Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Project credits - SketchNotes from the new management 3.0 workout

Another awesome management workout - Project Credits - by Jurgen Appelo - helped me to get a better picture how to continue with job titles, roles and it's connection to personal brands and reputation.

I learned why titles are important in a company, what are potential flaws with titles. How can roles and project connections help to increase reputation and build your personal brand. I really like to idea of using project credits to value everyones contribution.

And - guess - shared with our Product Owners the idea now spreads and is going to be used in next projects.

Like with the CHAMPFROGS sketchnotes, maybe these notes provide you a fast accessible summary to strengthen hub connections.

The SketchNotes converted to a Project credits presentation - will build the base for the next management 3.0 regular table in Munich.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's time to check your management style - to validate why not to get rid of management

Short before 2013 ends it's a good time to gather feedback on how management is doing. Seeing management as the servant for the teams - the teams are the ones to ask. The following provides a suggestion for a 20 question survey.

Heya Luis - this is to validate why not to get rid of management ;-)

A collection of questions for the survey

All questions can be answered with 4 simple possibilities
  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree
  4. Strongly agree

20 questions for your management

Italics below the questions are some hints what this questions is about and why it makes sense to ask it.
  1. Management gives team members a clear picture of the direction (vision, mission, strategy) the company is headed
    I guess there is a vision - but is it really visible and used in your company?
  2. I am satisfied with the strategy direction of the company
    Management gets a feedback if a buy in for the strategy by the employees is really given. Maybe it's time to foster more direct involvement
  3. I understand how my work contributes to the company's overall goals and strategy
    It's important to know your own contribution to check if it's aligned with the strategy and direction the company would like to go. 
  4. Management provides me a regular progress overview
    Is management communicating about progress in their tasks? Maybe it's using Scrum or Kanban too and you already have full visibility - if not - how do you know what your management is working on?
  5. Management communicates clearly, accurately and timely
    As communication is one of the most important topics - management has to be an example and guide for all. Beside a clear understandable communication it must be accurate and in time to be really useful.
  6. Management is aware of the problems we face in our jobs
    Is management involved in your daily life? Does it know what you're doing and what problems occur. If not - how can it really help you ensuring a productive environment.
  7. Management is available for questions and advice
    Does your management show up in your working environment? Can you directly go there and clarify topics? Do you get valuable input and does it make sense to ask?
  8. Management's tasks and responsibilities are transparent
    Do you know who does what in management? Or do you have to invite and crosscheck always with many participants from management? For being efficient it's important to have transparency about your management's tasks and responsibilities.
  9. Management resolves impediments in a timely manner
    One of the most important tasks for management is to help all teams resolving impediments. Is your management able to solve them fast so that you don't get blocked?
  10. My job makes good use of my skills and abilities
    Management can/should help you using your skills and abilities. Are there enough channels and possibilities to bring it in?
  11. Management actively acts on improving the quality
    Striving for quality is one of the non negotiable parts in software development. But often managements build pressure on quality (not now, let's deliver it ... you can fix it later...). Is your management an active supporter for building quality in right in the beginning.
  12. I'm satisfied with my work-life balance
    Long running over pacing, too many over hours, all time most important projects ... Management is there to help avoiding these situations. 
  13. I am able to have an open communication with managers
    Trust - level one to reach in teams. A trustworthy management simplifies a lot and avoids endless politics. 
  14. Mistakes are seen and treated as learning opportunities
    Learning and improvement needs an environment where failing is allowed and seen as an opportunity to learn. Punishments and penalties for mistakes don't help and have to be avoided by management.
  15. I am satisfied with my involvement in decisions that affect my work
    Does your management make all decisions with informing you afterwards and having you not directly involved. Time to raise your concerns and think about more consensus driven decisions and the subsidiarity principle.
  16. The decision making process is lightweight and visible
    Are decisions taken by a visible decision making process. Is the process fast or a stop the world for some weeks monster?
  17. A possible career path is transparent so that I can properly align my career development steps
    Do I know where to grow and how to align it with my companies direction? 
  18. I am satisfied with the way management provides recognition for a good job
    Does management provide feedback and celebrates success in projects with you? Are we fighting together?
  19. I am working in an innovative environment
    Can we try new things? Are we working with experiments? Are ideas converted to implementations.  
  20. Management avoids too much context switching
    Multitasking does not support flow that well. Having many projects in parallel and on top additional not project related tasks and responsibilities - a situation management can step in to help streamlining and keeping focus.

