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Agile Arizona 2017: Why are we stuck? Getting back to continuous improvement.


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Transformations stall. Teams get stuck in an improvement rut. Impediments lists grow. It's not uncommon for teams to plateau. When things are going well, it is difficult to find motivation to go from good to great.

As an Agile leader, it's important to be able to identify the symptoms your team or team-of-teams start to exhibit when they get stuck–when their momentum for positive growth and change stalls or plateaus–and what to do about it. This workshop will help you get your teams back in gear and on the path of relentless improvement.

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Agile Arizona 2017: Why are we stuck? Getting back to continuous improvement.

  1. 1. Sub-Heading Other Information Why Are We Stuck? Getting Back to Continuous Improvement
  2. 2. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved Reese Schmit Agile Coach/Trainer @reesendesist
  3. 3. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved Are you stuck? Stuck Not Stuck
  4. 4. How do you know?
  5. 5. Let’s dig a bit deeper
  6. 6. Time to get you unstuck!
  7. 7. Let’s go on a field trip!
  8. 8. Team trust forces out of balance?
  9. 9. Fear of failure holding you back?
  10. 10. If only they got it together…
  11. 11. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved Activities here: 9 min per station
  12. 12. Use for good not evil…
  13. 13. Find a Card Exchange Partner Thank you! @reesendesist
  14. 14. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved Activities
  15. 15. Cause: Ineffective Retrospectives
 Activity: Anti-Pattern Field Trip 1. You are all going to be only one team rather than split like the other activities. 2. Pick a scribe. 3. Stand in a circle and get ready to answer the question “If we wanted to get absolutely nothing out of Retro, what would we do?”. We aren’t going around in order and not everyone needs to come up with one or only one. When you have an answer, call it out. This will likely get fast paced, so the scribe needs to be fast! 4. Leave a few minutes at the end to discuss: •Which of these items have you seen on a team? •Which didn’t you know were an anti-pattern? •What are things you can do to improve? You can use this “anti-pattern field trip” activity to dig into various different types of issues the team is having.
  16. 16. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved
  17. 17. Cause: Lack of Trust
 Activity: Force Field Activity 1. One thought per sticky, as a team brainstorm forces that create and destroy trust. On the left are “Forces that help us to create trust”. On the right are “Forces that destroy our Trust”. 2. There are different sized arrows on either side. They are weighted from1 being the weakest forces, 5 being the strongest. Place your post-its on the arrows that line up with the level of force they fall into. 3. Add up each side. 4. Discuss: •Which supportive forces you can strengthen and which opposing forces you can weaken to drive more trust? •If the forces are outside of the team, how can you work to influence those? You can use this exercise to weigh many different types of activities to visualize and balance the opposing forces. This activity was inspired by this post:
  18. 18. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. How to create a template
  20. 20. Cause: Fear or Failure/Lack of Learning
 Activity: Celebration Grid 1. Write down 1 success and 1 failure that your team had in the past few weeks. (One per sticky.) 2. Place those on the section they fit best on the grid. 3. Discuss: •Where does more learning come from: Running experiments or following good practices? •What experiments can you run to shift a failure to a success? •What can you do to turn one of your successful experiments into a solid practice? You can find more on this activity from Jurgen Appelo here:
  21. 21. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. How to create a template Make the columns 2 stickies wide and the shortest portion of the top right and bottom left section a sticky tall.
  23. 23. Cause: Blame outside the team
 Activity: Team Health Check 1. Choose a facilitator. 2. The facilitator will start with the top card and read it to the team. Each one is a health indicator with an “example of awesome”, and an “example of crappy”. 3. The team will briefly discuss then Roman vote on each item. 4. The facilitator will then tally the number of votes of each (positive, neutral, negative) and circle the one with the most to highlight the health in that area. 5. Roman vote on trends (are things improving, stable, or getting worse?) 6. Continue and repeat through the rest of the cards. 7. Discussion: •Read the sample cards Spotify uses (laminated sheet provided) and discuss how these apply to your teams •How can you use this data to help teams improve? Additional info and downloadable card templates here: Positive Neutral Negative
  24. 24. © Copyright Agile Velocity, LLC All Rights Reserved