A round up of the January meetup for Agile Practitioners London. With 3 great talks from Spotify, Sky and News UK discussing Agile teams, Culture and Transformation.
A fundamental Agile principle is ‘Continuous Improvement’, yet many practitioners use a default visual workflow which changes little through the evolution of the product and team. This can become repetitive and ultimately the tool starts to become simple, boring and used for administrative monitoring only. Agile environments often don’t realise the power that visual workflows can have. This workshop takes the audience through different ways to present the card wall, to make stand-ups more fun and interesting. We will look at ways you can alter the card wall to challenge skill silos and encourage more cross-functional behaviours, and present ideas on how to gamify the card wall in order to make it fun and interactive. Using learnings from the theory of constraints, kanban, scrum, team dynamics and system thinking principles we’ll also discuss creative ways to monitor cycle time, understand progress and visualize flow to challenge team patterns, behaviours and bottlenecks.
A fundamental Agile principle is ‘Continuous Improvement’, yet many practitioners use a default visual workflow which changes little through the evolution of the product and team. This can become repetitive and ultimately the tool starts to become simple, boring and used for administrative monitoring only. Agile environments often don’t realise the power that visual workflows can have.
Working with distributed teams as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach or Facilitator can be difficult. There is no substitute for face to face communication, but sometimes this isn’t feasible. When the show must go on, there are some simple tips and tools to try which can help facilitate the session.
Presentation discussing the Theory Of Constraints and the effects of System Thinking, presented at Agile Tour London 2013
Sometimes it can be time consuming or difficult to decide what to do next. Often you can end up working on the next item in a list, but this may not necessary be the most valuable thing to do. This simple and visual focusing technique can help teams decide what to take on given that there is limited time and the most value wants to be achieved.
As we have progressed as a scrum team, our board has evolved in line with our continuous improvement ethos. Heavily influenced by the Theory Of Constraints, we introduced WIP limits on user stories and the board by restricting the number of lanes. We have seen team and productivity benefits when adopting some of these simple changes.
Retrospectives can be one of the most valuable sessions in Scrum and Agile teams. Often they can become boring and less useful to the team and they can fall into an administrative process with less value. This post is about sharing a recent retrospective session that was fun, engaging and got results using a Top Gear theme to explore, identify and resolve issues to benefit the team and ultimately the business.
Using cumulative flow diagrams to observe workflow within sprints can provide valuable, visual input for teams. Unlike the sprint burndown chats, CFD”s look at the lower level of tasks to see what goes on closer to the work getting done. Used with the burndown, a cumulative flow diagram can be a useful learning aid to support retrospectives, continuous improvement and feedback.