Agile pocket guide
Your job is to:
- Remove obstacles or resolve dependencies between team members and teams.
- Remind the team of mission/value statements for each project.
- Ensure that the team adheres to the defined rules of Scrum or processes accepted by the team.
- Protect the team and filter nonessential information and meetings.
- Give updates and information regarding enterprise releases or project updates.
- Set the example for the team and for the business.
Every chapter in this book ends with a set of three questions you will want to ask your team.
- Who do we need to meet with or connect with to help with that task?
- Is there anything we’ve missed or not considered?
- What do you need from me, and what can I do to help?
High-performance teams are a community. A community environment:
- Breeds group interdependence, which in turn increases the success of individuals as opposed to relying on authoritarian control (top-down management or command-and-control management).
- Enables the team to set goals and solve problems together.
- Continually monitors and assesses work progress.
- Celebrates achievements and rewards individuals.
- Decreases managing overhead by the Leader, thereby enabling the Leader to focus on road-mapping work and giving specialized help as needed.
- Encourages training members as a group, which promotes a higher work ethic and increased productivity.
- Produces measurably great results over time.
- Differentiates roles that people are uniquely fit to fill (see Chapter 17 for more information).
- Coaches the team to give candid feedback and support to other team members.
- Keeps the best talent, moving or removing unproductive members of the team.
A high-performance team is one that embraces the Toyota way of kaizen, which means “continuous improvement.” Your Agile Team will be one that has members who continually communicate with one another, continually improve themselves, the team, the processes, and the business. Most of all, your team, through its success and transparency, will honor its commitment to the business stakeholders and grow trust between Tribes. Your Agile Team may be ready to move in this direction; if this is the case, task the members to consider their readiness and willingness.
- Do we have the processes and tools in place to build this type of community?
- Are we physically located in an area that promotes communication and collaboration?
- Are we meeting regularly enough to go over existing problems, improve existing processes, and be aware of current and future needs?
Team and Business Cultural Dynamics—Team Science™
I’ve used several assessments in the past that have fallen flat on their faces. The most effective team- and cultural-assessment tool built specifically for use within the team context is Team Science™ (www.myai.org). This tool has allowed me to be far more successful as a coach and consultant to my clients in that it quickly allows me to assess the cultural dynamics, deficiencies, and opportunities in each team I work with.
Team Science™ (Figure 17.1) helps businesses and teams by:
- Optimizing each employee and revealing or her potential and strengths.
- Enabling managers and executives to build the right teams for the right projects.
- Allowing hiring managers to recruit and employ the right candidates based on cultural and strategic fit.
- Increasing awareness of team dynamics and collaboration styles.
- Helping with decision making and conflict resolution.
- Focusing on how to choose the right Leaders.
- Encouraging you to empower your employees.
Personal Kaizen—More on Servant Leadership
The following is what I consider to be the Top 10 Personal Skills for a Servant Leader. I suggest you read each one and let it resonate within you.
- Communicative and social—A Servant Leader must be able to communicate well with all people, teams, and business levels. Understanding your communication style is imperative to knowing how to engage effectively with people from all walks of life and backgrounds!
- Facilitative—A Servant Leader must be able to lead, manage, and even coach teams of people to work collaboratively, cohesively, and effectively. A great facilitator knows how to grease the wheels of productivity in a stagnant group. You also know how to make meetings less boring and more energizing by utilizing an array of facilitation techniques to keep everyone moving forward.
- Assertive—A Servant Leader must be able to ensure the right things on which to focus and the right concepts and principles to follow. You must be a voice of reason and authority when needed. You must be able to make the tough calls and be a respected supporter and voice of those who may not have the gumption to speak up.
- Situationally aware—A Servant Leader must be the first to notice issues as they arise and be tactful enough to address them when needed. You must know when to take a coaching role, or when to delegate issues to upper management. A Servant Leader who monitors the pulse of a situation can often preempt conflicts or issues before they reach a boiling point.