Conducting the survey

The survey should support an anonymized participation - this way you can be sure that people don't optimize the answers to please management. 

Provide enough, but not too much time - I suggest one week to participate. This provides the necessary sense of urgency and supports short term absences. And - you can still run it this year ;-)

Share the survey results with all possible participants, in time after closing it. 

Using the results - it's not about finding who answers what and how - it's about having a really valuable input for improvements in your way of management.

How to work with the results

The survey questions touch a high level perspective on different management topics. It does not differentiate all detailed management levels and tries to keep a balance between a fast to answer survey and providing enough input for follow ups.

A survey without real actions afterwards does not really make that much sense and you loose the opportunity for the next feedback session very likely.

Suggestion is to analyze the results in your management circle in time and come up with actions solving the most pressing and obvious problems. To generate more insight - you can ask your ScrumMasters to gather more detailed information about a problem area.

Maybe it's a good time to start sharing your progress and activities already and ensure proper involvement.

Consider - setting up the survey (via Google, SurveyMonkey or other free survey providers) is a matter of some hours. Running the survey is done fast. It's up to you to use this easy and lightweight possibility to put some facts beside your gut feeling about how management is doing.

Have fun and I would be really interested in how it was working for you? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Champfrogs - SketchNotes from the new Management 3.0 Workout

Based on the new management 3.0 CHAMPFROGS by Jurgen Appelo I tried to summarize my readings with Sketchnotes (see below).

The 10 intrinsic motivators - Curiosity - Honor - Acceptance - Mastery - Power - Freedom - Relatedness - Order - Goal - Status - provide a nice orientation on what really motivates us. 

Champfrogs helps asking yourself the right questions how to support your environment in getting and sustaining motivation and is for me a key for transforming to a people oriented working place.

I guess together with the beautiful workout by Jurgen these notes can provide a fast overview again and help you remember it even faster. It shows the the 10 motivators, lists all 20 questions and provides a short sketch for every motivator (and maybe it's like a Wimmel picture of use for your kids too ;-).

Together with the moving motivators and intrinsic motivation maybe you are interested in these posts:
Do you already use Moving Motivators and/or Champfrogs? Maybe you would like to share your experience with a comment.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A collection of videos to help us on the agile path - Part II - Inspiration (Lost generation, Beauty of Nature, Cultural hacks, Not Knowing, Happy Melly, Good work)


There are so many sources of inspiration, a nice video is one source working for me.

I like Lost generation - a great idea for transporting an important message.

I got really inspired by watching The Beauty of Nature

Another source of inspiration lies in the idea of implementing small cultural hacks.

And do you consider the dimension of Not Knowing (Nichtwissen) in your business (german!)?

You don't know who's Happy Melly?

And finally another great source of inspiration (about a maybe missing piece)- What makes us feel good at work.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban - a fast overview and rough categorization when to use what method

The following table (thanks to Alin) was compiled to get an fast overview on the 3 mostly used agile approaches - Scrum, Kanban and the combination of both Scrumban.

Maybe you're currently thinking about your environment and what agile method to use. Use this list to support your decision. 

