top

Search

Why Is Retrospection Needed?

The dictionary meaning of Retrospective is “contemplation of the past events”, i.e. revise and analyse the past. Agile Retrospection is a ceremony performed at the end of every sprint to analyse, document and take actions to make the project and the process more transparent and productive. While Retrospection is very important to any project, it is also important to understand the boundaries created for the meeting team. While setting boundaries we should keep in mind that the freedom of speech of the team is not affected. To understand the concept of Retrospection Meetings better let me introduce you to the basics of the meeting first – <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-hnD43Gs_ys" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> The Correct Time – Last day of the sprint is the ideal day to hold the meeting The duration of the meeting – An ideal Retrospection Meeting should not be more than 20-25 minutes Required Members- Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developers The meeting generally starts with the common parameters of the team like velocity, user stories accomplished etc.Then each member of the team comes up with their opinions on –  What went well? What went bad? What should the team continue doing? What should the team stop doing? Points given by each member is noted in a spreadsheet by the Scrum Master, and at the end of the meeting, 3-4 main action items are selected and are used as inputs to work on in further sprints. In every retrospective, the team should look back at the action items from the previous meetings and ensure that the ones that have been worked upon are closed.  While in a new Agile team the members are hesitant to put forward their views openly, in an experienced Agile team it is easier to get the views easily and truly. Having covered all this it is important to understand that sometimes Retrospection meetings are used by employees to cover their mistakes or throw blames at other team members. For e.g. if the work of one developer is dependent on the work of another developer, there might occur a conflict of time or ideas between the two. Similarly, one developer's work might cause an issue in an existent piece of code written by someone else. These conflicts are often pointed at by developers during the retrospect and thus a healthy meeting turns into an introspection of each other’s work in the presence of the whole team and hampers the spirit of Agile. The team participating in the Agile Ceremonies should be trained and coached well to understand the practices advised in Agile and the reason behind them. Many Scrum Masters in today's day come across situations when differences occur between team members which are not good for the team to perform with complete dedication. In such situations, it is the duty of the Scrum Master to understand the differences and solve as quickly as possible to avoid internal conflicts which may eventually lead to bad team performance or delayed commitments. To avoid such introspection and team differences, the Scrum Master should make sure that the team adheres to the below guidelines –  Always check with the teammates for any issues and try to solve in a mature and professional manner Resolve opinion differences regarding technical issues with logics and backing data Also, before starting every sprint it is very important to understand each requirement from business perspective to avoid confusion Also, it is a Scrum Master's duty to maintain a professional environment within the team and the Product Owner's duty to always clarify the business value of each backlog item so that the development team can follow the correct direction from sprint start. There are also some free tools available online like IdeaBoardz, Fun Retro, Reflect, Pointing Poker, Scatter Scope etc. Additionally, below-suggested guidelines for the meeting can help retrospect and come out to better conclusions as to what is best for the team : Each team member should contribute only 2-3 points most important according to their viewpoint When one team member is putting a point others should not contradict or speak in between Everyone should speak when asked to by Scrum Master If a conflict of opinion occurs between 2 team members then the same should be solved with only the concerned members and not to be put in retrospective When a team follows pure Agile, the Retrospective is an important ritual for the team. This helps Continuous Integration and helps the team understand each other’s point of view. A Retrospect could also be accompanied by the achievements of the team in the sprint. The Scrum Master can incorporate the team’s success in the start of the meeting to set a good tone for the meeting. Concluding, I can positively say that while good Retrospection can do wonders for the team, a bad one can break the team which is not good in the long run.  
Why Is Retrospection Needed?
Shreeti
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews

Why Is Retrospection Needed?