- Enthusiastic—A Servant Leader must be high energy, with focus. While many great leaders have approached their role through their ethos of passivity, they share common ground with their limitless energy toward the goals they have set for themselves and their people. People want to follow an enthusiastic leader. People will rally around your enthusiasm.
- Continually improving—A Servant Leader must be one who lives a life of continuous improvement, and helps drive continuous improvement in his or her team, business, and personal life. You didn’t stop learning after you got your high school or college degree, did you? Tons of learning opportunities occur every day in the office. Make them count.
- Conflict resolution—A Servant Leader must be able to handle conflict well and be able to facilitate discussion, alternatives, or different approaches when conflict arises. A clear head, with your emotions in check, is an obvious prerequisite for this. Conflict resolution isn’t easy. Certainly, being situationally aware and preempting conflict would be a plus here.
- Attitude of empowerment—A Servant Leader is one who coaches individuals and teams toward self-organization. This means that you must allow individuals to have the right balance of autonomy, self-transcendence, and management oversight. You aren’t in the manufacturing days anymore. People aren’t just cogs in a big wheel. They need to feel like they can self-manage at certain levels and have the ability to figure out how they will do the work, and work within the frameworks of managers who set the goals of what needs to get done. You should be the enabler who removes any impediments to individual and team success.
- Attitude of transparency—A Servant Leader must desire to foster to a healthy dose of disclosure and transparency about practices and processes in the business. Transparency also grows trust between your team and the rest of the organization. This isn’t a call to build a lot of status reports. Rather, it is call to monitor the amount of value-added information that needs to be open and available for the business to base decisions on. A great way to begin is to have candid conversations with management to know exactly what they need to know, focus on that, and then iterate and improve as you go.
- Coach mentality—Remember a great coach of your little league team? Or a great mentor during your younger school days? Those people not only led by example, but they also added pressure as necessary to help you improve. Coaches put emotional capital into the game. They go above and beyond the call of duty. What is it that you need to do to encourage, mentor, and lead your team?
All of these suggestions are simply just that. In reality, this list is a big challenge for many. To begin, take each idea presented here and focus on it for a week. Write down the pragmatic steps that you need to take to start being a better Servant Leader. Begin slowly, and then inspect, adapt, and improve over time.
Here is a list of things to start doing to improve your team and company:
- Start small and continue to execute—Take the basic fundamentals of iterative development and practice it with your team. As improvement and change begin to take hold, try something new. Always remember to assess changes in retrospect. Are they working well? If so, continue on. If not, find out why, or discontinue!
- Review and understand other processes and methodologies, and employ as needed—There are always opportunities to leverage other techniques to provide value to the current way in which you are doing things. Google “Learn more Agile software development methods” and see what’s out there for you to use.
- Experience the outside world—Go to conferences, meet-ups, and local gatherings of professionals. To grow your professional skills and keep increasing your value to your team and company, you have to learn and relearn technologies and methodologies. Put in a little time and money and you could find yourself across the table from someone far more influential and smarter than you are. Take those opportunities to network and grow!
- Read, read, read—Read blogs to stay up to date with industry leaders. What are they saying? Read books by powerful authors in various industries. Don’t like paperbacks? Download them to your electronic reader!
- Start a company interest group—You’d be surprised at how many people are interested in making work a better place. Find your niche. Start a book club. Kick-start the company by grabbing influential people to help make your company or team just a little bit better.
- Start writing, blogging, and tweeting—Start writing down your personal experiences in your profession. There is a lot you can learn through expounding on your experiences. You’ll also meet like-minded people who are on the same journey as you are. Follow experienced professionals on Twitter. See what they are reading. Leverage their vast knowledge to change your reality at work and at home.
Scrum master – How to develop a team
An improvement community (IC) is a group of individuals who join together to work collaboratively to improve the organization’s use of Scrum. An IC may form when individuals notice an item on the ETC’s improvement backlog and decide to work together to achieve that goal. Or an IC may form because individuals see and are passionate about an improvement opportunity that hasn’t made the ETC’s radar yet. IBM, for example, has five ICs, which are focused on test automation, continuous integration, test-driven development, the role of the product owner, and the general use of Scrum itself.
