Continue reading: Team coaching in practice

Team coaching in practice

Have you worked with teams that don’t communicate well? Or teams that don’t collaborate? What about teams that deliver late or with poor quality? Or maybe teams that are in constant negative conflict?

How do you tackle these issues? It might feel like you can fix everything by changing some of the people on the team. Before you do that, consider how you’ve set the stage for your team. Will removing and adding some people really solve all your problems? Or will the new members find themselves in the middle of a dysfunctional team, and end up unhappy and not delivering to their full potential?

Here are some of the things you can think about when you work with teams to create an environment where they can succeed.

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Continue reading: Continuous Personal Development

Continuous Personal Development

For the past four years I’ve consulted for King as an agile team coach. It’s been a whirlwind of personal growth, learning about mobile games and meeting awesome people. I wrote about my biggest takeaways in an article on Crisp’s website. I am grateful for all the connections and insights that I’ve gained. I’m also

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Continue reading: On Scaled Agile approches, interview with Yuval Yeret

On Scaled Agile approches, interview with Yuval Yeret

Yuval is coming to Stockholm to teach a Scaled Agile class (Implementing SAFe) in January. I know Yuval from the Kanban community from a number of years back. We invited him because we know he shares the same pragmatic view on things as we do in Crisp.  We made the interview in order for our audience to got to know him

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Continue reading: The common misconception about Lean UX

The common misconception about Lean UX

The role of software development is to produce software to solve a problem. The role of Agile software development is to learn as much about the solution as possible while developing, Agile does that mainly through ruthlessly begging for feedback, both on the product (e.g. sprint reviews, test-driven development and continuous delivery) and on the process (e.g. Scrum/Kanban boards, sprint retrospectives and standup). In between all these feedback sessions, you do ”normal” software development.

The role of user experience design (UX) is to produce a design to solve a problem (through user research and interaction design, of course). So, software development and user experience design go hand in hand, completing each other. Design and build.

The common misconception is that Lean UX also shall produce a design solution to a problem.

This is not the case. The role of Lean UX (and its progenitor Lean Startup) is to learn, but learn as much about the problem as possible. Lean UX does that through ruthlessly validating assumptions about the problem, the customer, their needs, the proposed solutions and the success metrics. Lean UX and Agile go hand in hand as well, learning about the problem and the solution, before, during and after development. In between all these validation sessions, you do ”normal” UX.

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Continue reading: Introducing the Agile Pill

Introducing the Agile Pill

Through the years we have at Crisp repeatedly been confronted with the question “How can I become Agile?”. We have checked with coaches outside Crisp and they give us the same picture. People want to become agile and they want it now. It has become obvious to us that there is a need for a quick fix. Hence the Agile Pill.

The agile pill box
The agile pill

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Continue reading: Remote keynote offer (because the world needs less business trips)

Remote keynote offer (because the world needs less business trips)

OK here’s an offer to any conference organizer in the lean/agile/tech/climate space. I get a lot of requests to do conference keynotes, which I’m grateful for, but unfortunately I have to turn down the vast majority. I limit long-distance travel for family reasons, and also for climate reasons (although I confess I’m in Thailand right now as I write this…. hard to be 100% consistent…).

Now I’m thinking: Why should something as mundane as physical transport get in the way of participating in a great conference? And, in this world of catastrophic climate change, shouldn’t most business trips be replaced with remote participation?

My hypothesis is that it’s possible to remote-participate effectively in a conference –  to do a keynote or talk, participate in workshops, even hang out with people in the hallway. I’ve tried this a few times using video conference and telepresence robots. In fact, 4 years ago I was sitting on this same beach in Thailand, remote-participating in a Spotify event in Stockholm using a Double (see “What it feels like being an ipad on a stick on wheels“). That was fun and a bit clunky, but it was 4 years ago so I bet the telepresence robots have come a long way since then!

So here’s my offer:Continue reading

Continue reading: Agile – where are we at? Slides from my keynote at Agile Tour Bangkok.

Agile – where are we at? Slides from my keynote at Agile Tour Bangkok.

