Showing posts from November 30, 2014

Be the change

Hola! It has been a long week and we have had promising stories, improvements and changes to our community. How to make the change a solid part of our culture?

I remember when I first attended an Agile Conference. Mark Dalgarno - organiser - said: "Time to take a breath. Look at what we have seen, learned this week. It's also time to contribute with at least one thing to the community". My mine blew up with so much good stuff and so excellent trainers. The list of ideas was uncountable! But the day after the conference, was Mark going to monitor if  I was "changing"? Of course, not.
We cannot leave the responsibility (entirely) to our trainers, books, coaches, the weather or anything else. This is not matrix. There are no pills to make you a judoka or a Java Ninja. There's a small portion of the change (improvements) that has to be on us. Accepting the need for it and triggering as a follow up action.
As Mark said. Try this week just one action
"I will…

'Happy' Sprint Planning Release Meeting

Hola! Back to duties.. :)

Today I would like to speak about the Sprint Planning Meeting. According to the Scrum definition, this is the one where the team takes a real commitment on what to deliver, how to tackle it within a sprint, etc, etc. Everybody knows about it.

I would like to focus in the second part. The time where the team itself takes all the possible factors into consideration and where all of us are "planning". First of all, what are we planning? The sprint? Tasks breakdown? Just on the user stories?  What about the release? Aren't we delivering value at the end of the sprint?

Sometimes teams tend to think on new-user-stories-sprint fashion and take into a second priority order the real meaning of delivering features. Provide value to the customer. Increase the value of our product and make it real. The release.

I have a theory which is basically that perhaps due to the naming of the meeting possibly makes our mindset to forget on what happened in the previ…

'Happy' Meetings

Hola! Please take a seat and have a coffee!

On Agile environments, I have noticed how member of the teams quite often raise up their voices saying: "We have so many meetings, I cannot do development, this is boring". Let's say a Scrum implementation. We have several ceremonies: Sprint Planning, Poker Sessions, Stand-ups, Retrospective and Sprint Review. At least. Then we can have one-off, ad-hoc meetings such as 1-to-1s, trainings, general discussion meetings.

On a 2 week-cycle we can count the number of hours a sprint on meetings. Let's say 2-3 hours grooming/sizing, 4 hours on the sprint planning, 1-2 hours retrospective, 10 minutes x 10 days on Stand-ups. This is perhaps a 10% of the sprint. But where is the problem?

I have been a developer back in the time and still. I hate meetings.

Sometimes a meeting is just a reminder of a calendar to talk about something "There is a problem, let's have a meeting with the maximum amount of people possible so that we …

Adventure Rooms with my team in Athens

Hola amigos! Please take a seat and have a coffee! First of all, thanks for reading this Blog. Hope you enjoy this as much as I am doing!

The day I attended the past Agile Conference in Cambridge back in October 2014, that day, changed my life. Yes, that day. I had a wide experience in "Agile". I have worked in many different companies, teams assuming different roles such as developer, Tech lead, scrum master or agile trainer. We can say that more or less I thought "I know stuff".

Then I met Portia Tung and yes, everything blew up. Her presentation titled as "The power of play" was a fantastic surprise. To briefly sum-up she believes that "play at work can improve relationship and can fire up creativity". Bringing positive and a break to our day-to-day routine to finally deliver better values. I remember one of the definitions from one of the examples on the slides she provided. Portia said that day in Cambridge: "To me playing is when some…

Moving to the Battlefield...

Hola! Kalispera! Today is my second day in Athens. Worth saying how amazing the experience is being so far! And the weather is contributing! (And the food!)

Yesterday I mentioned about the idea of incrementing value by delivering user stories in small chunks over this post:

We had no option today to move our thoughts to a real scenario. And It was also a great opportunity to move ourselves to the battlefield since it was the last day of the sprint. Time to start over and inspect what happened...
We took a breath, we had an espresso freddo  and then we started inspecting/adapting from particular examples.

We tried to find a valid 'waterfall' story from the previous sprint to proceed with the first observations. "What would have we done if we had taken this story now?". "Can we take into consideration an incremental delivery approach?".

Eureka! Two members of the team started d…

Incrementally provide incremental approaches to deliver value

Hola! This is the first entry of my 'Agile' Blog. Welcome and please feel free to read it while having a coffee! This is a Blog created to document and track the last thirty-days of 2014 focusing on the Agile vision. The aim is to post real-life experiences related to Agile - somehow. As I defend in many places and conferences also to demonstrate that "Agile" is not just following ceremonies. The most important part (and surely the most difficult) is the Agile mindset. Being Agile via thinking Agile. The idea is to illustrate via my day-to-day examples that Agile is just everywhere.

Let's start off.. My company has just sent me to visit one of our teams which is based in Athens to provide with Agile training/coaching. Compared to other companies, I can say that this is quite an Agile team. However, as in other teams, there is a lack of what I called "aggressive" mindset. 
The conservative Scrum implementation tend to transform the sprint days into an enc…