Scrum Kanban Scrumban
Board/Artifactssimple board
product backlog
sprint backlog
product increment
burndown chart
board mapped on the processboard mapped on the process
Ceremoniesdaily Scrum
sprint planning
sprint review
sprint retrospective
none requireddaily Scrum
other Scrum related ceremonies if needed
PrioritizationPart of backlog grooming. Done by POOut of the process. There should be a prioritized backlog.Out of the process. There should be a prioritized backlog.
Who feeds the work in progress ("brings new work")PODepends on defined roles and necessitiesDepends on defined roles and necessities
Iterationsyes (sprints)no (continuous flow)not mandatory (continuous flow); could have sprints
Estimationsyes (in ideal days or story points)no (similar work size items) (a)no (similar work size items) (a)
Teamsrecommended cross functionalcross functional or specializedcross functional or specialized
RolesProduct Owner
Scrum Master
as neededTeam + as needed
Teamworkcollaborativebased on pull approachbased on pull approach
WIPplanned for the duration of the sprintcontrolled by workflow statecontrolled by workflow state
changes to work scopeshould wait for next sprintadded as needed (JIT)added as needed (JIT)
Product backlogprioritized list of user stories (estimated)no (JIT)no (JIT)
Impedimentsaddressed immediatelyaddressed immediately (b)addressed immediately (b)
When does it fit?Product development
Small value adding increments development possible
Requirements are in good shape
Support/maintenance work (operational level)Product development (unclear vision)
Evolving requirements (no clear roadmap)
Need to include support/maintenance (event driven) work in the process

(a) team needs to comment on non-fitting work items in order to ensure readiness
(b) "stop the line" approach; teams should swarm to solve the impediment

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Using personal maps to get a better understanding of each other and shrink the mental distance

Based on Jurgen Appelo's management workout Personal Maps I created my first sketch note (thanks for the brilliant idea of using sketch notes to Angel Medinella). Please be patient with the format - still a lot to improve for me there ;-) 

I really like the idea of personal maps and using the techniques:

  • management by walking around (1) - to have a low cost and high effective way to meet people and listen+talk with everyone, 
  • moving your desk (2) - to support without physical distance and get realtime emotions and feedback and 
  • move your mike (3) - to build an environment with a balance between room for creativity and communication.
The usage of moving motivators and delegation poker in combination with learning about other areas than work only will help me building my personal maps.

We'll discuss this workout tomorrow in our 7th management 3.0 regular table in Munich. Let's see how others work with it. I'll share some results afterwards.

Do you use personal maps already? What's your experience?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Delegation Poker and Delegation Board - to clarify roles and responsibilities and foster faster decision making


Maybe you already know the Delegation Poker game by Jurgen Appelo. We
Taken from Jurgen Appelo's Delegation board description
differentiate the following 7 levels of delegation:

1 - Tell - you tell how it has to be done, you decide
2 - Sell - you sell a decision, but you decide
3 - Consult - you consult the other before making the decision
4 - Agree - all agree on the decision (best via consensus)   
5 - Advise - you advise the others, but the others decide (even without your agreement)
6 - Inquire - others decide and inform you about the decision
7 - Delegate - others decide and it can be that you even don't get informed about it

Friday, September 6, 2013

A collection of videos to help us on the agile path - Part II - Scrum (IDEO, PO in a nutshell, Fibonacci, 30 days, great conductors)


In part II you'll find some videos to help in our daily Scrum life. 

Did you ever wonder about the cross functional team and how it should look like - maybe the IDEO shopping cart video provides some inspiration. 

What's the role product owner - watch the wonderful explanation by Henrik Kniberg.

Fibonacci everywhere in nature - this way you can sell why to use the Fibonacci row for estimations ;-)

Ken Schwabers - software in 30 days - a must view to explain Scrum to your management.

An for all ScrumMasters - check your leading style and compare it to how the great conductors lead.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A collection of videos to help us on the agile path - Part I - Motivation, Ideas, Productivity


Part I is collection of videos I found really useful to understand more about motivation, idea generation and productivity. As motivation is one of the most important areas to work with as an agile manager I think it's a must to understand more about the different ways of motivation.

