Monday, April 22, 2013

Joe Justice + Peter Stevens: Certified Scrum Master for Management and Manufacturing

with Joe Justice &Peter Stevens

Scrum beyond Software: Applying Scrum to Manufacturing and Management.

Joe Justice with
WIKISPEED 100mpg Prototype
Are you enjoying what Scrum Project Management is doing for your software delivery teams? How about sharing some of that success with your sales, marketing, and public relations staff, and your HR, legal, and finance teams? And your hardware development and manufacturing managers?

Learn all about how your entire company can achieve 10x typical  velocities with Peter Stevens, the pioneer of Scrum in Switzerland, and Joe Justice, the founder of Team WIKISPEED. Join us for a special event in Zurich:

May 28 and 29: Certified ScrumMaster Training for Management and Beyond

Read the detailed information (here)!

Sign up for the course (here)

And be sure to join us for a beer on Thursday to talk about WIKISPEED, Stoos and Making the whole company Agile... (find out more here)

Stoos, Lean, Agile & Scrum Events in Switzerland - April/May

I have long published upcoming Scrum Breakfasts either on my blog or in my newsletter. As the community gets bigger, it is hard to keep track of what is happening. So I will now publish here everything I am aware of. If it proves to be a popular feature, I will expand on it, maybe make a real calendar...

Do have an event which belongs here? Let me know by submitting your event here.

Updated on April 22, 2013

Want your event on this list? Click here.
Lean Startup
Zurich - 22.4.2013
discuss how to Build your MVP
swissICT Scrum Breakfast
Bern - 24.4.2013
Ralph Jocham:
Agile Portfolio-based Release Trains
Stoos Network
Zurich - 25.4.2013
Kurt Schär:
Gegensätze als Erfolgsfaktor
swissICT Scrum Breakfast
Zurich - 8.5.2013
Jiri Lundak:
Einmal agil, für immer agil?
swissICT Scrum Breakfast
Basel - 15.5.2013
Rainer Hiss:
Projekt-Priorisierung auf Basis eines Kanban-orientierten Pipeline Boards
swissICT Scrum Breakfast
Lucerne - 16.5.2013
Philipp Engstler:
Agil surfen - eine Organisation reitet die Welle

Want your event on this list? Click here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Evening with Joe and Peter

My last customer event was to inaugurate my training room last October. It's time for another one!

Joe Justice will be in town this May to co-teach our CSM Course: Scrum in Management and Manufacturing (sign-up for the course here).

After the course, we will have a free public event.

Besides networking, Joe & I will talk about WIKISPEED, Stoos, applying Agile values to the rest of the organization, and the importance of beer in changing the world.

Space is limited, and we look forward to seeing you!

Here are the details:
  • What: An evening with Joe and Peter on WIKISPEED, Stoos, Agile in the Organization, and Beer
  • When: May 30, 2013
  • Where: Training Room "zum Talgarten", Am Wasser 94, 8049 Zurich
  • Doors open - 18.30
  • Presentation - 19.30 or so
  • Doors close - whenever 
  • Admission is free but space is limited. Registration is required. If you register please come. If you can't come, please cancel. We request a donation of CHF 10.-- or more for project WIKISPEED.
Update: The event was a great success! Here is participants feedback, created by eebee:

Course discounts for swissICT members

Back in 2008, I started the Scrum Breakfast community and quickly saw that it needed a home in the Swiss IT community. In 2009, the swissICT became that home in what became known as the the Lean Agile Scrum working group. The swissICT has been a great home -- Scrum, Agile, Lean and related practices have thrived! Today, a core team of 25 people organize five monthly breakfasts throughout Switzerland and a major conference once per year! (see swissICT event program)

I am pleased to announce a cooperation between my company and the swissICT. All swissICT members qualify for a 20% discount off the early-bird price to all my Certified Scrum courses in Zürich. Just include the discount code LAS-swissICT in your registration. (jump to the Scrum course program).

