CAS 2015 Agile Spain :: TALK Why for Some Product Owners and Stakeholders Agile is Like Crossing Over to the Twilight Zone

Was with great pleasure that I found out last week 20th of Oct 2015 that:

“Yesterday we finished the selection of talks and workshops for the conference, and your proposal was selected. I’m talking about “Why for Some Product Owners and Stakeholders Agile is Like Crossing Over to the Twilight Zone”.

Congratulations!”

I’m really happy to be one of the speakers for this conference. Nevertheless, share and learn with everyone!

See you there 😉

How to build an Airplane using Agile Methodology (To be more specific Scrum)

A few months ago during one of the training sessions  I had a person that asked me if we could use Scrum to build an Airplane. Ex: A320

Airplane

Since that time I’ve being thinking and discussing this subject with a lot of people and we got to different conclusions where one of them was to start building a Hang gliding as MVP and keep improving.

So today, instead of sharing a new article I would like to share this challenge. How could we built an Airplane using Scrum?

Please leave your thoughts and ideas 😉

Achieving a Successful Scrum Implementation – Making the Red Pill-Blue Pill Decision (Published at ScrumAlliance)

Sharing my recent article publish by Scrum Alliance today, Tuesday 25th of August 2015.

Again its a very interesting article regarding one of my past experience that I called “Achieving a Successful Scrum “Implementation – Making the Red Pill-Blue Pill Decision“.

It’s amazing how often movies are my source of inspiration for talking about real themes related to Agile.

Some time ago, a friend and I were discussing previous Scrum implementations. What could make them successful? This conversation was really productive, because we shared our opinions and past experiences. Also, we agreed that often Scrum or Scrum implementations don’t work due to people’s lack of understanding and their concerns, motivation, and beliefs.

What I’m trying to say here is that Scrum, as everyone knows, is not the silver bullet that is going to solve software development issues. Implementing Scrum sometimes means changing mind-sets, and to do that, people need to believe in what they are doing. They must free themselves from old ways of thinking.

I remember the dialogue from the 1999 movie The Matrix, in which Morpheus offers the main character, Neo, a choice between taking the red pill or the blue pill:

“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” [1]

Pill
Source: http://counterinception.com/sites/default/files/pictures/MatrixBluePillRedPill.jpg

To give you context, the red pill represents the human desire to discover the reality hidden in the fabricated world that they are living in (the Matrix). As soon as Neo takes the red pill, it triggers his desire to free his mind and wake up from continuous sleep as a prisoner in the Power Plants. That is, it bolsters the will to wake up and be free from the old mentality. Embrace new methods and frameworks that allow us to learn, adapt, respond to change, deliver faster with high quality, search for real customer satisfaction, and have tools that help us continually improve.

What about the blue pill? Let me explain why I believe that people’s understanding, concerns, motivation, and beliefs are key to a successful Scrum implementation by using Morpheus’s pills as an analogy.

Some time ago, I was approached to help some teams in their Agile transition and Scrum implementation. During this time, I discussed ideas and approaches with everyone on the team to elicit feedback about how we should do it and what benefits the teams could realize from this transition. Everything looked OK at first; team members were motivated and interested. So we started following the steps as agreed.

In the beginning, everything was going well. We hit some bumps in the road, but that’s normal when changing mind-sets and old ways of working. But suddenly things started to slow down and issues surfaced regarding how the work was submitted to the teams and how the teams were performing. In that moment, we felt that something was wrong, something that was causing all this distracting noise and continuous interruption. The teams became confused. So we decided to investigate a little further to understand the root cause.

My biggest surprise was when we realized that this was coming from a group of people who were concerned with their sudden lack of control. How could things work if we had no control over what was happening? What would we do if all the information became so transparent that everyone could see the issues that we had been suffering from for a long time?

The irony was that this was coming from people who said that they believed in the transition to Agile and Scrum implementation. They were so concerned about making noise that they started doing what they were used to doing before the transition. You know what I’m talking about: working under the table, micromanaging, transforming the ceremonies in status reports, etc.

You might be asking yourself how this issue could be solved. That’s a great question. The first thing that I did was ask everyone to join me in a face-to-face meeting. I started the meeting by asking the following difficult questions, without pointing any fingers:

  • How do you think the transition is going?
  • What are your concerns about the transition?
  • What can we do better to improve the transition and adoption?
  • Why do you think that making the issues transparent is a bad thing?
  • What can we do to help you gain a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve, and why?
  • Can I count on your full support and commitment?

In the end, everything went well. I’m not saying we had a 100 percent shift in attitude and mind-set. Keep in mind that changing the familiar mind-set and, as a consequence, familiar attitudes is a difficult thing to do. It takes time and patience. But these team members saw that we were there to help and support them all the way.

The final statement and question during the meeting was the hardest one for them to accept. I told them that to have a full and successful transition to Agile and Scrum, all meeting participants had to think hard and decide whether they really wanted to achieve success in the Agile transition and Scrum implementation.

In other words, I asked them which pill would they take if Morpheus had offered them the choice.

Please let me know of any similar experiences you have had. By sharing we can learn together.

[1] IMDb | The Matrix

See more at: ScrumAlliance.org | Achieving a Successful Scrum “Implementation – Making the Red Pill-Blue Pill Decision

One last thing, I hope that you like reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing.

Why Agile Is a Key Component In Facilitating Continuous Delivery by Steven Armstrong

To start with, I would like to give you some context about this article.

Some time ago (I think two months ago) I was facilitating a sharing session between one of the teams and my friend Steven Armstrong about Continuous Delivery.

His session was so interesting and went so well that last week I told him he should write an article to share the knowledge with everyone.