Especially the short video sessions - like the RSA animates - are fun to watch with the whole team. E.g. as a good start in a retrospective or sprint planning.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The next step on my agile path - ontheagilepath.net

On the agile path

6 years ago I started my agile journey with Alistair Cockburn's Agile Software Development. Combined with the inspiration by Tom De Marco's Peopleware - Productive Projects and Teams and his ideas about the way we should work together I felt - agile is my way. 

Not yet there it took me some time to learn more about XP and agile programming techniques - used TDD (today I would rather call it like this and better name my way a test oriented approach ;-) ), tried working in pairs, included fast feedback cycles, introduced continuous integration and thinks alike.

Still - it was not in a structure that made me happy. Some months later I had the opportunity to work with an external company helping us coordinating a bigger project. This time the project manager forwarded me a short video about Scrum and asked me what I think about it (I guess it was around 2008) ... This is it ... the missing structure. 

I immediately read  Boris Gloger's Scrum - Produkte schnell und zuverlässig entwickeln and was fascinated by Scrum's simplicity. I became a Scrum Master, introduced Scrum and had the opportunity to work with several great teams during the past 5 years. 

Randomly I stumbled upon Jurgen Appelo's Management 3.0. The next milestone on my agile path. The missing piece about how management should look like in an agile environment - summarized in one great book that helped me to enlarge my perspective. Along with Daniel Pink's Drive and Steve Johnson's Where good ideas come from I'm on my way as an agile manager, currently working with four great teams.

Following the agile path, this year I had even more the chance to learn from agile influencers like Henrik Kniberg, Vasco Duarte ... joined the DARE conference and the AGILE WORLD ... took my management 3.0 class with Jürgen Dittmar and joined the management 3.0 regular table ... and I'm impressed by the flourishing world and speed of development. 

I figured out that it's not Scrum only, it's agile and choosing the fitting method to work agile. Along this way I started using Personal Kanban for my own management, we introduced ScrumBan and evolve our agile implementation. 

To follow my agile path it's time to change this blog too ... On the agile path is the new blog's name and is soon available at ontheagilepath.net domain.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recently read books - some recommendations (Flow, ScrumBan, Networking, Unconferences, Bonus)

It has been quite for some time now on my blog. Sorry for letting you wait - but I needed some break to collect new ideas and process all the impressions I got from the conferences, books and activities in my working environment ;-)

Recent books I read (I'm reading) that I can highly recommend.

Tame the flow

I had the chance to meet Steve on the dare conference - we have exercised some Aikido together and I like his style of presentation a lot. HERBIE - it's still in my ears.

This book - is amazing. For me it brings a lot of completely new insights about possible ways to:

  • explain the nature of software development to non IT colleagues ... a piece that's often missing and causing a lot of misunderstandings
"Software development is a highly social activity, wherein the patterns of interaction that happen are important factors"
  • reach hyperproductivity - based on analyzing the Borland Quattro's teams success (Steve worked in that corona)
"The key lies in the organizational culture; and organizational culture starts from the head"
  • visualize the companies communication state - to foster reaching a high bandwith communication style.
"If a programmer has an idea he can raise it with everybody who matters in an hour and have a decision made in two hours"

Just to give you some examples ... and there is so much more in it. Have fun reading it and maybe we can share impressions?

Your network is your net worth

What a nice book by Porter Gale about how to strengthen your networking activities by focussing on your core values and aligning networking with it.
e.g. My funnel based on the funnel exercise from the book

Scrum and Kanban - making the most of both

Aligned with some experiments we do I read Scrum and Kanban - making the most of both. A must read to understand how you can improve if you get stuck
with having support tasks, external dependencies and it looks like Scrum isn't fitting in that situation.

Special thanks for the helping and cool visualizations. E.g. One day in Kanban land - short and fast picture to get the idea of Kanban

How to run an internal unconference

Henrik Kniberg - I don't know when you're producing all that great stuff. Your description how to run an internal unconference definitely made my day when reading it.

For everyone who is looking for ideas who to organize a session with some more people >20. Fetch this Minibook and update yourself in 2h about the idea and organization of Unconferences. 

