Enhancing Sprint Review With The Speed Boat Game

The Speed Boat game explores user’s pains and jobs. The heart of the game is a metaphor of a Speed Boat (product). It has anchors: current problems and pains in using the Product that prevents it from moving forward. The stronger the anchor, the higher amount of customer pain, the more anchor slows the boat down.

Read all about it here: https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/enhancing-sprint-review-speed-boat-game

Retroformat for teams that have not yet experienced a useful learning retrospective

Team identifies things that help, but the can’t control. “Thank the org” – let them know to continue these things!

Things they can’t control and hold them back… Escalate. Inform mgmt, coaches, etc.

How to facilitate this: https://www.slideshare.net/derekwwade/team-coursesprint-retrospective-module

Found this information on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerekWWade/status/992842247895945216

A Fun Way of Giving Feedback – The 360 Dinner

How does it work?

#1: Invite your team to a nice dinner: Let colleagues know in advance this will be a special 360 Degree Feedback Dinner.

#2: During the meal you’ll give each other feedback: One person will start and the rest of the team will take a few minutes telling that person both positive and negative things. The feedback must be honest and genuine with the aim of moving people forward, not roasting them or pounding them into the ground. 

#3: The person on the receiving end can answer questions or comments and then thank everyone for their thoughts. Once that person is done move on to the next. This can take a long time so carve out a few hours.

#4: This feedback works best if afterwards each person comes up with a few takeaways/themes based on the feedback they got for what they want to improve. They should then communicate that to the team so that colleagues can hold each other to account and check in every few months to see how they’re progressing. 

Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum, in fact when we tell people we’re trying to change it happens 90 percent faster than if we don’t tell anyone.

How I Used the Spotify Squad Health Check Model

The ‘Squad Health Check Model’ is an approach that visualises the ‘health’ of a team. It covers areas like teamwork, fun, easy to release, learning, the health of codebase. While discussing the different health indicators, the team builds up self-awareness about what’s working and what’s not. The broad selection of questions helps expand their perspective. Perhaps they were well aware of the code quality issues but hadn’t really thought about the customer value perspective, or how fast they learn. It also provides a balanced perspective, showing the good stuff as well as the pain points.

Read how Barry Overeem usde the Spotify Squad Health Check Model in this article: https://medium.com/the-liberators/how-i-used-the-spotify-squad-health-check-model-f226c6fe0fdb

An Exercise to Help Your Team Feel More Comfortable with Conflict

Have you noticed your organization becoming so focused on building a happy, engaged workforce that your leaders are becoming profoundly conflict-avoidant? I see examples of this all the time. One clue that your team is avoiding conflict is if the least bit of discomfort in a meeting causes someone to suggest that you “take it offline.” This, of course, triggers the meeting-after-the-meeting phenomenon — another hallmark of a conflict-avoidant culture.

You can normalize productive conflict on your team by using an exercise to map out the unique value of each role and the tensions that should exist among them. Here’s how. Draw a circle and divide that circle into enough wedges to represent each role on your team. For each role, ask:

1) What is the unique value of this role on this team? What should this person be paying attention to that no one else is? What would we miss if this role wasn’t here?

2) On which stakeholders is this role focused? Whom does it serve? Who defines success?

3) What is the most common tension this role puts on team discussions? What one thing does the person in this role have to say that frequently makes others bristle?

Read the complete article and other intersting articles related to handling conflict here: https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-self-managed-teams-can-resolve-conflict

How we do involve stakeholders?

One of the biggest challenges for Product Owners is to manage stakeholders. Often, there are many of them. And they all have different needs, requirements, and levels of involvement. How do you manage this?

The Stakeholder Map (PDF) is a simple tool that creates transparency and strategies. Print out a large version of the PDF and introduce it to your Scrum Team. Work together to identify all potential stakeholders (or groups) and write them on stickies. Distribute the stakeholders across the quadrants based on their level of influence over the product and their interest in what you are working on. Based on the distribution that emerges, you can devise strategies on how to best involve them:

  • Latents: Keep them up-to-date with frequent newsletters or videos and involve them when you need their input;
  • Apathetics: Its usually enough to keep this group up-to-date with periodic newsletters or pull-based information (like a website or page on your intranet);
  • Promoters: You want to involve this group as extensively as possible. Invite them to your Sprint Reviews, involve them during Refinement and meet with them frequently to re-order the Product Backlog;
  • Defenders: These are your biggest fans. Involve them actively by inviting them to your Sprint Reviews. Encourage the Development Team to seek out these people to validate assumptions about what you’re developing;

The stakeholders on the right are the most important at the moment, so focus the bulk of your time and energy on them. However, if you meet the needs of the stakeholders on the left, you can shift them to the right as they become more interested in your product. 

Subscribe to The Liberators Newsletter if you want to receive more of these great articles: https://theliberators.com

Agile Retrospective Smells Cards

During one of nlScrum meetups I heard about The Retrospective Smells Cards. A tool for Scrum masters, agile coaches, and anyone who facilitates agile retrospectives to recognize smells and solve problems or mitigate the impact.

You can find it – and other tools/games – here: https://www.benlinders.com/shop/agile-retrospective-smells-cards/

There are also a couple of interesting articles about smells like: blaming, passiveness and actions. You can find them here: https://www.benlinders.com/portfolio/retrospective-smells/