Agile Retrospective

An excellent way to perform a retrospective is to ask the Five Whys: Ask why five times to understand the root cause of a problem.

Here is an example:

Problem: The server is slow.

Why #1: Because it is running out of memory.

Why #2: Because the code has a memory leak.

Why #3: Because it was not tested properly.

Why #4: Because we do not have good automated tests.

Why #5: Because we have not received training in automated testing.

Introduction to Agile: Schedule and Agenda

I believe that agile games are the best way to create the conditions for soul shifting personal and organizational transformation. All of my agile courses are centered around games.

The agenda below shows the schedule of a typical one day Introduction to Agile course. The day features half a dozen games.

8:00am – 8:30am Daily Standup Exercise

All participants do a Daily Standup and a Not Daily Standup.

8:30am – 9:00am Meta Goals of Class with Glasses Illustration

What participants will and will not get out of this course.

9:00am – 10:00am Three Roles, Three Meetings, Three Artifacts Lecture

Introduce Scrum Roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Member), Meetings (Sprint Planning, Demo, Retrospective) and Artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown Chart)

10:00am – 10:30am House of Cards Exercise

To highlight the value of working in short iterations, participants will build a house of cards.

10:30am – 10:45am Update Class Blog

Participants will update the class blog with a summary of what they have learned.

10:45am – 11:00am Break

11:00am – 11:45am Paper Plane Exercise

To illustrate the importance of the ‘Inspect and Adapt’ Scrum principle, participants build paper planes, inspect their performance, and adapt the planes to improve the performance.

11:45am – 12:00pm Update Class Blog

Participants will update the class blog with a summary of what they have learned.

12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch

1:00pm – 1:30pm Poker Planning and Scrum Task Board Lecture

Introduce poker planning and the Scrum task board.

1:30pm – 2:00pm Puzzle Exercise

Participants use poker planning and update a task board as they work through a set of puzzles.

2:00pm – 2:45pm Agile Manifesto and Nokia Test Lecture and Exercise

Discussion of Agile Manifesto and Nokia Test.

2:45pm – 3:00pm Break

3:00pm – 4:00pm Marble Run Full Scrum Exercise

Participants use everything they have learned about Scrum to plan and create a marble run.

4:00pm – 4:45pm Scrum Crossfire Exercise

Participants split into teams and debate each other on the pros and cons of adopting Scrum at Intuit.

4:45pm – 5:00pm Update Scrum Blog

Each participant will update the class blog with answers to the following questions: (1) Do I understand Scrum? (2) Do I believe that Scrum is better than what we are doing now? (3) Do I believe that our organization can successfully transition to Scrum?