Team Shapes – Simulating the challenges with component teams

A common pitfall for large and medium size organizations who are adopting Agile is to organize teams based on software component boundaries instead of feature teams. Some of the aspects of long term code ownership are more straightforward this way, but the negative consequences in terms of business agility and costs of coordination are huge. A few years back I designed a simulation exercise that I call Team Shapes which illustrates some of the issues and now I would like to share this simulation with the community. read more »

Reactions to “No CEO” by the BBC

no-ceo-by-ceo-guru-bbc

When the BBC published their “No CEO” piece where Crisp is featured with an article and a 4 minute video, there were a lot of reactions. Friends cheered on Facebook. Colleagues gave a thumbs up on LinkedIn. The article was featured on Hacker News and Slashdot. Here are our reflections on some of the comments we found.

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4+3+2+1 Team Success Factors

I’ve now published a new YouTube video where I present 4+3+2+1 Team Success Factors, a model that captures and describes what you can do to help make your team become strong and successful.

These 10 factors are split into four groups.
* The first group describes four dialogs we need to have as a team.
* Next we have three aspects of hard work.
* Then there are two dialogs I need to have with myself.
* The final one is about how we communicate with the organisation around us.

To download a printable version click here, or the image below.
4+3+2+1 Poster (v2)

And here is the actual video 🙂

 

What is Agile – easy to grasp material for the non-techie

I frequently get the question (often from people outside IT): “how can I quickly understand what Agile is?”.  I’ve collected a suite of links and videos over the years to help people grasp the basics concepts in 10 min or so. I thought I’d share them with you.

(pls note: the list is intended to give people a quick introduction, short and sweet. The intent is not to cover all aspects.)

Brief explanation of Agile (8 min video):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-lavaMkxU&t=3s

How a Product Owner works –  “PO in a nutshell” (12 min video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=502ILHjX9EE

Article highlighting cultural aspects – Experimenting, Awesome people, Deliver continuously, Safe to try

https://www.infoq.com/articles/modern-agile-intro

Behaviours displayed by agile teams – 12 seemingly normal things agile people do

http://blog.crisp.se/2016/04/04/mattiasskarin/12-seemingly-normal-things-agile-people-do

Case: Agile at Scale with 200 people @ LEGO (50 min video).

– Pay attention to how engagement/responsiblity was created for both team and department deliveries, and how positive energy was nurtured.

https://vimeo.com/146522457

I hope you find it useful. I expect this list to evolve over time, so don’t be surprised if new links pop up here in the future.

Cheers Mattias

Feature Verification Funnel

verificationfunneloverviewYou have a feature to implement, and there are several implementation solutions available. How do you choose the best one?

Start out with all your potential solutions for a feature idea. Next, filter based on how the solutions perform using a set of verification methods. Finally, implement the feature knowing that you’ve found the solution that meets your needs.

Verification Methods

The following are the verification methods I’ve experienced most often on the projects: read more »

How to set role expectations and working agreements

teamcultureConflicts in teams about how to work are common. There are expectations from team members on each other that aren’t being met. In a given team, members might be implicitly expected to perform a certain task. The team might have unspoken policies that seem to be common sense. Sometimes people pick up on these unspoken rules and implicit expectations, but when they don’t, you have a team in conflict. You can’t avoid all conflict (and a dose of healthy debate and discussion is good for teams), but you can help teams by explicitly defining the roles and working agreements. Instead of dealing with conflict after the fact, you start with discussion and agreement. The following workshop is the one I use with my teams and organizations.

read more »

Mål: Lösa global uppvärmning

Igår möttes 9 av oss på Crisps kontor för att diskutera vad vi kan göra för klimatet.

goal

För många av oss på Crisp ligger denna fråga nära hjärtat. Tyvärr är det som konsult inte alltid lätt att hitta passande uppdrag. Men klimatfrågan är planetens största utmaning, och många av oss vill inte längre sitta inaktiva.

