foot into the field" does not means specifically "to not put a foot into the developers office". Yes, that's one meaning. But there is more:
There is some sort of decisions, that should belong to the team. That's the meaning of "empowering" them. but, coming back to the "field" metaphor, to "invade the field" is also to take decisions that belongs to the team.
There is no general model, and in everyplace this may vary, so I cannot tell you exactly what sort of decisions belongs to the team. You should decide and design in your space, what's better for you. Anyway, I can share some "field invasion" examples:
- Assigning a Commitment without being accepted
- Deciding about Team structure, without asking the Team
- Doing estimations without asking the Team
- Micro management and micro controlling
- Writing requirements and detailed plans, without communicating a Vision neither nor transparent Strategies.
- Sitting the developer as far as possible from customers and end users
As you can see, and maybe understand, is not only about respecting "physical space" but also "decisions space".
And what about you?
- What way are you invading and dis-empowering your teams?
- What kind of "healthy distance" can you stablish to enable your teams to perform?
- How much are you interfering and cutting their Flow?
- Do your teams has everything they need to create value?
- How does your processes help everybody to see the Field limits and co working rules?
Have a nice and safe day...
(picture source: www.tuleap.org)
Welcome to my new post.
Today I want to share with you some perspective about how to use "Onthological Coching" questions to support a Scrum Team. This is a good example about how much has to do the "Coaching" discipline with the "Scrum Master" and/or "Agile Coach" roles.
Long story short, I will share with you some "model quesions" to each Scrum Event.
Keep safe and healthy.
- Are we ready for planning?
- Do we see impediments or dependencies on the way?
- Sprint Planning
- What do you want to achieve in this Sprint?
- What is our Commitment?
- What's Sprint Goal and/or Purpose?
- What is happening?
- What is holding us back from performing?
- What's our progress toward Sprint Goal?
- Sprint Review
- What is the delivered Value?
- What did End Users won?
- What represents Delivered Quality?
- What you want to change?
- What did you learn from this experience?
- What's your new discovery?
- Given "x" problem: What can we do about?
- What change looks difficult or impossible?
- What is preventing us to reach more optimized performance?
- What if...?
Hello dear readers, today I will explore with you the topic: "Decisions".
Decision and emotions factor: the Fear
One of the main factors behind our decision process, is Fear. When we choose an option, we are leaving the others behind.
To decide, is to choose an option. And to not choose others.
Sometimes the Fear is an obstacle for decisions, sometimes is a motivation.
A critical component...
...of making decisions, guess what: is commitment.
After a Decision, comes Action
"I am what I decide"
To help someone to make a decision, is not to decide for him.
"If I were you, I would do this"
What holds you back from making a decision?
Decisions are personal, because decisions are an act of Freedom, and Freedom comes with Responsibility.
Winning and loosing
When we make a decision, we always win something, and loose something. One frequent factor in the decision process, is to be aware of "what we could win" and "what we could loose", and accept both.
We need to be aware, that when we decide, we are choosing to win, and we are choosing to loose.
Sometimes, we need to decide to make a big lost. There is "hard to make decisions" in life. And they are also necesary.
In the decision game, we need to be good winners, and good losers.
Many times our decisions are individual and personal, but in other situations, decisions comes from agreement with others. Group decision, Team decisions, Couple decisions are some examples of that.
In this situations, when someone decides a "no", then is "no" for everybody.
- Winning and losings
The Decision Process
- Identify the need
- is it real?
- is my desire? or is from others?
- Search options
- What I will do with my necessity?
- What Options do I have?
- What Options do exists?
- If there is only 1 option, then we are not deciding.
- Identify one option
- Do that cover the need?
- Is that functional?
- What's my winning in this option?
- What I'm choosing to loose?
- What's the risk to decide?
- What's the risk to not decide?
- When is the proper time for decision?
- What resources do I count with?
- Who can help me?
- What do I feel in front of the options?
- How can be this implemented?
- Why we choose this option?
- all the rest options, do not exists anymore.
- We decide to make an Action, not to be successful.
- No result
- The important of a decision, is not the result.
"I'm proud of everything I tried"
...today I want to share with all of you, a beautiful experience I had during the last months.
