How Fascinating!

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile

Lately I’ve reinforced my interest in learning to learn. I get several benefits from it. First, I learn how to learn better for my own purposes. Second, I learn more about how other people learn. Third, if I apply what I learn about how other people learn, I can become a better consultant/coach/trainer. And, magically, fourth, I am liberated from needing to find a teacher to learn the things I’m interested in learning.

The reinforcement for my learning to learn comes in the form of “Where Are Your Keys?” or The Fluency Game. (Full disclosure: My son introduced me...

Feeding each other

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 1 Filed Under: Teams Leadership

I’ve been fortunate to have experienced many great team building moments, activities and events on several great teams. One of the best, involved feeding each other.

In Fearless Change, Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising counsel that a pattern called "Do Food" "makes an ordinary gathering a special event" and reference Christopher Alexander’s pattern "Communal Eating." Linda and Mary Lynn note, "sharing food plays a vital role in almost all human societies to bind people together and increase the feeling of group membership." Eating together has a long and documented history in building shared culture.

Generative Collaboration Model

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 2 Filed Under: Agile Teams

Derek Neighbor’s post about Patrick Leoncioni’s team dysfunctions model prompted me to share a model I developed many years ago for work with self-directing teams. Esther Derby and I use the model as part of our "Secrets of Agile Teamwork: Beyond Technical Skills" workshop.

Personal Retrospectives

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 2 Filed Under: Retrospectives Leadership

Agile retrospectives aren’t just for teams or organizations. Individuals (like you and me) also use them as a way of taking stock and choosing how to move forward—reflecting, inspecting, and adapting to the changing conditions in our lives. Chronological milestones serve as a great prompts for a personal retrospective (e.g., year’s-end, birthday, anniversary, solstice, etc.).

We find ourselves at the end of 2009, looking toward 2010 with eager anticipation and/or reluctant anxiety. What a great time to retrospect!

First, plan your retrospective.

Where will you focus? Choose a focus or theme for the retrospective that holds meaning for...

Values vs. Principles vs. Practices

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile

Values vs. Principles vs. Practices in the Iron Cage of Death*: Three Go in, One Comes Out

Discussions about where to start with Agile approaches tend to devolve into “you got your practices in my values”...”no, you got your values in my practices.” Trying to bridge the gap, some folks say, “look at the principles for guidance.” None of these works.

In reality, we have to have it all. We need values to use as filters for our decisions. We need principles to give us ideas about what values look like when they come out of the clouds and into actual...

Draw Deborah a Picture

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Retrospectives

Deborah Hartmann posted a description of an interesting “Gathering Data” activity. She calls it “Draw Me a Picture”. It sounds like it would be fun and potentially quite insightful. I’m looking forward to trying it out soon. Thanks for sharing it, Deb!

Prediction: Be Lean

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile
I’m enjoying lots of tweets from the Lean/Kanban conference yesterday and today. It’s new and fun to “attend” a conference from a twitter-remove, and I still wish I could have attended in person. From all reports, it's a wonderful conference. Following the #lkconf thread, I’ve read much discussion about the new Lean Software & Systems Consortium (LSCC) and the organizers' intention to provide a certification. I’ve read that Lean is a “mindset” shift, not a methodology. [Hmmm, where have I heard that before?] "Unlike Agile" is the sotto voce subtext I surmise. In one tweet, Aaron Sanders... Seattle

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership People & Places
A group of people in the community in Seattle have organized a conference in just a couple of months. They decided to use an Open Space Technology format and asked me to facilitate the conference. My company, FutureWorks Consulting, agreed to sponsor the conference by donating my time, so I jumped at the chance. Though I usually hang out with the Agile software development crowd, last November I met a few guys at the OreDev conference in Sweden. We had great conversations there, and I was eager for more interactions with these really smart people. And it...

Comments Needed

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Leadership
As of this morning (Feb 23, 2009), hundreds of potential presenters have submitted 922 possible sessions for Agile 2009. Each of those 922 sessions needs feedback to become the best it can be. Think of it as a massive multi-player perfection game (MMPPG). All of us need your help to make sure our sessions give you what you need when you (and/or your colleagues) show up next August in Chicago. Commenting is not limited to the review teams. Anyone can comment. Just register on the site and give us your best, most helpful critiques of as many proposals as...