Time Management: Meetings & PTA-S

PTA-S =
Purpose
Time
Agenda
Summary

Scrum Master prepares a PTA-S before each Meeting
PTA = presented in 5 minutes at the beginning of the Meeting
S = presented at the end of the Meeting, time-box to 5 minutes/hour

Summary = Notes taken by the Scrum Master during the Meeting, when Agenda Items are discussed. Makes sure everyone is on par with what was discussed and potentially shareable with non-participants.

If anything come up that is not in the Agenda, take note of it in a Parking, to be discussed afterward.

Author = Michael de la Maza in “Robust Scrum Master Training” (Udemy)

https://www.udemy.com/course/scrum-master/

What Is Sprint Review Meeting and How To Hold Absolutely Interesting One

Sprint Review Meeting
The Sprint review meeting should include the following:

Attendance and participation of the Scrum Team, product owner, and invited key stakeholders.
The Product Owner should report the items in the Product Backlog; what backlog items have been done and what have not.
The development team discusses what went well and the problems they experienced. They should also inform the group what they did to resolve the problems.
The development team demonstrates their completed work while answering questions about their increment.
The product owner leads the discussion on the Product Backlog as it currently stands. They set projected completion dates based on the progress of the Sprint session.
To give valuable input to the Sprint planning, the entire group establishes the next steps during the Sprint review meeting.
This is a time to review potential changes in the marketplace, the valuation of the project and what areas are considering to be the most valuable. The next steps should also be outlined.
Review the timeline, budget, potential capabilities, and marketplace to determine the next anticipated product release.
By the end of the Sprint Review, revisions should be made to the Product Backlog to better define probable backlog items for the next Sprint session. The Product Backlog can be adjusted completely to introduce new opportunities.

Focus on the End User
Involve the Product Owner
Understand Group Dynamics
Product Owner
Scrum Team
Company Executives/Stakeholders
End Users/Customers/Partners
Scrum Master

Be Courageous

Author = Luís Gonçalves

https://luis-goncalves.com/sprint-review-meeting/

Fishbone (Cause-Effect / Ishikawa) Diagram

A fishbone diagram, also called a cause and effect diagram or Ishikawa diagram, is a visualization tool for categorizing the potential causes of a problem in order to identify its root causes. Typically used for root cause analysis, a fishbone diagram combines the practice of brainstorming with a type of mind map template.

A fishbone diagram is useful in product development and troubleshooting processes to focus conversation. After the group has brainstormed all the possible causes for a problem, the facilitator helps the group to rate the potential causes according to their level of importance and diagram a hierarchy. The design of the diagram looks much like a skeleton of a fish. Fishbone diagrams are typically worked right to left, with each large “bone” of the fish branching out to include smaller bones containing more detail.

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control expert, is credited with inventing the fishbone diagram to help employees avoid solutions that merely address the symptoms of a much larger problem. Fishbone diagrams are considered one of the seven basic quality tools and are used in the “analyze” phase of Six Sigma’s DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) approach to problem solving.

How to create a fishbone diagram
Fishbone diagrams are typically made during a team meeting and drawn on a flipchart or whiteboard. Once a problem that needs to be studied further is identified, teams can take the following steps to create the diagram:

The head of the fish is created by listing the problem in a statement format and drawing a box around it. A horizontal arrow is then drawn across the page with an arrow pointing to the head, this acts as the backbone of the fish.
Then at least four overarching “causes” are identified that might contribute to the problem. Some generic categories to start with may include methods, skills, equipment, people, materials, environment or measurements. These causes are then drawn to branch off from the spine with arrows, making the first bones of the fish.
For each overarching cause, team members should brainstorm any supporting information that may contribute to it. This typically involves some sort of questioning method, such as the 5 Whys or the 4P’s (Policies, Procedures, People and Plant) to keep the conversation focused. These contributing factors are written down to branch off their corresponding cause.
This process of breaking down each cause is continued until the root causes to the problem have been identified. The team then analyzes the diagram until an outcome and next steps are agreed upon.

When to use a fishbone diagram
A few reasons a team might want to consider using a fishbone diagram are:
To identify the possible causes of a problem.
To help develop a product that addresses issues within current market offerings.
To reveal bottlenecks or areas of weakness in a business process.
To avoid reoccurring issues or employee burnout.
To ensure that any corrective actions put into place will resolve the issue.

