Five insights I gained in four years of Kanbanfor1
It is four years since I started experimenting with Kanbanfor1 and two years since I first presented the concepts and Snapper’s story of adopting personal Kanban at Agile 2012. I have been using, coaching and presenting Kanbanfor1 and have run a number of workshops with people within and outside of IT. In this article, published on InfoQ, I will tell you about the top 5 Kanbanfor1-related insights I have had during the last four years. Continue reading The Ubiquitous Need for Kanbanfor1 – my article on InfoQ
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 of ‘why’ they were doing it.
Continue reading Profiling what motivates a team
My Agile Australia and Agile 2014 talk “Portfolio Kanban – Seeing the Bigger Picture” just got published on InfoQ.
Continue reading My Portfolio Kanban Talk on InfoQ
It can be easy to forget what a Product Owner or Scrum Master actually do. A poster with a role description can come in handy so, based on popular demand, here are the beautifully designed ones we use at Trade Me.
Continue reading What do Scrum Masters and Product Owners do?
Out there in the wild uncharted world of software development, those who would deny Agile is a good thing are still living in caves and grubbing around beneath waterfalls. But negotiation theory suggests that if you can shape a vision by asking incisive questions you can help even vehement challengers reach agile decisions. So what is an incisive question?
Continue reading Killer questions you must ask agile deniers
Doing too many things at once can slow an entire organisation down. Every successful organisation will have more great ideas than they have capacity to build, and it is tempting to start too many of them at the same time.
Continue reading Portfolio Kanban – Seeing the Bigger Picture
Agile maturity and benchmarking models. I have a problem where they are used for comparison of where a team should be in their agile practices adoption; a one size fits all approach where teams must conform or they aren’t doing ‘agile right’. This approach is a fixed repeatable answer that conveniently ignores the question.
Continue reading Juvenile agile maturity models
My goal for the next couple of years is to become an awesome public speaker.
And here’s why:
Continue reading Why I want to be an AWESOME public speaker
Let them be in control of the way they work …
After having been though a day of letting people self-organise into squads David Mole, Trade Me’s head of projects (and my Agile partner in crime) and I are often being asked how we kicked off the new squads and how we make sure they work in a disciplined but creative way.
Continue reading How We Kick-Off New Squads
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 patterns emerged.
Continue reading Are your votes going to waste?
… getting more stuff done
At Trade Me we want to measure the overall health of Tech (that’s our team of 125 designers, developers, testers, BAs, and Squad Masters) to identify trends and to know if we are getting better (or worse!). We know that when we measure something it is a strong way of saying “This matters” which is why we put a lot of effort into deciding which metrics to collect.
Continue reading How we measure output and productivity
So, you want to choose some teams? Well, you came to the right place…
Many people have asked us to share our run sheets and material for the self-selection sessions we have run during the past year. So, by popular demand here’s what we call the self-selection kit.
Continue reading Team self-selection kit
Spotify’s Scaling Agile at a Glance
Spotify’s whitepaper on how to structure an organisation with Agile tribes, squads, chapters and guilds has been the most inspiring and interesting idea to come out of the Agile scene in the past three years.
For anyone who has read the excellent paper we have created a one page infographic on how it all works. Continue reading Spotify’s Scaling Agile with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds at a Glance
Total Squadification – Large Scale Self-Organisation
I fundamentally believe that organisations get the best results when people can choose what they work on and who they work with. In that spirit Trade Me decided to let people self-organise into small, cross-functional teams called squads.
Continue reading Total Squadification – Large Scale Self Organisation
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.
Continue reading Stand by your values!
… let teams self-select!
At Trade Me we’re in the process of getting everyone into small, cross-functional teams (squads) that will persist over time and across projects.
Continue reading The self-organising organisation
… or Team Closure within a Project Closure
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 ‘Performing’ stage of Tuckman’s model of group development.
Continue reading Postcards (from the edge)
The Big Estimation Debate
There have always been, and no doubt always will be debate over estimation; the pros and cons, behaviour anti-patterns and the how and why of it all.
Continue reading Sometimes average is good.
Here are the slides for my presentation “Portfolio Kanban – Seeing the Bigger Picture”.
I had a great time at AgileWelly last night – thanks everyone for coming along and for all the lovely feedback!
Continue reading Portfolio Kanban talk
Why your daily standup should be driven by a daily goal
Let’s face it, the daily standup can be a boring affair. I’m not talking about abominations with 16 people or half-hour long status reporting meetings. I’m talking about the ones that are kind of okay and adhere to the rules but nonetheless are a bit boring and lack focus and enthusiasm.
Continue reading Daily stand-up with a goal
5 things that happen when you let ‘em loose …
Last Friday we had Fedex day at Trade Me. The aim of a FedEx Day is to complete something deliverable within a 24 hour period, i.e. to go from idea to a shippable product within a day. It was fun, lots of great projects saw the light of day and I enjoyed doing some hands-on work for a change.
Continue reading Every day should be Fedex day!
What is a premortem?
A premortem is a project postmortem that’s run before a project. During a postmortem people analyse and discuss what went wrong, what went well and what could be improved.
While postmortems are very useful the problem is that by the time we run them the project is usually over and not much can be done about success and failure.
Continue reading Risk registers and meetings are boring – try a project premortem instead …
Hi, my name is Simon and I am a Project Manager at Trade Me. Sandy kindly asked me to contribute to her blog, and I consider it a great honour. Below is my story about how we embraced Agile to inject magic into our project.
Continue reading 9 Agile steps that injected magic into our project.
What are ground rules?
Ground rules are a list of behaviours and rules a squad decide are useful for working together as a team in a productive and respectful way.
Continue reading Team ground rules and working agreements
Last week Jan, Mike, Anthony and I were at Agile Australia in Sydney and had an incredibly good time. The conference turned Twitter handles into people, exposed me to TimTam slams, and taught me that Beyond Budgeting is not a boring accounting thing but a riveting management philosophy.
Continue reading Agile Australia 2013