You may be considering attending the upcoming Scrum Coaching Retreat (SCR) to be held in Franschhoek, near Cape Town on 09-11 February 2015. And you may be wondering what the value will be to you. You may also need to find a convincing argument for your boss to sign off on the registration fee and, perhaps, travel costs from Jhb or elsewhere.
Well in this month’s blog post, Peter Hundermark shares his personal experiences of past Scrum Coaching Retreats in Colorado and London. Discover what he learnt and what to expect from South Africa’s inaugural event! Read more HERE.
Certified Scrum Master (JHB)
03-04 Feb 2015
FNB Conference & Learning Centre, Sandton
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CPT)
23-24 Feb 2015
Steenberg Hotel, Cape Town
Certified Scrum Master (JHB)
10-11 Mar 2015
FNB Conference & Learning Centre, Sandton
Course schedule and Book Online
The post News update 2015/01 – Scrum Coaching Retreat Cape Town appeared first on ScrumSense.
I launched my first Ruby gem a few days ago, yertle_formatter. It’s a custom RSpec 3 formatter that prints out turtles for slow specs and then lists them in order of slowest specs.
I worked out a lot of experiments with:
With 2015 ahead I may be working on some new gems soon. As a first gem goes, writing a formatter was a nice way to get started and published.
Angela Johnson, PMP, PMI-ACP, CST is a founding member of Collaborative Leadership Team, a Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Transformation Coach who is passionate about changing the world of work. She seeks to help people and organizations to break down their barriers and work together in a collaborative way. Angela brings 20+ years in the information technology space and real world client case studies to her presentations. She is a mom, wife, sailor, reader and lifelong learner living in Minnesota.
As a recreational sailor and a woman, I do not think of myself as a Woman in Sailing. I think of myself as a sailor. The most common phrase uttered at the yacht club where I learned to sail was right from Woody Allen “80% of life is showing up”. If you want to sail, if you want to race, if you want to be put into the game “you have to show up”. This phrase was not used with the females interested in sailing, it was shared with anyone interested in sailing. So what is up with “Women in Agile?”
In my 20 years working in the male-dominated Information Technology field and the 11 years I have been involved in Agile and Scrum communities, I have never thought of myself as a “Woman in Agile”. I view myself as an Agilist. A Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Not a Female CST. My belief has been you have to show up to play. If women want to be included, where are they?
And today, instead of asking “Where are the women in Agile and Scrum” I find myself asking “Why aren’t the Women in Agile and Scrum showing up”?
Perhaps I am asking this after reading what happened to Adria Richards at the Open Source Conference PyCon, also known as donglegate: http://tinyurl.com/ob8ez34
When women have shown up to Agile or Scrum conferences, user groups, online forums, etc. have they been treated the same way that their male counterparts have? Maybe some had experiences such as Adria Richards and rather than say something, they simply stopped showing up?
In May I looked around the Scrum Trainers and Coaches retreat I was in and only saw 1 other female. The remaining 50+ participants were men. As I participated in discussions, I was talked over, disregarded, turned away from and angrily responded to if my response differed from some of the participants.
Kudos to the male participants there who intervened and asked that everyone involved be respectful of one another and not to interrupt, talk louder over someone to drown them out, etc.
In an online forum of Scrum Trainers and Coaches that I subscribe to, my posts are repeatedly disregarded or in many cases hijacked and turned into something I did not intend. As a result I have ceased my involvement in that forum.
The Scrum Values we teach in Certified ScrumMaster training are Focus, Openness, Respect, Commitment and Courage.
My appeal to the Women in Agile or Scrum and to the Men in Agile or Scrum is to view us all as People in Agile and Scrum. We ideally are all trying to promote a different way of doing work that is value and principle based.
Let’s encourage each other to be Courageous. Let’s encourage each other to be Open. Let’s Focus on outcomes and not who or where the idea originated. Let’s be Respectful of each other. If we all Commit to living the very values that we teach, perhaps more women will feel like they can show up.
Software development on anything more than a pet projects is a collaborative activity. To enable a group of developers to make any headway, some details inevitably need to be hammered out together. However, you probably find that getting agreement within a group of opinionated developers can be difficult at the best of times. Most software developers haven't had training in "soft skills" and you may find it hard to know where to start when a difficult question needs to be thrashed out.
Here are some pointers to areas that you might want to explore beyond the realm of programming languages, methods and frameworks.
Facilitation is all about making conversations easier but even with a clear meeting purpose and agenda, you may find meetings can go around in circles without reaching consensus. To understand some approaches to making group decisions I recommend "Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making" which introduces decision making rules. You can also get affordable hands-on training in facilitation from non-profit ICA-UK on Group Facilitation Methods.
Another thing you can do to help meeting participants is to create visible agendas and capture points being discussed concisely. If you want to build more confidence with writing neatly on flipcharts and whiteboards, seek out a course in graphic facilitation where you can pick up tips and practice with other budding facilitators. To improve how you illustrate system dynamics in group discussions, start to practice drawing Diagrams of Effects. Peter Senge's book "The Fifth Discipline" has a an excellent introduction to Systems Thinking and an handy set of system archetypes that you can use in different situations.
There's an old joke: What is the difference between a Methodologist and a Terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist! When discussions get heated, it's handy to know a little bit about negotiation techniques. The Harvard Negotiation Project have put out a few paperbacks and I recommend "Getting Past No: Negotiating With Difficult People" by Fisher and Ury. Another easy read around building trust is "The Trusted Advisor" by Maister, Green and Galford.
Lastly remember that we can improve communication in our teams by starting with ourselves and how we express our own opinions. A good place to start is "Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. An older book that's worth getting hold of to get a different perspective on the way you share feedback is "The Art of Giving Feedback" by Charles Seashore and Gerald Weinberg.
I hope these resources help you in situations where you need to go outside your comfort zone. Please do let me know if you have other recommended reading to share that goes beyond coding.
This is the last part in the series “Trapped in Wagile”. In the kick-off article I outlined three fundamental characteristics of waterfall organizations. In subsequent articles I explained Phase-Gates (part 2) and Large-batch handoffs (part 3). In this article I am diving deeper in to centralized control characteristics. Tendencies to centralize [...]
This is part three of the continuing series of articles. In the first article of this series, I outlined three fundamental characteristics of waterfall system. In the previous article (part 2), I explained Phase-Gates and the unintended consequences when phase-gates encounter agile transformation efforts. In this article I will dive into Large [...]
In previous article, I outlined three fundamental characteristics of waterfall system. Phase-gates are the most distinguishable characteristic of a waterfall organization.Recap
Phases are are strictly linear sequence of activities to build a product or deliver a project. These activities are divided along process lines. Funding and progression to the next sequential [...]
Organizations that are attempting to transition to Agile demonstrate waterfall characteristics – residually or resurgently. Understanding these characteristics and learning to observe manifestation of these tendencies in organization systems will help you uncover impediments to your organizations Agile metamorphosis.
After reading this series of articles, you may realize that your organization is still being waterfall [...]
Last week, Sid Probstein, CTO of Attivio, and Andy Singleton, founder of Assembla presented a webinar about “Fast IT,” a new way of managing rapidly changing and Agile projects in areas like mobile, Web, analytics and marketing applications, while working smoothly with reliable core systems ("Core IT"). Andy discussed the dynamics of Fast IT, and Sid presented a case study of how Attivio spun up a major Business Intelligence app in two weeks with two people.
If you missed the webinar, view and download the slides.
Want an overview of Fast IT in 60 seconds? Watch the video below:
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