Deliver agile projects using scrum
Training on 11-12 Jun 2015 by Erik Yek, ESI International
Know agile -> doing agile (scrumbut)-> be agile
- Kanban (Lean)
Sprint (Iteration) counts on the productivity hour, no more than 4 weeks
Constantly engage with users(business)
- Product owner (certification: CSP)
- Must to have BA skill and domain knowledge
- KEE – Knowledge(Know your R&R), Empower(can make decision), Engaged
- Don’t let your team disturbed by other ppl
- Prioritize the product backlog item in product backlog refinement (prioritize by business value, technical risk, technical dependence, POC<– to decide the certainty of a task/story success)
- Product backlog refinement = Product backlog grooming
- Scrum master (certification: CSM)
- Delivery team (DBT – Develop, Build, Test) (certification: CSD)
- PSP – Potentially Shippable Product (or MVP – minimal Viable product)
- Burn-down chart
Team velocity is measured by story point
Sprint0 : 4-6 weeks, no longer than 8 weeks
- Sprint planning takes max 4 hours ( 1 week sprint, 1 hour)
- Store point is estimated by relatively estimation(Planning poker), not by absolution estimation.
- Task – absolute hour, also judge by the team (similar to planning poker)
- Team mate pick the task by themselves, not assigned by PM
- Put a buffer in the sprint (e.g. plan 6 hours a date)
- Problem sovler
- Process enforcer
- Protector (protect the team from distribution from product owner..)
- Has the power to terminate the sprint (in emergency, absolute necessary)
- Min 3 ppl, max 9 ppl (best practice)
- Max 4 hours (1 week sprint, 1 hour)
Sprint retrospective (45 mins for 1 week sprint)
- Improvement log
No connection between story point and actual hours
Velocity is basing on store point, Velocity != productivity , can’t compare velocity between projects
A story should be completed in a sprint
Theme > Epic > Story, Epic can contain 2+ stories
User story should be owned by PO, non-user story should be owned by the delivery team
SCROOL <– IOS Tool , Poker planning tool
- 1st to select the baseline story
- All other store should be estimate by the baseline story
- Doubt (Risk)
- Scrum Master
- Delivery Team
- Other stakeholder/interest party
– What went well
– What went badly
– What should be improve
– Any other great ideas
– First set the stage to make it safe!
- Two-pizza scrum team
- 7 ± 2
some of the factors of a team to consider are the following
- Include all needed disciplines
- Balance tehnical skill levels
- Balance domain knowledge
- Seek diversity
- Consider persistence
Good user story
I (= Independent) N (= Negotiable) V (= Valuable) E (= Estimable) S (= Small) T (= Testable)
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-boxed
Rougly estimate by T-shirt size in building the backlog story but need to shift to story point when doing sprint planning
– Functional Criteria
– Non-Functional Criteria
– Performance Criteria
Production Support and Scrum
– Have two backlogs—one for development features and one for production support issues. The Product Owner sets a guideline ratio for planning whereby the team will take, for example, 70 percent from the development backlog and 30 percent from the support backlog
– Bugs as Feature Requests
– Emergencies – play the “emergency card”
- Responding to change
Scrum keeps everything about a project visible to everyone
Scrum enforces transparency inside and outside the team. Transparency is vital to the Scrum process, as it allows everyone to see and understand what is really happening in each sprint, achieving a bigger and better communication and trust on the team and in this methodology
the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
This translates to:
Always do the simplest thing that does the job required.
This just means cutting out needless effort wherever possible, including within your own agile process.
The KISS principle is related – keep the program simple, it will be easier to write, easier to maintain, and out the door faster.
- Feedback & Customer collaboration
Agile Development Teams Must Be Empowered
The project team must be empowered to make decisions in order to ensure that it is their responsibility to deliver the product and that they have complete ownership. Any interference with the project team is disruptive and reduces their motivation to deliver. The team must establish and clarify the requirements together, prioritise them together, agree to the tasks required to deliver them together, and estimate the effort involved together
Agile Maturity measurement