Adaptive Action Method: An HSD Retrospective

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Retrospectives Human Systems Dynamics

Diana has written previously about the Human Systems Dynamics Institute and their excellent program that provides models and methods for dealing with our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world of complex adaptive human systems. In this post she focuses on the HSD Adaptive Action model and its unexpected connection to retrospectives:

In 2006 Esther and I introduced a Flexible Framework for Agile Retrospectives, a series of stages for designing effective retrospectives: Set the Stage; Gather Data; Generate Insights; Decide What to Do; and Close the Retrospective. We recommended a recurring cycle of retrospectives after each iteration as a process for the team to "reflect, tune and adjust", as the Agile Manifesto principle decrees.

Project Weather

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Retrospectives

Add "Project Weather" to your retrospective design to both "Set the Stage" and "Close the Retrospective". As an opening, it provides a useful segue into creating a shared story and begins the process of gathering data. As a closing, it illustrates any shifts in team members' perspectives that have occurred as a result of their collaboration in the retrospective.

To Prepare:

Create a pre-drawn flip chart with a heading at the top: Project Weather. Add hand drawn graphics across the top, like a sun coming out from behind clouds, clouds and rain, or even the occasional tornado! Divide the flip chart...

The Art of Agile: NYC

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Leadership

Take your Agile knowledge to the next level and learn how to effectively implement Agile methods to make ‘good’ teams brilliant.

Join industry experts, James Shore and Diana Larsen, for an in-depth immersion into real-world Agile development. Learn how to plan and deliver Agile projects and practice doing so in real teams delivering working software. The training emphasizes real-word experiences and promotes a hands-on approach for students.

An Opportunity: Strategies for Responding to Today’s Unpredictable, Complex and Emergent Environments

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Coaching Developing People

As part of my commitment to my own professional development, a few months ago I attended a certification training program on effective practices in organizational change and leadership development. Although it required more time commitment than usual on my part, I found the experience well worth it. I would make the same decision again if I had it to do over. So when I heard that the Human Systems Dynamics Institute was bringing its HSDP Certification Training Program to Portland in January 2012, I wanted to share my experiences and how the HSD methodology has positively impacted my practice and my work with my clients.

Teamwork Required

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Leadership Culture and Change

Our experience thus far has been that while self-organizing teams may enable the organization to operate from day to day without active management, a more integrated organization and more productive teams make the value-add of managers highly transparent and place a premium on specific leadership skills.

From Adam Light, Chris Vike and Diana Larsen. "Teamwork Required: Managing Agile Application Delivery in a Matrix Organization", Cutter Agile Product & Project Management Executive Update, Vol. 12, No. 19. October 2011.

For a free download of the article pdf, register at the Cutter site. You can also order reprints from Cutter to use...

The Art of Managing in an Agile World 2-Day Workshop

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Coaching Events

December 12 & 13 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Hotel Vintage Plaza 422 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

Price: $1750 per participant* Group Rate: Register 3 or more participants at $1550 per person

REGISTER

The workshop is limited to 18 participants, so make sure to reserve your spot soon!

Course Overview Managers have a unique role to fulfill in an Agile world. Whether leading a shift to Agile methods or guiding a newly Agile organization, effective managers join their current skills with strategic tools learned in this course to keep people and teams on track. This course gives you the hands-on experience and builds the...

Recognizing Impediments

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 6 Filed Under: Agile Teams

Team member: How will we know when we've found an impediment? What do they look like?

Sponsor: How can I know what impediments block our teams' productivity?

Scrum Master: How can I get the team to mention impediments in our daily meeting and retrospectives?

Product Owner: Why is everyone whining about impediments? Why don't we just get the work done?

It's all fine and well to say identify and remove impediments but often we bump up against a stumbling block, find a way around, and make things work anyway without further thought. It's second nature. Moving forward is what's important. And,...

Do Don't Try

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Retrospectives

Martin Jul writes about a retrospective activity in the post “Retrospectives - Adapting to Reality.” He describes an interesting process for highlighting issues in the Generating Insights part of a retrospective session.

Avoidable Heroism

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 5 Filed Under: Agile Teams

Today I invented a phrase (at least I think I invented it because I haven't heard anyone else say it): "Avoidable Heroism."

I invented it in response to a question, "Should my team work on the weekend to meet a commitment made under their control?"

Now, I don't know the background behind this question. Maybe it's perfectly reasonable for them to work on the weekend. Maybe they have no agreement about sustainable pace. And, it raises a few questions in my mind. How often does this happen? How far from the commitment are they? When was the first, best opportunity to...

Agile 2010 - Be There

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Events People & Places

I'm attending Agile 2010. Are you?

If you're serious about adopting, grounding, or extending Agile mental models, values, principles, methods, and practices where you work, you'll find answers to your current concerns, and stimulate new questions to consider, at Agile 2010. With 214 sessions ranging across 5 days and 16 thematic stages, you're sure to find many colleagues who face similar challenges.

In Open Jam, the self-organizing area of the conference, you'll find thought leaders whose deep curiosity and desire to learn leads them to sit with you and explore your situation. You'll also find peers and...

LoC & Mary Parker Follet

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 3 Filed Under: Agile Leadership

While in Washington D.C. last month, for the first time I visited the U.S. Library of Congress. Guided by writer and experienced LoC researcher David Schmaltz, I received a temporary library card to research early management thought.

In the glorious reading room under its amazing dome, I held two precious books. One, an (out of print) copy of Mary Parker Follett’s Creative Experience is so old it didn’t have publication date or place data printed in it. However, a little diligent searching told me the edition I held was published in 1924. The book contains ideas offered...

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...