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Scrum Course Program Announced

Inspect and Adapt; Learn and Delight. Simple mantras keep us focused on the right things. My course program reflects these principles.

I extended and adapted my course program, based on feedback from my participants. What are the most biggest questions and requested improvement?
  1. How do I apply this to my company?
  2. How do I get management on board?
  3. This course needs more time to cover the material
  4. I need a course in German
To address the requests, I have updated my course program:

  • CSM/Scrum in Management and Manufacturing - together with Joe Justice, I will be teaching a Certified Scrum Master course on applying Scrum beyond Software - get your management on board, get the rest of the organization agile! Book Now - course date May 28 & 29, 2013 (see more info, register )
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner Courses - after Summer Break these will be a three day class so you can get beyond the basics of Scrum and focus on how to Leading Innovation effectively! (see more inforegister ) 
  • Certified Scrum Master Courses are now offered as 2 day or 3 day courses - you can book for two days or three. The third day is dedicated to Leading Change in a Scrum context. Apply the principles of delighting the customers.
  • German language classes - this spring I have been offering courses on the principle English on demand, German on consensus. This fall I have courses that are guaranteed in German. (see the calendar for details)
BTW - My best kept secret is the Master Class Workshop: Scrum, Vision and Team Performance. I have been getting reports of tangible transformations within organizations, even just a few weeks after a few leaders participated in the workshop! (see more inforegister ).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Change Management or Change Leadership?

I don't like the the term "Change Management." I think it is an oxymoron. Management implies control. Change implies chaos. These are diametric opposites. Change is unpredictable. I think this implicit conflict between wanting change and wanting to stay in control is the reason that changing an organization is so difficult.

I believe you can lead change, inspire change or unleash change. IMHO, trying to manage change means you will fail. ( See also The Deadliest Sin of Change Leadership ).

What does this difference mean for change managers?

I was once recommended a video on change management, and the essential message was understanding how people react to change based on the Kübler-Ross Model, better know as the five phases of grief. My first reaction was WTF!? But then I realized this kind of reaction is a) probably quite widespread, and b) a consequence of one group people doing the thinking ("managers"), and another group having to execute and/or suffer the consequences of that decision.

Why is change so difficult to do? Because the way most people go about it provokes a series of responses that begin with denial and anger and end most likely with resigned acceptance. Unless the change initiative dies first. Can this be a promising strategy?

When teaching and coaching change, I draw primarily on three sources:
  1. Steve Denning's Leadership Storytelling: First get people's attention, then create desire, then reinforce with reasons. He uses 'Springboard Stories' to encourage people to think about a problem and imagine the potential of that problem solved; he uses 'the Story of the Future' to help people understand what that solution could mean for them; and finally 'Remembering the future' is a story telling approach approach to envisioning and planning the transformation, based on the assumption that it has already happened. (see also Remembering Heaven)
  2. Siraj Sirajuddin's Temenos: Create deep mutual understanding within the leadership team -- this also creates strong mutual trust in the team. They then can create a compelling shared vision that they can and want to carry forward. (see also My Experience Building Deep Trust)
  3. Simon Sinek's talk at the TEDx PugetSound on how great leaders inspire action: Great leaders have a compelling answer to the question why? I am just discovering the power of this one, but so far it resonates deeply with me.
If you want to lead a change in your organization, check out my Master Class Workshop: Scrum, Vision and Team Performance. You learn to apply these approaches while improving the effectiveness of your Scrum and Kanban Teams.
What is the role of management? To lead change. To inspire change. To bring problems to the people who can solve them. I like the phase change leadership much better than change management, because leadership implies inspiration. Inspired leadership catalyzes lasting change all the time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A failed Sprint Review

