The Agile Facilitator


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An overview of facilitated workshops, especially relating to agile projects

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  • { Review points in Panel } Ask the question, Why use a Process Flow Picture ?
  • Notes
  • The Agile Facilitator

    1. 1. The Agile Facilitator Kevin Barron Business Analysis Practice Lead Hewlett-Packard New Zealand
    2. 2. Technology is easy, but people… <ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict </li></ul>
    3. 3. Agile characteristics <ul><li>Managing limited time to deliver alot </li></ul><ul><li>Harness varied roles and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Use people to best effect </li></ul><ul><li>Defined business goal but dynamic path to get there </li></ul><ul><li>Use visualisation as communication aid </li></ul>
    4. 4. Soft skills have a place in our projects <ul><li>How valued are soft skills over technical? </li></ul><ul><li>Projects are multi-disciplinary and collaborative </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mr Barron is in a meeting…
    6. 6. So what’s wrong with meetings? <ul><li>Meeting goal is unclear </li></ul><ul><li>Vague, non existent agenda </li></ul><ul><li>No time limits on discussions </li></ul><ul><li>No process to work through </li></ul><ul><li>No preparation by participants </li></ul><ul><li>Circular discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Argument not debate </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals dominate </li></ul><ul><li>No progress checking </li></ul><ul><li>No closure or actions </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why do workshops work? <ul><li>There is an owner </li></ul><ul><li>Agreed objectives and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Committed, empowered participants </li></ul><ul><li>A process is prepared </li></ul><ul><li>A process is followed </li></ul><ul><li>An impartial, trained, skilled facilitator </li></ul>
    8. 8. Preparation For I have six good serving men They taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Where and When And How , and Why , and Who. Rudyard Kipling
    9. 9. Workshop objectives – business driven
    10. 10. Drive the agenda from the objective … but stay flexible
    11. 11. Frequent delivery Aim for interim deliverables
    12. 12. Empowered participants
    13. 13. Create ideas through iteration and synergy
    14. 14. <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Blah blah blah </li></ul><ul><li>And another thing </li></ul><ul><li>What’s more… </li></ul>Complexity Importance Idea Idea Idea Use visuals for communication <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Do this </li></ul><ul><li>Do that </li></ul><ul><li>Do more </li></ul>
    15. 15. Brown paper planning <ul><li>Timebox planning </li></ul>May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 Team 5 Team 6 Team 7 Project Project Plan Timebox 1 Timebox 2 Timebox 3
    16. 16. Record visually
    17. 17. How many participants?
    18. 18. How many participants?
    19. 19. How many participants?
    20. 20. How many participants?
    21. 21. The right room is important for a successful outcome Refreshments Observers Flip charts White board Scribe Participants Wall space
    22. 22. The facilitator <ul><li>A diplomat </li></ul><ul><li>A mediator </li></ul><ul><li>A referee </li></ul><ul><li>A guide </li></ul><ul><li>A pioneer </li></ul><ul><li>A mug </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced, trained, accredited? </li></ul>
    23. 23. The facilitator’s role changes as the group matures Facilitator Dialogue/ Discussion Full Productivity Cohesion Start-Up Group Time and level of activity Time and level of activity
    24. 24. Facilitator’s responsibilities Listening Reflecting Summarising Interpreting Challenging Checking progress Problem solving Crisis intervention Confronting Referring Refocusing Supporting Observing
    25. 25. When to use workshops <ul><li>When there are lots of stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>When you have a complicated issue </li></ul><ul><li>When you need to be efficient </li></ul><ul><li>When you are expecting trouble </li></ul><ul><li>When you want to be creative </li></ul>
    26. 26. When NOT to use workshops <ul><li>When you are bored or feeling lonely </li></ul><ul><li>When there are only a few of you </li></ul><ul><li>When you want a scapegoat </li></ul><ul><li>When a meeting will do </li></ul>
    27. 27. Example Workshops Agile assessment Planning (project, iteration / timebox / sprint, training, cutover) Modelling process, functions, data, screens Requirements gathering and prioritisation Test strategy Architecture and design Retrospectives Prototype planning, design or review Option evaluation Problem definition and resolution Risk identification, assessment and mitigation planning
    28. 28. Facilitated workshops demonstrate an agile project’s values, attitudes and skills <ul><li>Empowered team working </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration and team spirit </li></ul><ul><li>Speed </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Business focus </li></ul>