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.

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...

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...

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...

PO's & Retros

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

Jack Milunsky wrote about the Top Ten Activities of a Product Owner. In reply, a number of folks commented that they didn’t like the idea of a Product Owner attending Sprint Retrospectives.

Photos from Agile Open NW

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile
We had a great time at Agile Open Northwest last week. About a hundred people gathered together to consider our theme "Agile for Real" and discuss 60+ related topics. At the end of the event, our ROTI score (return-on-time-invested) was 3+ on a scale of 0 to 4. The volunteers and I took lots of pictures on Day 1, not so many on Day 2. I've uploaded the photos from my camera to Flickr. If you look very closely at the marketplace wall, you can see the range of topics we covered. Everything from "Agile Hell" to "System...

Diana and Jim in Europe

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile

Jim Shore posted on his blog about two courses, The Art of Agile Planning and The Art of Agile Development, that he and I will take to Europe this spring. He's put in photos and and comments from evaluations when we held the class last October. Participants said nice things, like "The facilitators were excellent! I really enjoyed the 'jump in and swim' approach to applying what we learned as we went."

Since Jim did such a great job, I'm not going to try to duplicate it. I'll just send you here to read about it.

Closing Panel @ Øredev

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile

At Øredev 2008, Bob Martin, Scott Bellware, Glenn Block, Gabrielle Benefield, James Bach and I responded to questions from moderator Björn Granvik and the audience about the conference theme, The Renaissance Developer.

Is your Agile team ready to learn collaboration skills?

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Leadership

I've been on the road a lot and away from my blog lately. I'm glad to be back and happy to announce the latest iteration of:

Secrets of Agile Teamwork: Beyond Technical Skills

February 24-26, 2009, at the Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon.

Invest in three days with Esther Derby and me learning the interpersonal tools and skills that support highly collaborative software development.

Improve team communications, learn how to give and get feedback in a way that builds strong working relationships, identify and navigate conflict, and help grow your team.

We'll be back at the Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon...complete...

Fall Public Workshops

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile

I do my best work in collaboration. And this October, I get to collaborate with two outstanding Agile colleagues! Lucky me! And lucky you if you can clear your calendar to attend these workshops.

Secrets of Agile Teamwork: Beyond Technical Skills October 21-23, with Esther Derby. Esther and I have offered this public workshop in Portland for several years. Directors, project managers, coaches, and team members applaud both the format and content of this course. This fall, for the first time, we're going East Coast, and holding the workshop on beautiful Amelia Island in northeast Florida. For...

Collected Quotes

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

Over the years, I’ve noticed when I have a stronger response to particular phrases, sentences, doggerel, koans, and so forth. I get a thrill when someone can frame an idea simply and powerfully into a pithy statement. I collect those inspiring or clarifying quotes. I find them in many sources and sometimes in unlikely places, though usually not from compilations.

Today I’ve decided to share five of my favorites:

An Ethiopian proverb:

When spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion.

Rudyard Kipling, poet:

All good people agree, 


And all good people say, 


All nice people, like Us, are...

They Got It!

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

Last month, Cory Foy sent me an email about a project retrospective that gave his team new insights and direction. He used the subject line, “They got it!” You can find the story of Cory’s recent retrospective experience, along with the thread of additional comments, on the XP list digest archive.