Another good reference and learning tool: a basic primer on meeting facilitation. It’s a PDF linked off the page (I didn’t link directly to the PDF). I’ve read through this and I strongly recommend it if you haven’t already seen it! If you are working in Agile methods, this is essential basic material.
My friend and co-worker Deborah Hartmann has a blog entry that I think is very insightful. The article is called: Hardwired for Command and Control? To me, the most important part of her article is this one sentance:
The shift to Agile values and practices is difficult – for many, it’s a significant culture change. And with change comes stress, and with stress… fear and the urge to control.
Most agile projects that I have worked on have had very little repetition in them. Each day brings new work, new problems. Each iteration is working on something different. So what happens if there are tasks that repeat? What if you have to do the same thing every day or every week or every iteration? How does this fit in with agile work methods?
One of the most important benefits of Agile Work is the early and continuous delivery of value to stakeholders. When I am coaching or presenting on Agile Work, almost inevitably I draw a very simple diagram on a convenient whiteboard or flipchart that demonstrates this benefit and contrasts it to a big-bang, waterfall approach to work.
One of my favorite books of all time is Systemantics by John Gall. There is a new version of it called “The Systems Bible”. This book was my introduction in my early twenties to the topic of systems theory.
During the course of an iteration, an agile team is able to track it’s own progress through the use of burndown charts. The team and the process facilitator can use the burndown chart to watch for signs of trouble. As a coach, I find the following five burndown shapes are common indicators of trouble.