Do your sprints look anything like this:
  • In Sprint Planning 1, the team commits to implementing 8 stories and fixing 2 bugs (open issues identified in the previous Sprint Review).
  • During the week -- our sprints last one week -- from the Product Owner's perspective, everything seems very quiet. The virtual task board is showing no movement. No builds are forthcoming. No calls or questions either.
  • Friday before the Sprint Review there is some pickup of activity. 
  • Monday, 1 hour before the Sprint Review, a build becomes available. Theoretically, everything is done. You download the build. Start to test the functions. Crash. Try again. Another crash. Hmm. What can I test without causing a crash?
  • In the Sprint Review - we go through the 10 stories and bugs. The Review lasted 2 1/2 hours for a one week sprint.  The bugs had been fixed. 2 of the 6 stories were implemented and are done. The remaining 4 stories were not done and had to go back on the backlog (and yes, I did put them into the next sprint). The new crashes also came into the backlog.
This had been our pattern for the last several weeks. As Product Owner for this project, I found this very frustrating. Particularly because I had been asking for continuous delivery for several sprints, but the team still wasn't doing it. As a Scrum Trainer, I found it very embarrassing to be having problems with getting things done. My team was embarrassed too. They are a good team. We're better than this. How did we get into this trap? More importantly how do we get out?

Step 1 is listening. (see From a Blame Culture to Fearless Trust) I believe that when people really listen to each other, great things can happen. My personal challenge was putting away my frustration so we could listen and discuss effectively. Juliano and I sat down on Skype and Hangout and talked and listened to each other. We identified several things:
  1. I was concerned that I was doing too much of the thinking about how to solve the problems.
  2. Juliano felt the giving the team responsibility for creating the the how-to-demo section had been a good thing, as it encouraged them to really think about the issues.
  3. Our definition of Done has included continuous integration with a Jenkins build since the beginning of our project, but for many reasons, we had not actually implemented it. So creating and publishing a build was a lot of work. (see Sample Definition of Done )
  4. The team was doing overtime every sprint.
  5. The team felt pressure to deliver as many stories as possible, so they were committing to the maximum they could. As a result, they had no time to work on quality issues, like setting up build server or responding to feedback if it arrived during the sprint.
  6. The definition of Done was being applied at the Sprint level, not to each individual story. So all the stories were getting delivered shortly before the end of the sprint without any time for feedback.  (see It's Done! (or is it?) ) 
Particularly these last two items were causing the long Sprint Reviews. After discussing these points, we agreed to emphasize quality over quantity. So now we had a shared commitment that getting some things really done is more important than getting everything sort-of "done."

As a result, we put one new item in the Product Backlog.
"As Product Owner, I would like a new build when every feature is completed, so I can confirm that stories are really done as soon as possible."
We prioritized this as number 1 for the next sprint, even higher than unfinished work from the previous sprint. The team focused on getting the build server working, then on getting stories done one after the other, and in the order prioritized. They also reviewed the definition of Done, and how they could better ensure that things were really done.

As I write this, tomorrow is the Sprint review, so this is a work in progress. Some changes are already visible:

  1. The features have been coming one by one, which makes it easier to review them and give feedback. The team delivered three releases, probably another one will come before the review. So we have quadrupled our output of potentially releasable software.
  2. We discover problems quicker on the way to Done - "hey, this story has no 'how-to-demo' defined. How do we know if it works?" or "This doesn't install on my iPad 4."
  3. We are thinking much harder about how to ensure that stories are really Done. We use TargetProcess to manage our work, so we are exploring how to use the test suite and task creation plugins to automate the routine parts of identifying what has to happen to get a story to done.
  4. The quality of the delivered stories has gotten much better. It seems taking off the pressure to deliver quantity enables the team to do better.
Is really Done functionality being produced on every story and on every release? Has the team gotten faster? Is this approach sustainable? Let's say, we still need to do retrospectives, there is still room for improvement, and for some questions, only time will tell. But as Product Owner, I am really pleased with what have I seen up til now, and look forward to the Sprint Review with a smile.