Articles

Thoughts and conversation from our nomads.

How to Avoid Waste - a Lean Retrospective

Aug 14, 2017  ·  Tony O'Halloran

In Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Mary and Tom Poppendieck categorised waste encountered in software development into: Partially Done Work Is work going from beginning to end in a single rapid flow? For example; are you building up large amounts of untested or undeploye... continue reading

Key Questions Retrospective Technique

Nov 12, 2015  ·  David Mole

New Agile teams tend to place a significant emphasis on the retrospective meeting. When an issue rears it’s head, they often say “we need to talk about that in the retrospective” rather than deal with it there and then. The problem facing teams who do this is that having placed a lot of emphasis on... continue reading

The Rathole Facilitation Technique

May 04, 2015  ·  Sandy Mamoli

Urban dictionary: rat-hole To digress in an extensive way. To divert the conversation to a topic that is not only unrelated to the topic at hand, but a topic that will likely have no immediate resolution either. As a facilitator of a group discussion, a conversation or a workshop session it is impor... continue reading

Deep tissue massage retrospective

Jan 22, 2015  ·  Sandy Mamoli

Even with high performing teams sometimes there are common themes coming up again and again in each retrospective. Much like a tight spot in a muscle that keeps lingering around (until we get a good massage) those issues keep coming back until we pay them enough attention to make them disappear. Use... continue reading

Profiling what motivates a team

Dec 05, 2014  ·  Anthony Boobier

I recently worked with a team of content writers, where we had introduced Kanban to help with the flow and consistency of delivery. The cycle time of work had reduced, but it was still high and as a team they seemed a little flat. They knew ‘what’ they were doing as individuals, but not the context... continue reading

Are your votes going to waste?

Jun 23, 2014  ·  Mike Lowery

It's common among Agile teams to use some form of voting to make decisions, and that's especially true for retrospectives where the team as a whole decides what to fix next. Over the years I have facilitated many retrospectives and had the opportunity to vote for many things, over that time some pat... continue reading

Stand by your values!

Nov 06, 2013  ·  Mike Lowery

I recently ran a “get to know your team” session to help a team with lots of new members to better understand each other’s history, motivations, likes and dislikes. We did a number of exercises including journey lines, what do you value and team flags and we wrapped it up with postcards (insert ref... continue reading

Postcards (from the edge)

Oct 09, 2013  ·  Anthony Boobier

... or Team Closure within a Project Closure Why? Projects come to an end, which means that a team that has been working closely together, may well be torn apart. This can lead to a sense of loss associated with disbanding some strong team relationships; especially if the team has reached the fourth... continue reading

Chart your happiness

Oct 22, 2012  ·  Mike Lowery

We all know or at least we should know that retrospectives are one of the Agile recipe's 11 secret herbs and spices. It performs a valuable role in the improvement of the team and its practices, as well as throwing up a whole host organisational issues. One step / practice when you are setting the s... continue reading

A 5-why root cause analysis retrospective

Apr 22, 2011  ·  Sandy Mamoli

The idea For quite a while I have been waiting for an opportunity to try a 5-why root cause analysis in a sprint retrospective. The 5-why analysis has its origins within Toyota and lean manufacturing and is used to find the root cause of a problem through identifying a symptom and then repeating th... continue reading