I'm participating in a software development project, for free, as volunteer. My role there is not Coach or Scrum Master, is Developer.
For one side, I was always implementing small solutions and coding, during the last years. But to work in a project, from zero to launch, its been years since I don't do that.
So for me was really exciting to do that. Honestly speaking, I was not sure if I could make it happens...but at the end, it worked well. Inside my limitations, of course, but it works.
I will explain, now, my main happy surprises during this project.
For our surprise, our Architecture skills were powerful. I think that has to do with "collective intelligence". And the learning process that walk with you during the entire path.
"Learning is part of the process"
We can find many different definitions of Architecture. One I love is: Architecture is the set of decisions, that are hard to change later.
So in that way, Architecture is simple strategy. Is to prepare the territory for future changes.
"Architecture, is the skill to split and differentiate"
Testing Driven Development
We implemented, until now, 351 tests adding all categories. Twas an amazing experience, that makes me believe, that a real developer cannot live without TDD.
Twas my best professional experience, in a non-professional environment. I've never participated on a so well organized process.
I've got the opportunity to implement many of my own theories, and conceptions, like the Business Tests.
Development Layers: how to remove excess of engineering
- Layer 0
- Test environments
- Models and its relations
- CRUD scaffolding
- Layer 1
- User Graphic interface (usability)
- Layer 3
- Integration with other systems
- Layer 4
Business Tests Driven Development
The Power of Unbalanced Teams
We discover, the power of unbalanced Team.
The Power of Commitment and Agility
The end of the path is on sight.
WS24 stands for: Walking Skeleton 24. And cause of our commitment, we set up a deadline for 5th november.
I can't believe that so much commitment and discipline we put into this project. We start with some codelines, a couple of objects, and now we have an entire application that integrates google login, a django backend, with google maps and many other components.
So thanks for reading, and here you have my "take out" learnings.
Keep safe at home! and keep coding!
- TDD and BDD are amazing, and they work well.
- Unbalanced teams are powerful.
- Commitment is key
- Agile is about Flow, Team Work, Improvement and Commitment
- Keep it small, simple and ugly (beauty comes later)
Can you imagine a World without Conflicts?
Conflicts are opportunities
I see conflicts like opportunities for:
What can we do?
Moreover: the fact that you (may) be right, doesn't mean the other is wrong.
A maturity metric
We can scale it to the organization:
To Discuss or to not discuss, that's the question
How to transform a fight into a discussion
In other words:
- assist people to face conflicts they are avoiding
- assist people on how to explore it without fighting
- being "too busy" to address the discussion
- Solution: focus on the value for each part, to bring priority for the discussion
- being demanding
- Solution: open negotiation and avoid judgements.
- "you cannot talk about this"
- "what you did is terrible"
- Solution: focus on solution and cooperation instead of blaming.
- using words like "always", "never", "everytime"
- "you never help me"
- "you never listen to me"
- Solution: allow the counter part to express his perspective.
- suppose others intentions
- "I know why you say that"
- "I know why you do that"
- Solution: "we are here to find a win-win plan, not the guilty"
- reiterative speech
- try to paraphrase, instead repeating
- Solution: invite to paraphrase and provide examples.
- choose worst place and moment
- hostilely attack
- insults, adjectives, silence
- If the climax is not appropriate, advice that the meeting can be postponed or cancelled.
- bringing old problems to the table to get advantage
- Solution: focus on the future and possibilities.
- "if you do this..."
- "if you don't do this..."
- "If you don't do this, I will do that"
- "If you do not do what I ask, when you ask me I will not..."
- Solution: moderate.
- appeal to guilty feelings
- Solution: invite to negotiate or sell the idea.
- the blame
- the threat
How to facilitate a discussion?
- avoid to mediate or arbitrate
- establish peer to peer communication (no enemies, no hierarchies)
- expose each position
- focus on finding a common understanding about the problem definition
- What is happening?
- assist them to validate language and paraphrase
- assist them to make offers and petitions
- What do you need?
- What can you offer?
- assist them to build an action plan with shared responsibilities.
- help them to declare their commitments
- Each person prepares his position before meeting
- Invite them to "leave weapons behind"
- "We are here to explain our perspective, we are here to listen, and we are here to negotiate"
- "We are here to find a win-win plan"
- Do you want to find a solution?