Having said this, I’m happy to share with you that he accepted the challenge as you can see by the link bellow.

Why Agile Is a Key Component In Facilitating Continuous Delivery by Steven Armstrong

My feedback from this is simple: Great article. I hope that you enjoy reading it like I did.

Hyper-Productive Metrics with Jeff Sutherland and Scott Downey

I’m happy to share that I just finished my registration for the hour-long course about Hyper-Productive Metrics with Jeff Sutherland and Scott Downey.

This is going to happen on August 26th 2015 and I’m looking forward to learn more about this topic from these guys experience.

To give you some context please find below the course description.

Hyper-Productive Metrics Course

HyperProductive-300x200

“In Scrum, beyond velocity, which metrics matter? Which metrics apply across teams? What do you measure at scale.

In their groundbreaking paper Scrum Metrics for Hyper-Productive Teams: How they Fly Like Fighter Aircraft, Scrum Inc. CEO Jeff Sutherland and legendary Agile coach Scott Downey of Rapid Scrum, created best practices for accelerating Scrum teams and the metrics used to fine tune them.

Join Jeff and Scott August 26th at 11:00 EDT for an hour-long course with a live Q&A follow up. See how they’ve iterated on the original metrics and what they’ve learned as they have further applied them.” [1]

References:

[1] Hyper-Productive Metrics | scruminc.

Road Maps and Release Planning – The never-ending story (Published at ScrumAlliance)

Sharing my recent article publish by Scrum Alliance  on 6th of August 2015.

Again its a very interesting and hot topic called “Road Maps and Release Planning – The never-ending story“.

I hope that you like reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing.

Why for Some Product Owners and Stakeholders Agile Is Like Crossing Over to the Twilight Zone (Published at ScrumAlliance)

I’m happy to share with you that I have my first article approved and publish by Scrum Alliance  on 23rd of July 2015.

Its a very interesting topic called “Why for Some Product Owners and Stakeholders Agile Is Like Crossing Over to the Twilight Zone“.

I hope that you like reading this article like I enjoyed writing it.

Agile Champions the new Change Agents!

As promised in my previous post “Does the Change Agent Networks work? In my case the Agile Champions…” I said that I would share some conclusions about this model implementation.

During this time I didn’t said nothing because I needed some time to start seeing the first results. Well, good or bad…

As you know, transforming mentalities doesn’t work from night to day. In reality takes time and in some situations more time than expected.

Having this said, I would like to start by giving some context in case that you are reading this Blog/Post for the first time.

As an Agile Coach I’m responsible for providing guidance and support in agile concepts and principles to multiple teams distributed across 3 locations (Portugal, United Kingdom, and Romania) in the company that I’m currently working.

After working for a period of time with different environments and cultures, I’ve realised that some times it’s really hard to help people to change even when that change is beneficial to them, others and the business.

So, during one of the many conversations that I had, one person in particular asked why shouldn’t we try to motivate and empower people to be change agents? From that moment I started to plant this idea, like a seed, in everyone’s mind.

Now it’s the time to share some conclusions but please keep in mind that this is work in progress. In other words this is on-going work will never be complete.

The first step was do a roadshow by all locations with the objective to share what was an Agile Champions and what was expected from them. The first reaction was not what I was expecting. Meaning that, almost everyone was with the suspicious look. Also, because cause some confusion. They thought that was another role or more responsibilities added to their current role if they accepted.
From this moment, I had to keep working with them. Clarifying any existing doubt what was an Agile Champion “ An Agile Champions is some one that truly believes in Agile and the change. Believes what are the benefits that can come with the change and is ready to take actions to bring more people on board”. I can say that was a motivational and coaching continuous work.

After achieving this first step, some people started to attend the weekly meetings. During this meetings we discussed what could motivate people to become an Agile Champion, to attend the Agile Communities sessions (share and learn) and to have the will to take actions and bring more people on board. Agin, this was another critical moment. Lucky went well since I had people believing in Agile and committed to this, as well, the Leadership Team support. They were the key to keep this proceed to success even in a slow pace.

It’s funny because if I go back in time, the reality was that I only had one or two Agile Champions since the beginning. Was our work together that made more people to believe and have the will to join us.

At this moment in time we had a small group on each location but I still had the need to drive these meeting and communities. Everyone was expecting that even during this time I was saying that would be really great if they wanted to do it.

Luckily or not something happen accidentally. After a few months suddenly I had the need to start traveling more. Meaning that, I was unable to attend all the weekly meetings and community sessions on all locations. The surprise was that in a natural way they were more committed and self-organised than they and me were expecting.
They started to schedule the weekly meetings, discuss what they could do to keep improving, talk about ideas for the Agile Communities on each location, how to involve and bring more people on board.

For me this was a magical moment! The moment that the Agile Champions had become Change Agents! The moment that I truly believed that the viral change was going to work!

Please let me know if you have any question or share your own experience on this subject. I would like to ear your thoughts and opinions too.

Lean Coffee Braga Community!

After the Lean Coffee Porto continued success, today’s post is related with the Lean Coffee Braga.

logo-color-braga

This happened yesterday in the beautiful city of Braga at Primavera Software.

If you asked me some time ago “Did you believed that in a short period of time would exist the Lean Coffee Porto and 3 months later the Lean Coffee Braga would start”, I would say no. But I was wrong!

They are real, they are a big success!

Not just due to the Co-Founders but to everyone involved. That, after a day working day, they are still motivated to attend, share experiences and learn.

I’m a truly believer that together we can grow more and faster.

For more details please check the bellow links:

Many thanks to everyone for making this real!