Here are the slides from my keynote “Agile – where are we at?” at Agile Tour Bangkok i November. Here’s the abstract:

Everyone is talking about Agile. I stumbled into this 15 years ago and have been living and breathing Agile since then, seeing it grow from a small movement within software, into an industry-wide revolution and then gradually become mainstream. More and more companies around the world, even big traditional companies, are turning themselves inside out trying to be Agile. Now it’s time to take a step back and reflect. What is going on? What is this all about? And where is it headed?

The CO2 emissions from this trip were offset using Trine and GoClimateNeutral.

Sample slides:

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Continue reading: New book being written online – Facilitation tricks and techniques

New book being written online – Facilitation tricks and techniques

Last time I wrote a book (Visualization Examples) I decided to do it publicly online. That was a fantastic experience, which I also wrote a blog post about. It was great fun and I got tons of valuable feedback.

Now I’ve started to write a new book and I’ve decided to have the same approach. It’s currently titled “Toolbox for the workshop facilitator – Facilitaion Tricks and Techniques (How to reach strong workshop outcome)“.

The book is far from finished and it might take me another year to finish it. But I still want to invite you to read it now and to help me make the book even better.

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Continue reading: Core Protocols – effective communication

Core Protocols – effective communication

Having rules for communication is stupid!
What was your intention with calling the rules stupid?
Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything negative towards you, of course. I just don’t find such rules necessary at all. We have been communicating with each other since we were small.
Okay, I understand what you are saying. But, hear me out…


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Continue reading: Slides from Devops Greece 2017

Slides from Devops Greece 2017

Just got back from Athens and Devops Greece where I talked about “Using Kanban in the field, and how we got management buy in to do so” Two key takaways are: Shift leadership behaviours, in order to shift your culture. The good news is: You can all exericise them, they are not personality traits. The invisible

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Continue reading: Consent Decision Making – How to take effective decisions collaboratively

Consent Decision Making – How to take effective decisions collaboratively

In this series of blogs, I am writing of my experience of practical applications of Sociocracy 3.0 (S3) patterns in teams and organizations. In the first blog, I wrote about My journey of finding and applying Sociocracy 3.0 (S3). There are many cool patterns in S3 that I have been using with great success as an Agile organizational coach so far. In this article I will cover the pattern of Consent Decision Making:

In contrast to consensus which focuses on reaching an agreement, consent focuses on intentionally checking for reasons not to do something a certain way. An objection is an argument that reveals why doing (or continuing to do) something, impedes or misses an opportunity to improve flowing value somewhere in the organization. Reaching consensus is often very time consuming and has the risk that one single person can block the whole process when unanimity is sought. Continue reading

Continue reading: The Future of Work

The Future of Work

The Future of Work is already here, it is just only unevenly distributed.

There is a crisis in the world of work. The pace of change in our environment is faster than the internal change in most organizations. Many organizations are struggling to keep up and are risking becoming obsolete. Gallup’s report on engagement crisis with only 32% of US workforce and 13% of the worldwide workforce engaged. Companies in the S&P 500 Index in 1958 stayed in the index an average of 61 years but has fallen to 18 years in 2012. Why is this?

When it comes to our work-life most of our organizations are still designed based on principles from the industrial age. Separation of thinking, planning, and management from the work. Organizations are designed to be top-down hierarchical and inside out rather than outside-in, customer-centric, and decentralized. There is mechanistic view rather than an organic, natural and Agile view of organizations.

Bonnitta Roy Presenting Open Participatory Organization at King

This new complex world will put completely new demands on leadership, organizing and just everyday living. We are living in truly exciting times. How can we create organizations that are fit for the future and more human? How can we re-invent organizations so that we will free up people’s potential for doing good? Many of these organizations are also based on triple bottom line principle: “Profit, People, and Planet”. This is my passion and I am super excited about it right now. Continue reading

Continue reading: Codekvast soon available as a Heroku add-on

Codekvast soon available as a Heroku add-on

Codekvast is a tool for detecting Truly Dead Code in your Java application. Truly Dead Code is code that is in production, but has not been used for a significant time. Codekvast has been lurking in the spare-time realm for too long. Now the project has eventually been granted some full-time development effort, with the initial

