Whenever I attend a conference, I always intend to write blog posts about everything I found interesting. This usually results in two or three draft posts which in all likelihood never see the light of day. What a waste.
So, having attended Agile Tour London on Friday, I wanted to write a quick summary of the talks I found most valuable - it's better than nothing.
Coaching Tired Teams
Talk: Fragile Agile: Coaching a tired team – Anna Obukhova
Key takeaway: Agile/Lean is a high risk area for your team experiencing clinical burnout. If miss-sold as a panacea, it sets up a huge expectation/reality gap, setting the team on a course for stages 1. and 2. of burnout.
The stages of burnout are:
- Idealism and overtaxing
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Losing a goal/cynicism
- Terminal phase: loathing syndrome
If you go beyond 2.5, you're endangering your mental health.
Proper Pair Programming
Talk: Never Develop Alone : always with a partner – Fakih Houssam
Key takeaway: It's possible to pair program all the things, but pairing is something that requires discipline and compromise - you can't just expect people to do it well without preparation and support.
- Stop being selfish - pairing isn't an opportunity to show somebody else how clever you are, it's a collaboration. The success of that collaboration is the responsibility of both pairs, and requires work.
- You can always ask your pair to:
- Slow down
- Take a break
- Provide/receive feedback
- Retro at the end of the day.
Punishment Driven Development
Talk: Punishment Driven Development – Louise Elliott
Key takeaway: It's natural to want to punish people, but consider the value of that punishment against other objectives you want to achieve.
Talk: How motivated is your team? Going beyond the traditional performance management (workshop) – Jose Casal
Key takeaway: Consider a 'kudos board'. Consider tracking motivational state with a niko-niko board.
Praise should be timely, relevant, unique and emotional.