Vi spånade tillsammans med Niclas Gross Martinsson och Erik Martinson (som Hans Brattberg och Henrik Kniberg redan samarbetar med) ihop ett antal idéer vi ska försöka jobba med:

  • Erbjuda vår unika kompetens till företag som jobbar med miljöfrågor, gratis eller till rabatterat pris
  • Hitta och hjälpa investerare att utvärdera och kickstarta miljöprojekt och startups
  • Utmana andra företag att minska miljöpåverkan
  • Informera om hur situationen ser ut, vad man som privatperson och företag kan göra
  • Blogga om lyckade och intressanta miljöprojekt
  • Hitta partners som kan stärka eller komplettera oss

Vi hoppas bli fler företag som vill jobba med detta, så vi kommer att öka kontaktytan och erbjuda vår kunskap. Vi är duktiga på:

  • Programmering – vi har erfarenhet inom nästan alla områden, från UX till kontinuerlig leverans
  • Agila metoder – hur man tar fram användbar mjukvara på snabbast möjliga sätt
  • Startups – vi 35 konsulter har tillsammans startat eller jobbat på över hundra startups

Kontakta oss gärna om du vill hjälpa till!

Se filmen om upphandling som ger mer “Bang for the Buck”​ i offentlig sektor

Nyckeln till en lyckad upphandling är ett Agilt upphandlingsförfarande som lägger tonvikten på användarcentrerad utveckling och mätbara effektmål. Så går det tyvärr väldigt sällan till i verkligheten, är du intresserad av att veta mer ska du se filmen, och läsa bloggposten.

Jag har som flera av er säkert vet engagerat mig under ca 2,5 år tillsammans med ett par kollegor för att lyfta frågan kring hur en bra upphandling skulle kunna genomföras inom LOU för att ge möjlighet till bättre leveranser som löser riktiga problem och skapar önskad effekt. Framför allt har det här arbetet inneburit att vi har letat upp ett antal lyckade exempel från offentlig sektor där man har upphandlat Agilt och fått lyckade leveranser i tid och på budget. Det har varit svåra exempel att hitta, både på grund av att dom tyvärr är alldeles (på tok) för få, och att man tydligen inte riktigt känner sig trygg i att berätta HUR man gjorde upphandlingen.
read more »

Agile in a Nutshell poster – Translated to Spanish

A few days ago I received my free Agile in a Nutshell poster translated to Spanish. I’m so happy to receive all the feedback and help that I have done with this poster. Hope you all enjoy it too 🙂

Resume Agile – Spanish translation
Resume Agile - Spanish translation

Thank you Juan Carlos Perez Amin!
jcperez@easynube.co.uk

Here is my original post >

Agile in a Nutshell poster – Translated to French

A while ago I received a Tweet from Nicolas Mereaux that he had translated my free (the wonders of creative common 🙂 poster on Agile in a Nutshell, to French, as well as the blog post it self 🙂 Such a nice gesture. Hope you enjoy it too!

Agile en resume poster

Here is the full Agile in a Nutshell blogpost in French.

Here is my original post >

Design Studio – Collaborate towards a shared understanding

Design Studio is a design method that focus on a specific format for collaboration to create a shared understanding of the problem. This is done by, together as a team, coming up with a solid foundation for a design solving the problem.

Here’s the short version:

  • Illuminate – In the first step, the team gets a presentation of the problem and possible boundaries (such as a certain target group or a platform).
  • Sketch – The second step is all about creativity. Let everyone in the team sketch solutions to the problem within a timebox of about 5 minutes. It is important that the sketching is quick and dirty, since giving people time gets them stuck on unnecessary details.
  • Present – In the third step, each and everyone presents their design. A good timebox is one minute per person. When a person has presented, a critique sessions for that particular person’s design follows.
  • Critique – As a fourth step, an open discussion about the design is held. The critique is meant to churn out the key issues with the ideas previously presented and inspire the other members for the next sketching iteration. Try to answer the question: Does the design solve the problem? A good timebox is 2 minutes. The discussion will make everyone think deeper about both the problem and the solution. After the critique, listen to another team member’s presentation until everyone has been given the opportunity to present and discuss their designs.
  • Iterate – Run the last three steps at least 2-4 times. Iteration is the key to finding reliable solutions and getting a shared understanding of the problem.