Next in line

What do you recommend? 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My summary of agile world #awrld2013

First of all Thanks to all organizers, speakers and attendees. It was a pleasure!

The #awrld2013 was a success. Well organized tracks and sessions. A lot of interesting talks, new ideas and insights in other companies agile world.

Some highlight sentences I remember ;-)

Jeder Mensch ist mit Neugier geboren … Respekt ist universell … Spielt mehr Spiele 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Impression from Agile World (#awrld2013) - Day 1

Agile World in Munich - Day 1

After having some nice chats in the beginning during the morning coffee we started with really interesting keynotes about 

  • Agil and Lean at Telefonica
  • Infineon and there chances with going agile
  • Agile Transition - we arrived by Christoph Mathis
Thanks for the really interesting sessions to start the day. 

In the following World Cafe we all had the opportunity to get to know each other. 

With questions what we expect and who we are it opened conversations and enabled new connections.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Recap on #DARE13 - my highlight agile conference 2013 so far


I started my #dare13 day 2 with a cool AIKIDO session facilitated by Ángel Medinilla. It was amazing and for me a key learning - elegance, intelligence and not much power - a convincing style to "dance" with your opposite.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Impressions from DARE13

Wow - what a nice day full of impressions from the #DARE13 conference in Antwerp, Belgium.
Today early in the morning - I guess around 7am - I was on my walk to Rijnkaai 96 in Antwerp to join the agile conference 


I think I was one of the first attendees at Hangar 26, a cool location in Antwerp with a lot of space for having agile sessions. 

A small overview on some sessions I attended today

After having a first tea (sorry Baristas for not enjoying your very likely perfect coffee) and a fast registration the opening session was done by Jurgen speaking about tribal business.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Upcoming agile events in June (DARE, Agile world, Scrum day)

Some interesting upcoming agile events in June

Yesterday I got an nice information from Jurgen Appelo about the upcoming Dare 2013 and I thought to provide a short overview about interesting events regarding AGILE in June.

DARE 2013

Jun 14-15, Dare 2013 (Antwerp, Belgium)
I guess this will be really a cool conference. Already their layout of the conference web page is amazing. And the location in the Hangar 26 seems to be an outstanding location.

Maybe we meet each other there. I reserved my tickets already yesterday ;-)


Jun 26-27, Agile World (Neubiberg, Germany)

A free conference near Munich - but at the moment it's already fully booked. But there is a chance to get a ticket by putting yourself on a waiting list.


Jun 11-12, Scrum Day 2013 (Berlin, Germany)

With speakers Jeff Sutherland and Dean Leffingwell. 

Do you have more recommendations? 

Leave a comment and share it with us ;-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Impressions from the awesome management 3.0 course with Juergen Dittmar

My last 2 days where full of impressions and learnings about the new way of management. I took the management 3.0 course hosted by Juergen Dittmar based on Jurgen Appelo's management 3.0 ideas.

One and a half year ago I read the amazing book Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders (Addison-Wesley Signature) and was fascinated by all the fresh ideas Jurgen described. That time I was working as a ScrumMaster and already used some of the ideas in my daily work. But...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

ScrumMaster. Clarify roles to boost your teams productivity!


Did you ask yourself - What's going on here? Why don't we come to a decision? Why is this task pending forever? Who are all the attendees in this meeting? ...

Unclear roles cause unclear situations and produce a lot of waste! 

Reading this post you'll find some answers on situations to watch for role conflicts, possible solutions and consequences if you don't take the responsibility. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Playing Jurgen Appelo's moving motivators with Scrum teams (Team development)


You're a ScrumMaster or in a role interested in developing teams? You heard about intrinsic motivation and would like to understand your current state of motivation in the team?

Based on Jurgen Appelo's fascinating game Moving Motivators this post explains how you can play it with your (Scrum) teams. Find a detailled step by step description and some helpful tools and have some fun time with your teams.