Year: 2017

Non-Linearity & The Thinking Knee: More On Fundamentals Of Agility

This entry is part of 2 in the series Non-Linearity

So we talked about non-linearity in this previous post, wrapping it into the context of explaining why we prefer continuous integration (CI). But non-linearity isn’t just a good rationale for CI, it’s actually a driving factor for several of the practices of agility. It’s worth it to take a little more time to look hard. We’ve said that some problems are linear and some non-linear. Non-linear problems don’t just get bigger when you add more pieces, they get "bigger-er". Why? …

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Some Problem-Patterns I Look For

I remarked en passant the other day that I never see places where the biggest problem was sprints. Someone asked me what I do often see as the biggest problem when I walk in to a new shop? This gave me a lot of thinks. There are certainly things one sees over and over again. But most of these are small. On the other hand, there are a small number of, idunno, problem patterns, that seem much more ever-present. It’s …

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Linearity & Non-Linearity & CI

This entry is part of 2 in the series Non-Linearity

When we talk about software methods, very early on we come to a place where we simply have to develop a comfortable grasp of non-linear effects. So many conversations founder here, where the relationship between two values becomes something other than a more or less straight line on a piece of graph paper. We spend a lot of time talking about the cluster of concepts we normally shorthand as "complexity". That’s a good enterprise, I think, but I also think …

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Sprints vs Pure Pull: GeePaw Takes A Stand

So, there’s a lot going around just now about iterations vs pure pull. I feel like I want to weigh in on this one. I should say at the outset, as a coach the presence or absence of iteration/sprint is not a major outrage for me one way or the other. I routinely encounter sprint-based methods. Somewhat less frequently do I see attempts at pull, tho at industrial logic we’ve used pure pull for our product development for many years. …

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Not Trying & The Fabric Of Coaching

We’ve got this long (and still probably partial) list of reasons why people don’t try new things. In recent weeks, i’ve gone pretty far afield around coaching. I picked out four or five threads separately and ran with each, separately. If it seemed a little incoherent to you, well, you know, join the club. Analyzing individual threads isn’t necessarily the best way to analyze a fabric. I confess to feeling a little bewildered as I wrote it. I get you …

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Why They Don’t: Reasons People Won’t Try Something New

Yesterday I asked my timeline how they would answer "Why don’t people do what my software development method says they should do?" I am not remotely surprised that the answers I got were almost exclusively thoughtful and sensitive. The people I hang with are just like that. I want to review the answers, but i’m going to do it by re-framing them all in terms of "trying a new thing". After all, as coaches, we are kinda in that business. …

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Coaching, Facilitating, & Training: Differences & Similarities

A respondent asks about the differences between coaching, training, and facilitation. My answer depends on just how narrowly I treat these things. With a narrow view, they are all quite different. With a wider view, they have many similarities in activity, outcome, and intent. At its narrowest, training speaks to me of formal settings & structure. A person (or usually badly, a machine) is the instructor, and some other persons are the students. Conceived narrowly, facilitation is a session of …

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Coaching As Improv: More On Saying Yes

Okay, coaches, where were we? Oh yeah, I remember. I had a long list of gerunds, then a long (weak) chat about "yes". Let’s take another swing today. I grew up on stage. I started acting in community theatre at age 6, and I became instantly fervently addicted. I wanted to very much to be an actor, and I studied it as I study everything, pretty much ‘all in’. Among many other fascinating enterprises, I studied and practiced improv. In …

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A Brief Rant On Forcing People

I heard from a coach yesterday, of another coach in a room full of coaches, suggesting that they fire a couple of geeks to wake the rest of the team up to following instructions. (I wasn’t there. It’s possible that this didn’t quite happen, possible it was a joke, possible it was a very junior person, and so on.) This, coupled with yesterday’s brief interaction around the word "imposition" w.r.t. scrum vs. a generalized stance towards embracing change, lead me …

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The Center of Coaching: Human Interaction

We talked about local mission: creating or exploiting openings through which we can step closer to who we wish we were. That’s vague, but vagueness is correct here: it’s an overarching mission, not a specific behavior. Today I want to get a little closer to some specific behaviors. Tho not all the way to nuts and bolts, not quite yet. Start here. The openings i’m talking about come entirely from interactions with humans. When I take a tiny step towards …

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