The overall rule for Design Studio is to never dwell on details to get most value out of the least amount of time. After a Design Studio session, the UX designer, have plenty of material to work with to take the design towards implementation. Try it out in the course Agile UX or read on to find out the details.

read more »

Global warming – simplified summary

OK, here’s a (very) simplified summary of what I’ve learned about global warming after digging deep the past few weeks.

  1. Global warming is a major threat to life as we know it. It’s ALOT worse than most people realize.
  2. Global warming is caused (mostly) by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
  3. The CO2 increase comes (mostly) from us burning oil & coal (“fossil fuels”). Adds about 20-30 billion tons of CO2 per year.
  4. So we need to (mostly) stop burning oil & coal.
  5. We burn oil & coal (mostly) for electricity and transport. Coal power plants, car/plane/ship fuel, etc.
  6. We want to keep electricity and transport, but we also want to stop global warming, therefore we need to get electricity and transport without burning oil & coal.
  7. We know how to do that (solar, wind, electric cars, etc). The technology has been figured out, and the prices are at the tipping point where oil & coal can’t compete economically.
  8. So now we just need to hurry up and roll out those solutions! Every single reduced ton of CO2 counts.
  9. Unfortunately shit is going to hit the fan either way (because it’s already launched so to speak), but at least we can slow it down, reduce the impact, and buy us some time.

So pull whatever strings you can to help out – technology, policy, economy, communication, etc. Inform yourselves & each other. People have varying degrees of discretionary time, money, knowledge, voting power, contacts, influence, and motivation. But the more people try to help in one way or another, the more difference it will make as a whole.

read more »

Transforming the pyramid to an agile org

I recently published a video exploring how an agile team based organization could look like. How does it function under the hood? In the video I also discussed how you get there.

I got tons of great feedback so I decided to provide the contents of the video in the format of a blog. If you prefer to read instead of watching a 11-minute-long video, then this is for you 🙂

AgileOrg

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Planning as a social event – scaling agile at LEGO

The past couple of years I’ve been travelling back and forth to LEGO’s HQ in Billund Denmark, helping out with their agile journey. Super interesting! Learned more than we could ever fit in an article, but here’s an attempt to capture at least some of it, written together with LEGO colleague and co-instigator Eik Thyrsted Brandsgård. Enjoy!

Planning as a social event – scaling agile @ LEGO

Agile @ Lego

 

Hur Karlstad sjukhus byggdes på tid och budget med Agila kontrakt

centralsjukhuset_karlstad_512x

Karlstad sjukhus har i flera omgångar byggts om och byggt ut. Samtliga hus har levererats på tid, budget och med en fungerande vårdverksamhet från dag 1. Sjukhuset har sparat 300 miljoner åt Värmlands läns landsting. Lösningen? Effektstyrd upphandling med Agila kontrakt och Partnering. Vad skapade förutsättningarna för att lyckas? Vi intervjuade Lars Nilsson, som ledde upphandlingen av Karlstad sjukhus.

(How Karlstad hospital was built on time, on budget and with working medicare from day 1, using Agile contracts). Read the interview here (in swedish)

http://agilakontrakt.se/hur-karlstad-sjukhus-upphandlades-med-ratt-effekt-pa-tid-och-budget-del-1

Did the math on my contribution to global warming

I was curious about how many tons of carbon dioxide that my family pumps into the atmosphere (= global warming). Looked at the most direct variables: flying, driving, and home electricity. There are obviously more variables to look at (like beef!), but I’m starting with these three, as the data is readily available and I gotta start somewhere.

Result (updated):

  • Flying = 14.6 tons per year
  • Driving = 4.1 tons per year
  • Electricity = 0.5 tons per year

So, 19 tons of CO2 per year. Damn! Sorry about that, earth and future generations. Good news is that I now know how to reduce it by ALOT (like 5 times less)!

CO2e emission before and after

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A/B testing at King

page0a

I gave a lightning talk at tonight’s Lean Tribe Gathering in Stockholm about A/B testing at King, how we develop games, features and decide which improvements to make. Here are my slides and notes from the presentation.