- (question to find out current commitment)
- What's your issue?
- What's happening?
- What do you need from others?
- What are you missing?
- What did you understood, on your own words?
- Offers and petitions. Negotiation
- What do you need from the other side?
- What can you offer?
- Action Plan
- What you plan to do for the change?
- Where do you focus your commitments?
- What's your new commitment after this conversation?
The purpose of facilitation are:
- build link's health
- identify and transparent differences
- negotiate mutual benefits
- build a balanced action plan
- paraphrase and summarize
- make commitments
Until next time!
- what does an agile coach do?
What is "Coaching"
We can find its origin is in the ancient Greek. They used a method of making questions to invite the other to find the truth by himself.
What did Mickey, for Rocky Balboa?
Why he was not doing exercise with Rocky?
What was Mickey's mission?
A Coach is educating a "winner mentality". Coaching is an invite to change, to think differently and to allow you to see the world through an alternative perspective.
a great Coach.
In the last days I'd contact with this article:
Management is under extinction
I'm here to help you.
At minute 12:51 he says "People are not predictable", and dedicate this finger to someone. (maybe a manager?)
What is "management"?
They could crash and mistreat any human being, only driving them with the Fear of being Fired.
The "management" developed a culture of "productivity and control". With strong hierarchies, and a "command and control" system. Of course that includes a "reporting culture", which also includes the 1-directional Feedback (top to bottom)
The Gods (bosses) could judge you as worker, and you could not have any chance of complaining.
With the arrive of technology, internet and communications, we switched from the "production society" to the "Knowlege Society".
The Game changed.
Now we have a deprecated management social class. Many of them are already extinguish, but the rest (maybe including you) are next.
What's the difference?
He is THE problem
- this can change
- you can change
- we can change together
Ok, gotcha. but... What I can do?
You must abandon and weak your old competences, and train, develop, cultivate new ones.
For example: to listen.
In the Jurassic World, your work was to speak (maybe to scream?). Now is to listen.
First step: stay open to change, learn and adapt.
Second step: connect with the "Value Creation Layer"
What the fuck is that ! ?
- Formal (rules, hierarchies, contracts)
- Informal (relations, trust)
- Value Creation (Productive)
The more you focus on Formal and Informal layers,
the less space left for Creating Value.
- How old fashioned are you?
- Are you listening to people?
- Are you caring about what they need?
- Are you a "helper", or a "demander"?
- Are you committed to your people?
- You manipulate them like "resources", or you cultivate a relation with them as "people"?
- Do you give, what you want to receive?
Welcome back to my blog coronavirus survivers!
Today I share with you a personal experience with my own Fitness project:
How to apply Toyota principles to my Fitness Board
What is this?
This is my TABATA board with 3 sequences.
TABATA is a high intensity train that combine 20 seconds effort and 10 seconds break. Each TABATA sequence has 8 exercises. And this is repeated 8 times.
In total is 1 hour training.
So let's go, let's see how I improve it:
Step 1: observe
The reason to improve this board, was that it was not so flexible or easy to read.
The first color code identifies the columns. But the problem is when I decide to move an exercise to other column, the result is like this:
Now is not so clear what exercise belongs to the yellow or the orange. So it didn't work out. Its incoherent. And I'm misusing the opportunity to have a functional color code (waste)
- Decision: we need a new color code.
- Why: to simplify and avoid information noise.
Step 2: classify
I didn't know if its better to classify exercises between pull/push or by body parts.
At the end, and given the info I had, I decided that to split by body part is more relevant. The other distinction didn't represents a big difference.
So we classify to differentiate.
Done. Color code applied to the board.
Effect: situations becames visible.
Nice, now I can see realities that were hidden. But wait a moment...
In sequence A, there only 1 yellow. Hmm that's bad.
And for "easy reading" the column titles should be the same color...
- Decision: change title colors.
- why: to avoid confusion and noise. (information noise is a waste)
- Decision: define a "business value": my priority is to train arms. (yellow)
- why: not every activity creates "value", and we don't manage activities, but a "value flow".