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Continue reading: Facilitate a project retrospective

Facilitate a project retrospective

room-setupLarge group retrospectives are long, large, unwieldy facilitations. So much so that they’re typically done only at the end of a project. Holding a 1-2 day retro every few weeks for a large project is neither practical nor responsible, but continually improving the project is also important.  So, how do you hold light-weight retrospectives for large groups, while making sure that you:

  • Have a common understanding
  • Identify issues and strengths
  • Reach a group agreement on action points
  • Ensure that the group feels that they received a high return on time invested

This retrospective combines different techniques and technologies to achieve these results.Continue reading

Continue reading: Constellation retrospective

Constellation retrospective

constellationThis is a strong retrospective for bringing issues up to the surface. Instead of just one person expressing an issue as a positive or a negative, the whole team feedbacks about the importance of the issue. The team then decides which issues to tackle. The retrospective also exposes issues where there is not common view, and highlights areas of alignment. It also allows the team to ask tough questions in a safe environment.Continue reading

Continue reading: CYNEFIN på svenska

CYNEFIN på svenska

Har nött och blött en översättning av CYNEFIN på svenska. Så här ser det ut just nu: Kom gärna med förslag på förbättringar!

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Continue reading: What makes your team tick

What makes your team tick

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 16.31.45

You have a team member who has a pressing issue. It’s the single most important thing that they need to resolve. They explain the problem to a coworker, suggest a solution and ask for support… and all they get is a tepid response. This is a situation that repeats itself across workplaces every day. There are many reasons why people refrain from helping. They might not have the competence, they might disagree with the solution/problem or maybe they just don’t have the time. But what happens when they have the competence, agree with the assessment and could easily make time, but choose not to? Why don’t they? How do you help your team navigate these situations?

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Continue reading: The different roles in an agile team

The different roles in an agile team

When creating a team meant to work in an agile setting, most people remember that there are supposed to be more people in it than developers. They might skim through the Scrum Guide and fill the roles of Product Owner and Scrum Master. What few do is to think about what other roles that are really needed.Continue reading

Continue reading: Nivåer av ledarskap

Nivåer av ledarskap

Efter ha läst boken “Leadership Agility” av Bill Joiner och Stephen Josephs har mina verktyg att hantera utmanande situationer i min coaching utökats.

Ledarskap kopplad till Piagets utvecklingsteori

Underlaget till boken “Leadership Agility” är mångårig forskning kring ledarskap kopplad till Piagets utvecklingsteori.
Enligt den genomgår barnet och sedan den unge vuxne ett antal mognadssteg och man kan också klassificera ledarskap utifrån var individen är i denna mognadsprocess.  För mig har det varit och är en modell som jag har stor nytta av i min coaching. 

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Continue reading: One thing that improves your personal life – and makes you a better value creator

One thing that improves your personal life – and makes you a better value creator

As a high-performing tech professional, it’s useful to constantly fine-tune your ability to add value.

For example, you might ask yourself at work:

What is the one thing we can change in our product, service or in the way we work together that can bring more value to our customers or the team?

This philosophy of looking for things that can add value can also be used for your personal and professional development.

To give you some inspiration, here are some of the real life small changes and habits that our team members at Crisp have made that have added tremendous value to our personal and work lives.Continue reading

Continue reading: Team Shapes – Simulating the challenges with component teams

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.Continue reading

Continue reading: Reactions to “No CEO” by the BBC

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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Continue reading: Feature Verification Funnel

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:Continue reading

Continue reading: How to set role expectations and working agreements

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.

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Continue reading: Design Studio – Collaborate towards a shared understanding

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.

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Continue reading: A/B testing at King

A/B testing at King

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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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Continue reading: How I wrote a book publicly online

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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Continue reading: Video clip  – The importance of team size and proximity

Video clip – The importance of team size and proximity

Jimmy 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.

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

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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Continue reading: Scientific method applied to performance improvements

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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