AGILE IN ACTION

Tag: xpday

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bro at XPDay

Posted by Simon Baker
Finally, we got along to XPDAY today, albeit only for a few hours. We went specifically to see my brother, Marc Baker, and Dan Jones from the Lean Enterprise Academy do their keynote. It was great to meet Dan and talk with him over lunch.
Read more...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Beer helped

Posted by Simon Baker
When Energized Work turned one year old back in June we started to give a lot more attention to our ideas to develop the company. We decided it was time for action. While attending Agile2008 in Toronto, we talked and talked over beers in the bar at the top of the CN Tower and talked some more in Fynn's of Temple Bar. Since then we've been beavering away behind the scenes, occasionally alluding to progress in my tweets.
Read more... Comments: 1

Sunday, November 25, 2007

XPDAY7: Have you compromised your agility?

Posted by Simon Baker
Well, we did our XPDay session: Have you compromised your agility? The run-up to the conference was a bit manic because we thought XPDay was a week later than it actually was. Our thanks go to Steve Freeman for spurring us into frantic action. We burnt the week rushing around buying props (coloured table cloths, battery powered candles, lollipops, etc), preparing posters and handouts, and putting together a chilled-out music playlist. We pretty much knew what we wanted to say in the session but it was delivered mostly on a wing and a prayer. Despite me getting over a cold and Gus being hungover, we thought it went reasonably well and we had lots of fun. There must have been around 60 people in the cafe, probably twice the ideal number, but it went smoothly enough. More people arrived, some turned around because we were at capacity on the tables, others stayed and formed a circle on the floor. We wanted to do the session because we're worried about the state of affairs. We're seeing more organisations trying to be agile but, when you hold them up to the light, the standard is often poor. Agility is being compromised for corporate fit. We want organisations trying to be agile to raise their game. There needs to be both organisational change and cultural change. And we want people to expect better and do more. We think arguments about dogmatism versus pragmatism, or one approach over another, detract from the real issues: Organisations value the wrong things. People do not maintain a high-level of craftsmanship. Organisations adapt Agile for corporate fit rather than to improve. People accept mediocrity to maintain the status quo rather than strive for excellence through continuous improvement. Organisations focus on efficiency and don't worry about achieving effectiveness first. People are not empowered to do the right thing. Agility is partly about process and practices, and these are the parts that organisations typically latch onto, but its capability is rooted in the culture established by the values and principles and peoples' behaviour. These are often in conflict with the organisation. In the session, each table was given a real issue to discuss. A mind-map for each issue provided a 'starter for ten' and was used to spark a debate. The IT industry is perennially failing 'the business' and while there's no silver bullet, agile approaches can, at least, help us make improvements and do better. Our aim was to hopefully raise awareness of declining standards and inspire people to help us raise the bar. I've included the mind-maps and doodlings. The debates were engaging and pretty intense and consequently it's difficult to distill too much from the doodlings. 1. Misplaced values? value-mindmap Originally uploaded by sjb140470 value-output-1 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 value-output-2 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 value-output-3 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 2. Adapting for fit? adaptation-mindmap Originally uploaded by sjb140470 adaptation-output-1 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 adaptation-output-2 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 3. Accepting mediocrity? excellence-mindmap Originally uploaded by sjb140470 excellence-output Originally uploaded by sjb140470 4. Doing the right thing? conscience-mindmap Originally uploaded by sjb140470 conscience-output-2 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 conscience-output-1 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 5. Is the process adding value? process-mindmap Originally uploaded by sjb140470 process-output-1 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 process-output-2 Originally uploaded by sjb140470 6. Managed or led? leadership-output Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Only 15 people left feedback but it was the last session on the last day and everyone wanted to get to the pub. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 13 people said "they loved it" and that it was "a great format with interesting topics"; 2 people said it was "a good session"; nobody said they "wouldn't recommend it to others". Here's the poster show and here are some photos of the event: The Conversation 'World' Cafe Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Half the room Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Discussing when adaptation compromises Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Discussing valuing the right things Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Discussing excellence vs accepting mediocrity Originally uploaded by sjb140470 Circulating between tables Originally uploaded by sjb140470
Comments: 1

XPDAY7: Why do Agile projects fail?

Posted by Simon Baker
At XPDay 7 , Joseph Pelrine and Jiri Lundak asked why do Agile projects fail?
Read more... Comments: 1

Saturday, November 24, 2007

XPDAY7: Embrace uncertainty

Posted by Simon Baker
In his keynote, Jeff Patton reminded us to embrace uncertainty and asked if we've forgotten the meaning of iteration. Pascal has written about the keynote and has included some photos. Kerry Buckley also has a good write-up. Here's an extract:
Read more...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A local remote person

Posted by Simon Baker
How to get a local presence for a remote person: Mutually immersive mobile telepresence . A solution for distributed people working together? Don't make me laugh! Well... actually... it does make me laugh ... a lot.
Comments: 1

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Have you compromised your agility?

Posted by Simon Baker
Our session - Have you compromised your agility? - has been accepted for XP Day . I'm surprised though because there wasn't a great deal of wiki-discussion about the session during the selection process. I know Steve Freeman championed the inclusion of our session and so our thanks go to him. Hopefully it will contribute to a provocative and constructive end to the event that will see the debate extend to the pub afterwards. The plan is to roll our session and Steve's session - Have we lost our mojo? - together to discuss the notion of compromised agility and raise questions about the current state of the Agile community. I couldn't resist creating a poster with a version of our handbook . We plan to make these available for sale and we might even have a few at the conference. If anyone is interested in purchasing a poster, please send me an email at simon at energizedwork dot com. dont-compromise-your-agility Originally uploaded by sjb140470
Comments: 1

Saturday, December 9, 2006

XPDAY2006: Joshua Kerievsky's keynote speech

Posted by Simon Baker
Tags: xpday
Joshua Kerievsky of Industrial Logic gave the first keynote speech at XPDay . He talked about selling agile methods. Here's what I took from the session:
Read more...

Thursday, December 7, 2006

XPDAY2006: The Toyota Way of Managing

Posted by Simon Baker
Tags: lean, xpday
Read more... Comments: 3

Saturday, December 2, 2006

XPDAY2006: Are We Nearly There Yet?

Posted by Simon Baker
Are We Nearly There Yet? looked at some of the reasons why tracking is often not done particularly well. Ivan Moore covered the important concepts to which he added some of his own experiences and observations. For example, what you need to complete for a user story to be really done ; the pros and cons of story points versus ideal time versus real time; using different estimation units for release (relative magnitude) and iteration planning (time-based); why velocity is the total estimates of the done user stories rather than the sum of the actuals. I was expecting a more advanced session, in particular I was hoping to discover some new information radiators for tracking, but the session covered only the basic tracking techniques and burn charts . I think beginners would find it an informative session so perhaps it should've been in the 'Introduction to Agile' track rather than the 'Peopleware' track. The subject itself is very important and lots of people clearly thought that. There were too many attending this session for the room allocated. It was a squeeze. I would like to see an extended session that includes some exercises to allow people to experience estimating using different units, and tracking actuals rather than original estimates and the impact that has on velocity. I'd also like to participate in a brainstorm to invent some new tracking information radiators. I came out of the session with one useful tip. I usually record obstacles on index cards placed on an 'Obstacles' wall. But I liked Ivan 's tip about user stories that are blocked. We're experiencing problems with dependencies on other teams who are not agile. Every time a user story gets blocked by another team we now stick a pink index card over the story card saying 'BLOCKED' in big letters. This makes it very obvious to our product owner and stakeholders just how difficult it can be for us and how we're slowed down by these dependencies.