Author = Margaret Rouse (WhatIs.com)

https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/fishbone-diagram

This cause analysis tool is considered one of the seven basic quality tools. The fishbone diagram identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem. It can be used to structure a brainstorming session. It immediately sorts ideas into useful categories.

WHEN TO USE A FISHBONE DIAGRAM
When identifying possible causes for a problem
When a team’s thinking tends to fall into ruts

FISHBONE DIAGRAM PROCEDURE
Materials needed: marking pens and flipchart or whiteboard.
Agree on a problem statement (effect). Write it at the center right of the flipchart or whiteboard. Draw a box around it and draw a horizontal arrow running to it.
Brainstorm the major categories of causes of the problem. If this is difficult use generic headings:
Methods
Machines (equipment)
People (manpower)
Materials
Measurement
Environment
Write the categories of causes as branches from the main arrow.
Brainstorm all the possible causes of the problem. Ask “Why does this happen?” As each idea is given, the facilitator writes it as a branch from the appropriate category. Causes can be written in several places if they relate to several categories.
Again ask “Why does this happen?” about each cause. Write sub-causes branching off the causes. Continue to ask “Why?” and generate deeper levels of causes. Layers of branches indicate causal relationships.
When the group runs out of ideas, focus attention to places on the chart where ideas are few.

Author = ASQ

https://asq.org/quality-resources/fishbone

Impact Mapping

Impact Mapping in Under 200 words

Step 1. Identify a User Goal. Write a User Goal on a white board or note card/post-it note.
Step 2. Identify Actors. Write the Actors (Personas/types of users) who would need to achieve the User Goal.
Step 3. Identify the Impact(s). Write the Impact(s) of achieving the User Goal (think in terms of “Why are we doing this now? / What problem does it help a user solve? / What business need does it address?).
Step 4. Identify Deliverables. Write the Deliverables (analogous to epics or features) that would need to be completed to make achievement of the User Goal possible.
Step 5. Repeat as necessary for additional User Goals. Add nodes to the impact map until each goal has been included.

Note: Impact Mapping works nicely as a complement to story mapping.

Author = Philip Rogers (Medium)

https://medium.com/agile-outside-the-box/impact-mapping-in-under-200-words-a7528bba901f

Using impact mapping to help your team experiment

This simple technique helps teams map the effects of their work to an organization’s broader processes and outcomes.

What is impact mapping?
The simplest way to understand impact mapping is to unpack the phrase itself.
The term “impact” in this context refers to a human behavioral change, something affected by the delivery of a product feature or a process change. Impact mapping defines the value of any work effort in terms of its “impact” (not merely its “completion”). This idea comes to us from the design thinking community, and has significant implications for the ways leaders incentivize risk-taking and therefore innovation (as I’ll discuss in the next section).
The term “mapping” is derived from the concept of the “mind map,” which participants build as part of the workshop. This special kind of mind map—also known as an “impact map”—is carefully constructed to surface the assumptions underlying a work effort. Specifically, impact mapping seeks to highlight all assumptions that:
a specific deliverable will lead to a specific behavioral change, and
a particular behavioral change will help the organization achieve its goal

Making experimentation expected behavior
In the context of an organization’s IT culture specifically, the application of economic decision rules derived from impact mapping has two significant implications:
Project teams have incentive to experiment with low cost prototypes to validate that their approach will deliver the required outcomes early in the delivery process. This is opposed to the traditional IT project delivery model that focuses on delivering a negotiated list of requirements at all costs.
Managers have incentive to ensure their desired outcomes have well defined measurements to enable the team to be confident in the results of their experiments. This is opposed to the traditional approach, where managers focus on ensuring requirements have been properly defined and successfully handed over to the project team.

Author = Justin Holmes (Red Hat, via opensource.com)

https://opensource.com/open-organization/17/6/experiment-impact-mapping

What is impact mapping?
Impact mapping is a strategic planning technique. It prevents organisations from getting lost while building products and delivering projects, by clearly communicating assumptions, helping teams align their activities with overall business objectives and make better roadmap decisions.