Step 3: sortThis way I detected that I was not putting effort into the priority. I was "just moving". That's not the goal.
- Decision: Put a red mark on "value creating exercises".
- Why: to make "value creation" more visible.
Step 4: balanceYes, that's looks better.
But now I have a lot of blue items on Sequence B.
- Decision: put priority exercise as top as possible.
- Why: I want to do them when I have more energy.
- Decision: balance colors
- Why: to balance training through body.
That looks better.
Step 5: optimizeObservation: there very few red marks, maybe we can increase the effort investment in high value exercises.
- Decision: duplicate high value exercises.
- Why: dedicate more effort to the valuable exercises.
- Now we can easly move every exercise to every position without breaking the color code.
- We can produce more effect with the same effort / time.
- We balance the full body.
- Now we know the "value priority" (arms)
- Priority is visible.
Step 6: keep improvingAs "Kanbaners", our job is to search always the "small and cheap" improvements.
Color Code. We search simplicity and to reduce information.
Make things visual. That you, without reading, can see the situation and take decisions.
There is things we will not work. Discard them, clear the way.
Is important, additionally, to identify and reduce waste.
If you don't measure, you can't see.
A good metric can show your progress, but it needs to be simple and functional. (in this case "kilos", taking a snapshot per week)
My target was to loose 20 kilos, I have already lost 18.
Question: I think Kilos is not a good metric. How you choose your metric?Nice question!
In my philosophical opinion would answer:
A good metric is:
- Easy to take
Should be imperfect, to avoid many psichological effects.
- obsessing with the metric,
- measuring success with it (is not) and
- to feed your illusion of control
So I decided: yes! go for it! double the bet, and we will get more progress!
I think you can guess the result: total disaster.
I've lost control of weight, some weeks down, some weeks up...
then I was totally confused. Until I remembered that rule of balance between variables in an stable system. This kind of useless things we learn at school.
If you make an hipocaloric diet, your body enters in panic. Then he "decides" to save energy, and keep reserves to face the hunger challenge.
Anything that can put your body into stress, can affect totally or partially how your body reacts to the situation. So at the end is not about "how much you train", or "how much you eat", that's a mechanicist approach.
We have an organic echosystem of variables, in a perfect balance. And we think we have a machine with pieces.
That's the mechanic mindset.
The Illusion of control is one of the most common mental diseases for Project Managers.
To believe that we can "tell" to a complex reality how to behave.
To believe that we can "manipulate" results "managing" variables.
- "ok, I understand the problem, but... where is the answer?... what can we do?"
Nice question. And the answer is philosophical: the law of moderation.
A moderate exercise, with a moderate diet, with moderate fasting, with moderate everything... creates a great lifestyle.
Then the body adapts to this great lifestyle, and find its perfect balance.
The body weight loosing, is just a consequence of the good life quality.
It should be also "meaningful". It means, should be "good enough" to valorate if our strategy is functional or not.
Prioritize. There is always a capacity limit. Time is a hard reality we cannot change. A week will always have 7 days.
Then you need to put your time and effort in the bigger winning activities.
Make them visible, and prioritize.
All these change are part of a continuous process: Improve.
Today we will explore a classical topic: pull vs push systems.
But as usual, we will not speak only about systems and methods, but also about cultures.
First of all, what is push and pull systems?
Regarding Wikipedia, this is a good definition:
In a Push system there is an "order" that trigger the production process, pushing into the process start point.
In a Pull system, there is a "request" that trigger the production process, pulling from the end point of the production line.
Let's watch a matematical example:
- We setup a production line with 3 steps,
- each step feeds the stock of the next one (depending process)
- We decided (PUSH) to setup a production capacity of 10
- On zero time our profit is minus (Minus)1200
- when we put the plant to full production (PUSH) our profit became 1600
Bingo! We are using full capacity (PUSH)
- then we optimize the system to follow to the market demand (PULL)
- then we duplicate Profit
- and we use half of capacity
But that is at process level. For mechanic mindsets.
We can think also in another dimensions like philosophy, cultural, etc...
Let's try, suppose that instead of "processes" we have "ideas".
You can be pushing those Ideas, or pulling them.
If you "push" you will decide which idea is better regarding your own mindset.
