Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goldtaking Notes - Sustainable Pace, Agile India 2012

Here are the audience notes from the GoldTaking Exercise done at Agile India 2012 during the session on "Slowing down to speed up: Encouraging sustainable pace in teams" on 19-Feb-2012.

Final slides are here.

Video from the session:

Group 1: How to motivate team to deliver at sustainable pace
  1. Acknowledge the achievements
  2. Environment, open culture, celebrate success
  3. When things go wrong, personal attacks should be avoided. Learn to internalize and change
  4. Celebrate with connection to purpose of work
  5. Try adn figure out why team is demoralized and plug the issues
  6. Understand the mindset of individuals to understand their de-motivators or motivators. It is possible that coaching will vary from person to person
  7. Make team members feel safe and secure to out of demotivation
  8. It is good to make mistakes but learn from them. Difference between personal and professional.
  9. Over-pampering should be avoided. Put up facts, and be straight-forward
  10. Like volleyball, coach should ask for timeouts if required
  11.  Practice and preach respect between team members, gain trust
  12. Challenge team on collective ownership
  13. Team building
Group 2: Tackling Management Interference at Sprint Planning
  1. Do not over-commit
  2. Rely on velocity and capacity for committing work
  3. Scrum Master should facilitate planning and protect team
  4. There can be client interference causing pressure on management
  5. There is need to adopt new work culture of Agile
  6. Lack of clear acceptance criteria upfront during planning
  7. Make sure all the stakeholders attend the sprint planning meeting
  8. Re-prioritizing of Product backlog by PMs causes disruptions
  9. Lack of trust: PM should not commit on behalf of the team at/outside Sprint Planning
  10. Development overflows beyond one sprint
    1. Plan in a way that this does not happen
    2. Estimate for less, specially when team members are shared
  11. (Only as much as possible) Accurately estimate/predict the team velocity to know the number of points to take this current sprint
  12. Under-commit but over-achieve
  13. What should happen if more points need to be delivered to client than what the team can deliver?
    1. If the team cannot deliver the points, then team should say "no"
Group 3: Motivation
  1. Leaders have to trust. Sustainable pace is a good way of building trust
  2. Dan Pink -> Motivation
  3. Do you buy into the company objective -> Helps motivate people
  4. Behavior that is appreciated, gets respected
  5. Stretch goals can help people grow fast
  6. Individuals knowing how they are contributing to the bigger picture
  7. Exposure to customers: Know about Customer's needs and vision
  8. If team values opinion you feel you matter, need to be noticed
  9. Appreciation of individuals from external sources over appreciation of teams may demotivate others on the team
    1. If the recipient appreciates the team that may help
  10. Team finds ways to appreciate/motivate high performers so perhaps no external appreciations needed!?
  11. Transparency at all levels is a pre-requisite for motivation
  12. Recognize team contribution
Group 4: Ad-Hoc to sustainable pace
  1. Experience: Last minute checkins, Slack and work inflow reduction after release
  2. Burned down before release, then next sprint gets off to slow-start
  3. Why this big-effort before the release? May be things were not really done!
  4. Expectations to go faster than you really can go, causes the problem
  5. Management push
    1. Educate Manager? No, that addresses just one problem
    2. You are actually not done if that happens
    3. Provide dates to managers that shows the real pace and use that as a basis for planning
  6. Improve effectiveness
    1. Non-value added requirements, for example paperwork. Have someone else do it - hire a clerk!
    2. Identify activities that are taking time and see if they can be reduced to save time
    3. Use CI and increased automation to release more often
  7. Use scrum prioritization to make hard and real prioritization
  8. Avoid "Goldplating" - over-engineering
  9. Zero defects to make sure it is really done
  10. Piling up work to test at the end of sprint is risky
  11. Argument about ability to swarm around stories. Some have seen it happen, some have not
  12. Positive experience with testers collaborating with developers (pair) from start. Done=> All test cases targeted => Done
  13. How much time to finish a story? 3 days on average, some have minimum 3 days of dev. effort.
  14. Tester writes test cases. Developers start developing at the same time they get the test cases

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