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Agile '05 conference, part 3

Posted by wwake on August 26, 2005 at 3:47 AM PDT

Rachel Davies' and Mike Hill Workshop on Informative Workspaces

Informative workspaces:

  • Team memory
  • Visible status (keep it fresh)
  • Automation - light and sound
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Track "puzzles"
  • Root cause analysis
  • Positive focus

Themes: Ownership: Own the space; collective ownership of communication, accountability.

Transparency: Be honest with yourself - show where you really are; peer pressure; reveal hidden/unknown problems.

Keep it Fresh: Drop stale charts. Let anybody update. Automation (e.g., build server status, test status). May use projects or status monitor.

Intra-/Inter-Team Communication: Visual progress => motivation. Whose team sees it.

Hokey-ness: Lack of ownership. Formality. Ownership - lead team to the charts. Time limit for new things. Cool is fun, but must be cool to team.

Kent Beck Open Space on Renewing the Fire

"The edge of knowing and not knowing" - Troy Frever.

What helps keep the fire? A lot of disucssion on being in the zone, in flow - but that's only part of it. Many people crave novelty, mentoring, flow, living on the edge.

There's a "game face" you put on.

Pollyanna Pixton Open Space on Organizational Change

There's a "practice" level, for developers, managers, product owners. But there's also an organizational change level.

"Continuous retrospective" - collect cards all week.

Leadership "versus" self organization.

Kent Beck Open Space on XP for Beginning Teams

He uses an Appreciative Inquiry approach. Take a practice - what does it mean for you? Acts as a "practice inkblot".

An AI formulation:

  1. Remember a good (peak) situation
  2. Explore the circumstances that made it possible
  3. What is the meaning now?

We broke into pairs and did some mind-mapping of a practice.

Research Paper: A Case Study on the Impact of Scrum
on Overtime and Customer Satisfaction - Mann and Maurer

Described a team that originally had variable sprints, then shifted its sprint size from 20 to 11 days at the customers' request. Research tried to address, "Does Scrum provide a sustainable pace?" They found there was less overtime (both mean and variance) after Scrum was introduced in this organization. Customers were more satisfied. (Planning closer to delivery led to less misdirected development; playing with the product in the release cycle let them tweak its direction.) Scrum gave them better control and visibility.

Research Paper: An Environment for Collaborative Iteration Planning (Liu, Erdogmus, Maurer)

They used a traditional-looking table with a projected image, and wireless tablet PCs.The thought was that people would create and edit stories on a tablet, then organize and prioritize stories using finger and pens. This would give real-time information, as well as persistence.

The display was nice. One neat trick was that you could "push" a card toward somebody and it would glide at a realistic-looking rate (but never fall onto the floor:)

Existing tools are either cards, which are easy to work with but lack persistence, or planning software, which creates an unbalanced environment (somebody controls the keyboard) but which does have persistence.

The research effort is just beginning; they want to evaluate, "Is it useful? Is it usable? How does it work compared to existing tools?"