Author = Impactmapping.org

https://www.impactmapping.org/about.html

Impact Mapping is a collaborative approach to Agile requirements gathering and planning created by Gojko Azdic.
It helps us uncover the areas we are likely to create the greatest impact for a particular objective or goal.
Impact Mapping asks four questions:

  1. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
    This is the business goal or objective we’re hoping to achieve for our next phase of our product’s development, e.g. increase the number of visitors to this blog.
    The goal should be SMART – an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
  2. WHO WILL HELP US?
    The people that will help us achieve this, e.g. the readers of this blog. Gojko uses the term “actors” to describe the people who interact with our system and categorises them as primary, secondary and off-stage actors. This equates to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree users of your service.
  3. HOW WILL THEY HELP US?
    The way the actor will help us achieve this – e.g. share this blog’s posts on social media. In essence, this describes the outcomes that we believe will help us reach our goal.
  4. WHAT WILL WE DO?
    The things we’ll create or change to encourage this behaviour – e.g. make blog posts easily shareable. These are the changes we’ll undertake to our product in order to create the behaviour we desire.
    In this step, we’ll write down as many actions as we can think of, for each of the outcomes we identified in step 3.

Author = Paul Flewelling

https://theagilecoach.co.nz/impact-mapping/

Impactmapping.org | Official Website

Author: Impactmapping.org

https://www.impactmapping.org/

Force Field Analysis: The Ultimate How-to Guide

What are Driving Forces?
Driving forces push to influence a situation in particular direction. Driving forces work to support a stated goal or objective. They are usually seen as ‘positive’ forces that facilitate change.

What are Restraining Forces?
Restraining forces work to block or counter progress towards a goal or objective. They tend to limit or decrease the Driving forces.

Changing the Equilibrium
As a change management tool, Lewin’s Force Field Analysis is used to evaluate the forces FOR (Driving forces) and AGAINST (Restraining forces) a change. Before they are evaluated, though, they need to be identified. This can be done through these types of analyses:
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
PRIMO-F (People, Resources, Innovation, Marketing, Operations, Finance)
PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Legal, Environmental)

For change to be successful (i.e. shifting the equilibrium to a new desired state), you need to:
Strengthen the Driving forces
Weaken the Restraining forces
Or do both


Why use Force Field Analysis?
A key benefit of Force Field Analysis is that it is really useful to help us understand:
how to move people through change
why people resist change
how we can analyze the pressures ‘for’ and ‘against’ change (the pros and cons)
how we can apply a better decision-making technique
how we can communicate go/no-go decisions

Case Study: 5 Steps to Fast and Dramatic Change using Force Field Analysis

How you can do a Force-Field Analysis?
Step 1. Describe your change
Step 2. Identify the forces ‘for’ change
Step 3. Identify the forces ‘against’ change
Step 4. Rate the remaining items
Step 5. Implement the plan!

Author = Daniel Lock

https://daniellock.com/force-field-analysis/

5 Whys

Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.

The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?”. Each answer forms the basis of the next question.

The “five” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.

An example of a problem is: The vehicle will not start.

Why? – The battery is dead. (First why)
Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (Fourth why)
Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)

Author = Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_whys

8 tips for better agile retrospective meetings

Here’s how to get more positive results from your retro meetings, and build a stronger team while you’re at it.

What’s a retro supposed to look like?
When retros implode

8 tips for better retrospectives

  1. Amplify the good! Instead of focusing on what didn’t work well, why not begin the retro by having everyone mention one positive item first?
  2. Don’t jump to a solution. Thinking about a problem deeply instead of trying to solve it right away might be a better option.
  3. If the retrospective doesn’t make you feel excited about an experiment, maybe you shouldn’t try it in the next iteration.
  4. If you’re not analyzing how to improve, (5 Whys, force-field analysis, impact mapping, or fish-boning), you might be jumping to solutions too quickly.
  5. Vary your methods. If every time you do a retrospective you ask, “What worked, what didn’t work?” and then vote on the top item from either column, your team will quickly get bored. Retromat is a great free retrospective tool to help vary your methods.
  6. End each retrospective by asking for feedback on the retro itself. This might seem a bit meta, but it works: Continually improving the retrospective is recursively improving as a team.
  7. Remove the impediments. Ask how you are enabling the team’s search for improvement, and be prepared to act on any feedback.
  8. There are no “iteration police.” Take breaks as needed. Deriving hypotheses from analysis and coming up with experiments involves creativity, and it can be taxing. Every once in a while, go out as a team and enjoy a nice retrospective lunch.

