Sunday, May 2, 2010

Agile Coach Camp 2010 Germany - Day 3

The final day of the Agile Coach Camp 2010 in Germany started again at 8:30 am. Mike Sutton provided facilitation so attendees and session hosts could change the marketplace to their needs.

9:00 am. I joined the "Swashbooking" session of Jürgen "Mentos" Hoffmann. It was a fascinating experience. We were six people in this session with six books on a table. The goal of this session was to read 3 books in 30 minutes and to take notes on these books while reading them. After this time we talked about the books and the 3 people who have read the book gave a short report on their lessons learned within the 10 minutes they had with the book. My insight of this session was that the learning process of swashbooking highly relates to the structure of a book and the level of knowledge I already had of a book's topic. This is an experiment which has to be continued!

10:00 am. I joined the "Velocity" session of Deborah Hartmann-Preuß. I got a nice reminder of two important things: (1) the team has to look ahead 1-3 sprints to get a feeling of what probably will come, and (2) backlog grooming is explicitly needed in every sprint to get stories ready for the next sprint.

10:30 am. I moved to Krishan Mathis' session on "Kanban sucks the spirit out of agile". We had consensus that Kanban offers an easy way to de-agilize a self-organizing Scrum team. Kanban tends to create a dangerous mini-waterfall if applied invalid. It's a good approach to extend the Scrum board on the left side with more lanes to define the steps it needs to get a story ready. And maybe on the right side to define necessary steps after a story is done-done. But the simple, team protecting Scrum board must not be changed!

11:00 am. I joined the "How to make a Product Owner" session of Nicole Rauch. We discussed about the responsibilities of a Product Owner and what a Product Backlog has to contain. I gave a short experience report of my last project on how I tried to transform one of three product managers to a committed Product Owner. The fundamental way to get a Product Owner committed is to show the benefits for the Product Owner with Sprint Reviews and the ability to give and get early feedback.

11:30 am. I moved to the session "LEGO Serious Play" of Olaf Lewitz. It's amazing what can be surfaced just by letting adult people play with a set of LEGO bricks. The game is to build models of individual constellations, teams, and organizations. These models can surface many aspects which would not have been surfaced only by talking to people. This needs further inspection from my side... finally I found a reason to buy some new LEGO sets.

12:00 am. Lunch break.

1:00 pm. I made a small walk around the venue to give my wife a phone call. And I never intended to participate in Martin Heider's outdoor session "Walk the Wire". As I walked by, it just looked interesting what they did between those trees so I moved closer. In the end I tried to walk the wire several times with one or two people guiding on my side. It was amazing how many similarities to coaching were discussed. Even if a way (of change) is difficult, it often is enough that a coach (or guide) exists inactive. For me this session was an eye-opener.

2:00 pm. The "Open OpenSpace" session of Sebastian Eichner and me was not needed as all attendees had enough other sessions to go to. Some people in the book's corner were inspecting books which suddenly brought me to the idea to start a spontaneous survey: I wanted to ask all attendees which one book they recommend other people should read. I posted the results of this ACCDE10 Survey: The One Book already.

2:30 pm. I went on to the "Agile Coach Camp 2011 Organizer" session and registered as volunteer.

2:45 pm. Finally I took a look at Heiko Stapf's session on "Marshmallow Challenge". They already had built a tower with spaghettis and a marshmallow on top of it. The tower was 65 cm in height and very stable. The marshmallow challenge is a nice game to demonstrate agile engineering practices.

3:00 pm. Last small break.

3:15 pm. All attendees of the Agile Coach Camp gathered in the biggest room for a final retrospective of the last 2 days. Mike Sutton was our moderator. We had great appreciations and the group felt energized!

4:15 pm. End-of-the-show. All attendees left the venue. We organizers cleaned everything up and took all important artifacts with us for our internal organizer retrospective in a few weeks. The Agile Coach Coach started off with 9 people heading back to Karlsruhe, which we arrived at 7:30 pm. It was just in time for me to drive home and put my little son Henry to bed.

The Agile Coach Camp was a great event. From my perspective, it was exactly the right people at the right time! Thanks to everyone for participating!

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