Two Truths and a Lie

Each team member writes down 3 statements. 2 of them are true, 1 of them is not true. The statements must be about the person himself.

Examples:

  • I play the guitar
  • I speak 5 languages
  • I was picked up on an island
  • I’m a twin
  • I hate the color red

A person tells the 3 statements. The teammates may take turns guessing what is true and what is not.

More 2 Truths and a Lie ideas and examples can be found here: https://truthsandlie.com

Building the Team Manifesto

The following text was copied from: https://www.scrum.nl/blog/building-team-manifesto/

Every time a new team is formed, it takes time to grow from a group of people to a well-functioning team. In their journey to become a high-performing team, they need a shared understanding of the principles and values of each individual and the team. The most important principles and values can be summarized in a team manifesto, a social contract among the team members. A team manifesto is always built by the team itself. It contains a set of norms, values and behaviors that forms a solid ground for collaboration within the team.

Building the Team Manifesto

With every team I coach, one of the first things we do is building a team manifesto. Recently, I did this by using the Retrospective format ‘That guy, this guy’. The results were great! Therefore, I would like to share this workshop format with you.

  1. Plan a timebox of 60 minutes with the entire team
  2. Bring flip charts, sticky notes and markers with you
  3. Create two flip charts with: ‘Don’t be that guy…’ and ‘This guy rocks!’
  4. Explain to the team what the goal of this session and a team manifesto is
  5. Ask the team members to write down characteristics associated with ‘that guy’ (the person that you don’t want in your team) and ‘this guy’ (the person that is a perfect team member) on sticky notes, individually and in silence
  6. Let the team members explain what they wrote down and collect the sticky notes on the flip charts
  7. Consider to cluster the characteristics, if there is a lot of overlap
  8. Ask the team members to prioritize the characteristics, by dot voting on the ones they value the most for the team (every team member gets five dots to divide among the items)
  9. Select the five to seven most important characteristics
  10. Divide the team in three groups and give each group a set of characteristics
  11. Ask the groups to describe what each characteristic means for the team
  12. Let each group explain what they wrote down and adjust this with the feedback from the other groups
  13. Summarize all parts of the team manifesto on one flip chart and invite each team member to commit to it, for example by writing down their signatures
  14. Make sure the team manifesto is visible at all times

A team manifesto ensures that the team coherence improves. It is a common understanding about the desired behavior within the team, and what it means for them to be a team. Since the team has ownership over the team manifesto, team members will behave according to it and encourage others to do the same.

Additional examples can be found here:

by Barry Overeem

How To Kickstart A Great Scrum Team (10 practical things to do)
by Christiaan Verwijs

Using ‘Critical Uncertainties’ as Retrospective format

Use the Liberating Structure ‘Critical Uncertainties‘ to grow the self-organizing capabilities of the Scrum Team by having them think of the most critical and uncertain realities they might face. Check this article for detailed instructions and examples.

  • (2 min) Explain the overall purpose of Critical Uncertainties: identifying and exploring the most critical and uncertain “realities” and formulate strategies that will help you become successful in these different situations.
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to make a list of uncertainties they face;
  • (5 min) Ask them to prioritize the most critical factors;
  • (5 min) Select the two most critical and most uncertain (X and Y).
  • (3 min) Give them a large flip chart and ask them to create a grid with two axes — X & Y — with two extremes of <– → for the factor to be represented on each axis.
  • (5 min) Now that they’ve created four potential scenarios, invite them to explore each scenario and discover what each would look like. What behaviour might you observe? What would people say? Encourage them to define these as “markers” they can use to determine which scenario they are in if they would “time travel” to that future. Write down some examples for every scenario;
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to give each quadrant a name that captures the essence of each scenario. This could be a movie title (e.g. ‘Love Boat’, ‘Endgame’), a book (e.g. ‘The Road’), a quote (e.g. ‘Shoot from the hip’) or something else that immediately captures the essence of that quadrant;
  • (5 min) Invite them to think about which strategies could help in these scenarios;
  • (5 min) Invite the Scrum Team to reflect on which scenario they currently are in and determine a 15% Solution for the strategy you defined.

As stolen from The Liberators Newsletter 😉

Improving the Sprint Review with Liberating Structures

By using this format for the Sprint Review you’ll achieve its purpose: inspect the increment that was created during the Sprint as well as to adapt the Product Backlog based on new insights, ideas, and changes that result from this inspection. The Liberating Structures ensure it’s done in such a way that everyone is continuously involved & engaged. Shaping the next steps becomes a joint effort as well.

Read the complete article here: https://medium.com/the-liberators/improving-the-sprint-review-with-liberating-structures-variant-2-35eb011abc60

7 Differences between complex and complicated

Sonja Blignaut’s 7 Differences between complex and complicated sounds like a listicle, but is in fact an excellent primer on which is which, and why the difference matters. According to Blignaut, “as long as decision-makers believe they are dealing with complicated systems, they will assume they are able to control outcomes[…]” leading to decision making with a poor fit and a high cost, both monetary and in terms of human interaction.

With a nod to Dave Snowden’s Cynefin and Robert Poli’s article about the same topic, Blignaut looks at seven aspects of differences between complex and complicated systems and discusses their impact. Her discussion of linearity brings this almost off-the-cuff assertion: “small safe-to-fail experiments are more useful than large projects designed to be fail-safe.” 🔥 Great article to bookmark and to dive into with the right client.

Retrospective: Do The Team Radar

Since it’s such a tried-and-true format, there are plenty of articles on the Team Radar, with advice and emphasis added based on the author’s position and involvement with teams. Christiaan Verwijs of The Liberators approaches the subject from a facilitation perspective with a Scrum Master-y stance in 2017’s Retrospective: Do the Team Radar, while Petra Wille’s 2019 article The Secret Weapon of Retrospectives – the Team Radar over on Mind the Product is clearly written from a product managerial perspective. Use the best of both for your team’s next (radar) retrospective.

IDOARRT Meeting Design

IDOARRT is a simple tool to support you to lead an effective meeting or group process by setting out clear purpose, structure and goals at the very beginning. It aims to enable all participants to understand every aspect of the meeting or process, which creates the security of a common ground to start from. The acronym stands for Intention, Desired Outcome, Agenda, Rules, Roles and Responsibilities and Time.

Step 1:

Before the meeting/process, prepare a Flipchart / Slide outlining all the points of IDOARRT. See below:

Intention – What is the intention, or purpose, of the meeting? In other words, why have it?

Desired Outcome(s) – What specific outcomes should be achieved by the end of the meeting?

Agenda – What activities will the group go through, in what order, to move toward the desired outcome?

Roles – What roles or responsibilities need to be in place for the meeting to run smoothly? Who is facilitating, and who is participating? Who is documenting, and who is keeping track of the time? What do you expect of the participants?

Rules – What guidelines will be in place during the meeting? These could relate to agreed group norms. They could also relate to use of laptops/mobiles, or practical rules related to a space. Let the participants add rules to ensure that they have ownership of them.

Time – What is the expected time for the meeting, including breaks,and at what time will the meeting end?

Step 2:

At the beginning of the meeting, introduce the IDOARRT, going through point by point. Invite participants to ask questions or make suggestions for changes. Once the group is happy with the plan, go ahead with the rest of the meeting.