AgileByExample 2019

John Le Drew

John has spent most of the last 2 decades working in the software industry, with a focus on web technologies. After 10 years as a software engineer John moved into consultancy where he quickly learned the value of team dynamics and how most technical challenges are projecting underlying issues with collaboration. So his focus shifted, while still being very involved technically, his first focus is on facilitating a safe, creative, collaborative environment.

When Andrew met Michael

Every time Andrew (the agile coach) proposed anything with this new team, Michael (one of the engineers) blew up.

He pushed back on everything, storming out and shouting. Andrew had never seen anything like it. But Michael changed. What did Andrew do?

Well, technically, he did nothing.

No serendipity without chaos

Life can throw us many curveballs. Sometimes, it feels like they come from all angles at once. Chaotic. Out of control. Scary. Painful. So we put up the defences, put in the controls, build walls.

But one day, just by accident, you catch one. You take a moment to look at it, and it realise that it really is quite beautiful.

How do you react to chaos? Do you control it? Ignore it? Or maybe, just give it (and you) the space it needs to breath.

Workshop— Facilitating Powerful Retrospectives

Alf, at 6’ 6”, was tall, lanky and in his mid-50s. He was helping me clear up after his first retrospective on this team. “The conversations in these retros,” he said in his broad Essex accent. “They can be pretty raw, almost emotional.” Then he paused, and thought for a moment. “But I guess,” he said eventually, “After you have pretended to be an elephant in front of your peers, anything else goes, right?”

In this session, we'll explore how to bring excitement and fun to your retrospectives, making safe spaces that deepen the learning for your teams.

We will explore a number of concepts including:

— The value of a check-in and why anonymity is less important that we think it is.
— Why getting people to laugh is so important, the serious side of fun.
— How the environment can help a team become more objective, the value of surprise and the unexpected.
— Putting people at “unease”.
— How a retro can help build cohesive teams and why team cohesion is so important.
— Tips learned from the field on how to run effective retros.

This will be a highly interactive session and we will be on our feet exploring a range of activities and facilitation techniques.