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How I wrote a book publicly online

I love visualization and I collect visualizations. Why? Well, I love drawing and have a very visual way of thinking. But more importantly, I’ve been amazed time and time again, how great an impact a valuable and useful visualization can have on a team’s ability to focus, collaborate, and adopt new behaviour.

This passion for post-its and whiteboards finally manifested itself in the form of a book; “Toolbox for the Agile Coach: Visualization Examples – How great teams visualize their work”. Not only am I proud and happy of the final result, I’m also very excited about the way it came about. This blog is about how I wrote a book, publicly and collaboratively online, with frequent increments and tight feedback loops.

just-got-it-printed-600

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Agile Everywhere – slides from my keynote at Agile Tour, Montreal

Here are the slides from my keynote Agile Everywhere at Agile Tour Montreal. In the keynote I shared my experiences from applying agile in lots of different non-software contexts.

Enjoyed the trip! After the conference I spent a day at Ubisoft Quebec to discuss REALLY large-scale agile (like 1000-person video game projects). I see more and more companies applying agile at really large scale and my key takeaway is that, the larger the project is, the more important the agile principles are. For tiny projects any process can pretty much work. Also interesting to see how different types of organizations – such as video game development, banking, and aerospace – arrive at very similar patterns for how to deal with dozens or hundreds of agile teams building a product together. Just keep in mind that big projects are super-risky with or without agile, so your first priority should be to de-scale.

Anyway here are some sample pictures from the keynote.

takeaways

read more »

Video clip – The importance of team size and proximity

youtube_hansJimmy Janlén wanted to make a move star out of me, so he persuaded me to do a short video of an earlier blogpost.

So here it is, a 3 minute video clip!

Enjoy!

/Hans

 
P.S. If you want to read instead, you’ll find the written English version here, and the Swedish version here.

My journey of finding and applying Sociocracy 3.0 (S3).

During my ongoing search to find new and improved ways to grow more human centric, high performing workplaces I was introduced to Sociocracy and Holacracy in 2012. I was immediately intrigued by the underlying principles and fundaments, especially with sociocracy and have been experimenting ever since. With the recent emergence of Sociocracy 3.0 I’ve turned my attention towards learning about and experimenting with it’s modular, optional framework of principles based patterns, with fantastic results.
S3 is a free and open, principles based framework of patterns for people wishing to collaborate more effectively and benefit from agile principles at scale, regardless of their chosen approach to product development and service delivery. It provides a rich variety of compatible options to choose from and adapt, according to unique context and needs, building on sociocratic practices and integrating principles from Agile / Lean to dynamically steer and evolve organization.

2016-10-03-discover-s3-1-of-41

Discovering S3 workshop

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Scrum med flera team

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-11-14-43

Att organisera flera Scrum team görs på en hel del olika sätt. Här beskriver vi likheter och skillnader mellan några av de ramverk som vi har stött på hos våra kunder och utbildare, LeSS, SAFe och Scrum@Scale.

Gemensamt för LeSS, SAFe och Scrum@Scale

I alla tre ramverken utgår man från att man i botten har vanliga Scrum-team som är tvärfunktionella och självorganiserande.

Man utgår också från att vi alltid försöker bryta ner kraven vertikalt, så att varje inkrement blir så litet som möjligt men ändå kan driftsättas separat.

Underförstått är även att man kör kontinuerlig integration och automatiserad regressionstestning, och  att man efter varje sprint har en produkt som går att driftsätta ifall man så väljer.

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Developer Testing: Book Release Party

Developer Testing PartyLast Friday, we had a release party for my book, Developer Testing: Building Quality into Software, here at Crisp. Thanks everyone for coming! Apart from signing books, I did a short presentation and made some announcements. 

I started by talking about the process of writing the book (It’s available on Amazon, Adbris, and Bokus.) It took four years, but I did have some bumps along the road, like two kids :). For those of you who haven’t heard the story, here it goes: Large parts of the concept of developer testing were born during my time at the Swedish Postcode Lottery, where we were a brand new Scrum team working in a regulated industry. Since we had no testers on the team, and probably even more important, no traditions and rituals to adhere to, we self organised into automating all checking: at unit, integration, and end-to-end level to such a degree that we were confident about releasing, pretty much always.