If you "pull", you will discover, which idea is better regarding a real demand.
If we could consider that exists a "push mindset", it could include some of this behaviours:
- To care always and only in to keep capacity full and busy (Busyness)
- To "design teams" without a reason or demand from the market
- To write requirements to keep teams busy and working
- To design products that the market didn't asked for.
- To take decisions in base of structure, more than marketing strategy.
- "business decisions" are made by a "manager" instead a market expert in contact with the real customer or end user.
- To adapt "business" strategies, to the internal political strategies or hierarchies.
So the... Scrum is a Push system?
Scrum is also a Pull system. We pull stories from the Backlog. And we will not do "everything".
This is a typical mistake, to consider that Scrum is a Push system. And to optimize Scrum and make it better, a good strategy is to apply Kanban / Lean principles to it.
That means: clean the backlog, focus on the sprint, identify values, eliminate wastes, etc...
You know the rest, sing alone...
I hope you enjoy this piece... have a nice day and stay healthy.
Today I write about what's the difference between Scrum and Kanban?
Which one is better? For what situation?
Whenever you listen "which options do you have to work with your team" the two options comes to the light: Scrum or Kanban.
Ok, let's go!
So, I think one of the main differences between them is that Scrum has Sprints.
In kanban they name "cadences".
But, without prescription...
Ok sorry for that,will try again...
Let me think.
Scrum has a Retrospective meeting.
And, Kanban also. It has 3 of them.
Ok, will save time, as you can see on this picture, it has also some sort of Planning, daily standup, and review.
So at the end everything is about Cycle and Feedback.
let me search a difference....
The Backlog! Scrum has a Backlog!
And Kanban... has...
Ok, I'm getting bored of this game. let's try in the other direction.
Kanban has a WIP limit!
ahaa!!! there you have!
Scrum also, when you calculate "capacity", measure your "velocity" and plan a "sprint backlog" you are setting up a "WIP limit".
Well sorry ladies and gentlemans, I give up.
There is no difference between Scrum and Kanban, more than "naming" and "prescription".
They are the "same thing" with different setup and names.
Scrum is a prescribed Kanban.
Follow me for more desceptions and myth busting!!!!
Have a nice day....
Thanks for reading my blog. Today I bring to you another learning experience.
After celebrating the 2020 new years eve, I was reviewing my last 8 years, of my life travel. This 8 years iteration is complete and finished, and now I'm ready for a big change.
During this years I move out from Argentina and started to live and work as an agilist in Europe. First year in Barcelona working as Scrum Master, and then life started to play with me: I was moved to Germany.
(yes, "was moved")
On this review, I found an interesting pattern: I had many plans, but the best things from my history, were not planned.
The best things that happened to me were: to meet my music master, who teaches me hundreds of lessons for free, and we share a music world. He pushed me into an stage to play and sing. At the beginning people told me that I had a good voice, but I could not believe it much.
Anyway, watching now to behind, I see that I dedicated myself to the music the last 4 years.
I learnt a lot!
And I could enjoy so many things that could not be possible. Now I have my own Youtube channel, where I share my passion for Music, and I'm also starting in a professional band as a singer.
Everyting sounds nice, but hold on a moment...
When in my plans did I conceived the possibility to became a musician?
I explored a little bit more into my life travel, and found more parts that where "high scores". They were also not planned. And honestly speaking, the "planned" part of my history was not working well. A lot of disappointments, frustration and fights.
Now I think to myself. If the best parts of my history were not planned, can someone do that?
Can best results be planned?
I cannot imagine someone planning like this:
I will go to buy some bread, turn left on the corner at 10:15 and meet a lady in red. I will fall in love with her, and we will get married 2 years after.
If the universe of happenings that can be planned are so -small-, and in life, best things cannot be planned...
what if, "best results" in business can also not be planned?
what if, our planning culture is holding us under a limited universe of probabilities and opportunities?
that makes sense for me.
If we plan everything, when comes innovation?
And if, innovation cannot exists, when we will do something disruptive, special?
But our reporting culture forces people to do only the targets and activities that can be:
What are you waiting to free and empower your teams to strike the market with their creativity?
Thanks for reading,