Author = Catherine Louis

https://opensource.com/article/18/3/tips-better-agile-retrospective-meetings

Retromat

Retromat is a great free retrospective tool to help vary your methods.

https://retromat.org/en/

Tips for the Best Scrum Ceremonies Ever: Sprint Review

What is a Sprint Review?

Agenda for a Sprint Review

Product Owner identifies what has been done and what has not been done

Development Team talks about the Sprint:
What went well
Problems that arose
How they solved those problems
Demonstrates completed work/Product Backlog Items
Answers any questions

Product Owner:
discusses current snapshot of Product Backlog and Roadmap
projects likely completion dates with various completion rate (or velocity) assumptions

All attendees then discuss previous agenda items and how they affect what to do next.
The Sprint Review also provides vital input into the impending Sprint Planning Meeting.

Tips for a Good Sprint Review

It is not a best practice to use the Sprint Review as a signoff or user acceptance meeting
Make the demo an informal one, maybe even done on a developer’s machine, but make sure that it is visible by all at the meeting (project it onto a big screen if need be)
Spend no more than 1 person hour preparing for the demo
Remember that a Sprint Review is much more than just a demo, also review the upcoming sprint and the results of the previous sprint on the overall release plan and product roadmap.
Time-box it to 1 hour per week of Sprint length (i.e. 2 week sprint = 2 hours, 4 week sprint = 4 hours, and so on)
Different teams will have differing needs as far as how much detail to go into during the Sprint Review. Tune your approach according to the needs of the attendees.
Have your Product Owner play the “lead emcee” role in the Sprint Review
Have the ScrumMaster be a silent observer in the Sprint Review. Ok, maybe not a silent observer, but at least a role where they only get involved in the review if it’s necessary to clarify Scrum roles, rules, or principles.
Treat all feedback as welcome feedback, especially from stakeholders
Treat the Sprint Review as if you were doing a focus group on your just completed features. Be curious about any hint of feedback, and ask for suggestions from everyone (including developers) on how to gain more value from the current and future features.
Never say never to a new feature or enhancement request. Always put it on the backlog. It may go way down in priority on the backlog, but put it there. You might word the backlog item slightly differently than the suggester did, but put it there. Try to word it as a request for functionality or request to solve a problem (“the what”) rather than a “do it this way” command (“the how”).
Any feedback that results in changes to be implemented is a new Product Backlog Item
Make sure the right stakeholders are present. Generally speaking this is a responsibility of the Product Owner (Provides vision) and the ScrumMaster (Resolves impediments).

Author = Robin Morgan (LeapFrog Systems via Medium)

https://medium.com/@LeapFrogSystems/the-sprint-review-tips-for-the-best-scrum-ceremonies-ever-92b677faf5bd

7 Tips for a More Effective Daily Scrum

  1. Do it around the task board.
  2. Change the questions:
    What did you complete since we last met?
    What will you complete before we meet again?
    What impediments are keeping you from completing something?
  3. Don’t show up.
  4. Don’t talk.
  5. Use a parking lot.
  6. Actually stand.
  7. Pass a token.

Author = Richard Lawrence

https://agileforall.com/7-tips-for-a-more-effective-daily-scrum/

One Word Can Change Your Daily Scrum

If your daily Scrums seem unfocused, even though everyone has lots to talk about, consider changing the questions to change the team’s behavior. Just one word can make a big difference. Try asking each other:

What did you complete since we last met?
What will you complete before we meet again?
What impediments are keeping you from completing something?

Author = Richard Lawrence

https://agileforall.com/one-word-can-change-your-daily-scrum/

10 Tips for Effective Agile Sprint Planning

  1. Set the sprint goal
  2. Prioritize the stories that fulfill the sprint goal
  3. Arrange an informal sprint planning preparation meeting
  4. Meeting arrangements
  5. Introduction of the candidate stories
  6. Sizing of the stories
  7. Breakdown stories into tasks
  8. Agreement on the bug fixes and support work
  9. Setting due dates
  10. Effective work days

Target Outcome
Agreed Sprint Goal
Committed sprint backlog with stories and the sum of the story points isn’t more than the velocity
Bug fixing and support work is included in the sprint backlog and isn’t more than the agreed capacity
Each story is divided into tasks and each task has estimated hours
Total number of estimated tasks isn’t more than the team’s actual capacity
Tasks and user stories are mapped out in a schedule with due dates

Author = Yodiz Team

https://www.yodiz.com/blog/effective-agile-sprint-planning/