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Scientific method applied to performance improvements

build-measure-learn-loop In my team, we are working on improving real-time performance for our main service. The goal is to have response times below 100 ms in the 95th percentile and below 200 ms in the 99th percentile for certain database volumes and request frequencies.

We don’t know what will be needed to reach this goal. We have some ideas, but we don’t know which one, or which ones will do the trick. We call these ideas “experiments”.

We can estimate each experiment, but we don’t know how many we will need to do to reach the goal.

This is the story of how we apply the scientific method to working with performance improvements.

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Programmer productivity: SP < PR < PP < MP

In my experience, when it comes to programming productivity, mob programming beats the rest. Of course the definition of productivity in this context is debatable and these are just my observations. Thus, it is not a proper scientific study but bear with me anyway.

I wish to compare one aspect of productivity, how we work together. I look at single programming, pull requests, pair programming and mob programming.

read more »

Focus – my keynote at AgileByExample, Warsaw

Here is my slide (yes, it’s just one slide) from my keynote at AgileByExample in Warsaw. And a video of the talk. Scroll down for a written summary.

Focus

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How to append to lists in Ansible

Since I have found the Ansible documentation to be lacking, and StackOverflow insufficient in this matter, I feel the need to share how you can append to a list using Ansible.

I’ve created a demonstration playbook and published it on GitHub. See: https://github.com/betrcode/ansible-append-list

read more »

Bimodal IT is not the goal

In 2014 Gartner introduced bimodal IT. Since then quite a lot has been written and said about it. And just recently it popped up at two different clients almost simultaneously. After reading articles, watching webinars and listening to what people say about it, I’m a bit worried that organizations think Bimodal IT is the goal. I don’t think so, and I’ll explain why.
read more »

Poster on Agile in a Nutshell – with a spice of Lean UX

This is a poster I made for a Agile intro class at Hyper Island Digital Business class 2017 where I and my colleague Per Lundholm was last week. The class was as big as 40 people, and covering from a couple of experts to mostly total novelty, which is usually the most difficult type of situation for a teacher or coach. But it went well, maybe not all thanks to the poster 😉 but it sure made it a lot easier for both me and Per as teachers, as well as the students who could follow more easily as well as take notes.

Free poster on Agile in a Nutshell
Free poster on Agile in a Nutshell

Free Download of the poster on Agile in a Nutshell here (PDF)

EDIT 1: Due to some companies restricted IT policies the poster is now available directly here in the blogpost and not in Dropbox. Thank you for that feedback!

This poster covers both briefly the background to why we work Agile, some history and problems as well as values and principles. It also covers the difference between waterfall development and Agile in two aspects and the most common Agile practice, basic Scrum. Also I added some Lean practices to the mix to add a more advanced level to it.
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Stephen Bungay on Agile Strategy

bungay_at_crisp_150x

Last month, we had the pleasure of bringing Stephen Bungay to Crisp in Stockholm to share with us his wisdom and insights on how to use Strategy under uncertain conditions.

I find this topic interesting, since the interative nature of Agile can trick management into believing either that they do not need to have a direction, or that a few abstract statements would serve the purpose.

In my mind, nothing can be further from the truth. In a dynamic, fast paced environment, more attention needs to be focused on finding, communicating and revising your direction. The question then becomes, “How can we do a good job of it?” Stephen has studied how leaders do this (from the military to Formula 1) and has translated the strategies to fast-paced business environments. Interestingly, he notes, “Strategy is not a science. It’s a practice, which each generation needs to rediscover.” I think we would do well to do the same within Agile environments.

Apart from Stephen’s “Art of Action” class, which was highly recommended, we also hosted an open evening on the topic “Keeping Direction” which combined the practical experiences from LEGO with Stephen Bungay’s insights. The slides for the talks are available in PDF from the links below:
.

Also check out Sami’s excellent podcast with Stephen at http://www.bosslevelpodcast.com/stephen-bungay-and-strategy-under-uncertainty)

Cheers

Mattias