The dictionary meaning of Retrospective is “contemplation of the past events”, i.e. revise and analyse the past. Agile Retrospection is a ceremony performed at the end of every sprint to analyse, document and take actions to make the project and the process more transparent and productive. While Retrospection is very important to any project, it is also important to understand the boundaries created for the meeting team. While setting boundaries we should keep in mind that the freedom of speech of the team is not affected. To understand the concept of Retrospection Meetings better let me introduce you to the basics of the meeting first – The Correct Time – Last day of the sprint is the ideal day to hold the meeting The duration of the meeting – An ideal Retrospection Meeting should not be more than 20-25 minutes Required Members- Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developers The meeting generally starts with the common parameters of the team like velocity, user stories accomplished etc.Then each member of the team comes up with their opinions on –  What went well? What went bad? What should the team continue doing? What should the team stop doing? Points given by each member is noted in a spreadsheet by the Scrum Master, and at the end of the meeting, 3-4 main action items are selected and are used as inputs to work on in further sprints. In every retrospective, the team should look back at the action items from the previous meetings and ensure that the ones that have been worked upon are closed.  While in a new Agile team the members are hesitant to put forward their views openly, in an experienced Agile team it is easier to get the views easily and truly. Having covered all this it is important to understand that sometimes Retrospection meetings are used by employees to cover their mistakes or throw blames at other team members. For e.g. if the work of one developer is dependent on the work of another developer, there might occur a conflict of time or ideas between the two. Similarly, one developer's work might cause an issue in an existent piece of code written by someone else. These conflicts are often pointed at by developers during the retrospect and thus a healthy meeting turns into an introspection of each other’s work in the presence of the whole team and hampers the spirit of Agile. The team participating in the Agile Ceremonies should be trained and coached well to understand the practices advised in Agile and the reason behind them. Many Scrum Masters in today's day come across situations when differences occur between team members which are not good for the team to perform with complete dedication. In such situations, it is the duty of the Scrum Master to understand the differences and solve as quickly as possible to avoid internal conflicts which may eventually lead to bad team performance or delayed commitments. To avoid such introspection and team differences, the Scrum Master should make sure that the team adheres to the below guidelines –  Always check with the teammates for any issues and try to solve in a mature and professional manner Resolve opinion differences regarding technical issues with logics and backing data Also, before starting every sprint it is very important to understand each requirement from business perspective to avoid confusion Also, it is a Scrum Master's duty to maintain a professional environment within the team and the Product Owner's duty to always clarify the business value of each backlog item so that the development team can follow the correct direction from sprint start. There are also some free tools available online like IdeaBoardz, Fun Retro, Reflect, Pointing Poker, Scatter Scope etc. Additionally, below-suggested guidelines for the meeting can help retrospect and come out to better conclusions as to what is best for the team : Each team member should contribute only 2-3 points most important according to their viewpoint When one team member is putting a point others should not contradict or speak in between Everyone should speak when asked to by Scrum Master If a conflict of opinion occurs between 2 team members then the same should be solved with only the concerned members and not to be put in retrospective When a team follows pure Agile, the Retrospective is an important ritual for the team. This helps Continuous Integration and helps the team understand each other’s point of view. A Retrospect could also be accompanied by the achievements of the team in the sprint. The Scrum Master can incorporate the team’s success in the start of the meeting to set a good tone for the meeting. Concluding, I can positively say that while good Retrospection can do wonders for the team, a bad one can break the team which is not good in the long run.  
Why Is Retrospection Needed?
Author Image
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Why Is Retrospection Needed?

The dictionary meaning of Retrospective is “contemplation of the pas... Read More

Self-Management: The Next Step After Agile

The Agile methodology has gained the interest of multinationals because of its capacity to create digital & non-digital products in a much faster and sensible way compared to  before. It opens companies to a brand new way to manage innovation and value creation. The roles and rules connecting employees in the agile methodology change several aspect of the corporate life. Let us build an analogy between the agile methodology and a board game to understand its impact on companies that implement it. In the agile methodology, the rules and conditions are changed but the employees remain the same. The goal of companies using the agile methodology is to is to satisfy customer needs by creating a competitive advantage thanks to speed, adaptability, multifunctional teams and transparency. In the old board game, the ruler or CEO is the person with a vision of what should be done. He is placed at the top of a pyramid, far from the reality of implementation. He has sometimes expectations that cannot be met but he is deaf and blind to (suggestions, explanations, options), which makes communication difficult. He gives orders and expects results in a precise time frame that leads him to control every move or ask for reporting from his leaders crew (Team and department leaders). The ruler is isolated from the workers (team members). On their side, workers are not aware of all resources available to them and they usually have to compete with other departments to get the ruler’s attention and resources from the leaders crew. The workers are told what to do without being explained what goal is being pursued. The communication is in  one-way: “Top-Down”. This makes any changes from the workers almost impossible to identify.  In the new board game, there are now more rulers. This time, the workers are informed by a specific person (product owner) about the goal they need to pursue. They organize themselves to achieve it, there is no one who gives them specific order all the time or tell them how to achieve their goal. A special attention is given only to the quality of their work. An important idea is that one can learn from failures and incrementally improve upon one’s  work. The one person who makes sure that the rules and roles are respected is the scrum master. The communication in this game is two-ways, which enables quick change and adaptation. Explained like this we can understand why a lackadaisical innovation exists in the old methodology. The new methodology gives employees, who are doing the real work, freedom to do what they do best on their own term. It also means a big change for the leaders: they must let go of control. Yet with time, training and coaching the agile methodology starts to change the way people interact. It is important to note that the agile methodology is nowadays mostly used in the IT departments, which sometimes creates tensions between the agile teams and the other workers/employees. For example, the agile team may require to budget more often that will drive the financial department crazy because they are still working on the old methodology. The main cause of those tensions is the existence of two different “board game rules” in the same company. Workers that do not work within the agile methodology see their counterparts make decisions, have fun and freely create their own work conditions because no one tells them how to do it. The feeling of unfairness rises in those companies that have two set of rules.   What @Buffer Got Wrong About Self-Management https://t.co/FKxoBbiQ6z #agile #management pic.twitter.com/CIOLdvZAhc — Agile Alliance (@AgileAlliance) December 11, 2015 Agile methodology has limited success since it is just a piece of puzzle. The agile methodology has enabled the creation of quicker, better and client-oriented products and it could bring companies much further if it was implemented across the board. The positive impact of a well implemented agile methodology cannot be denied. One can only wonder when and how it will be implemented in other departments. For example, could the marketing department work within an agile methodology? The answer is yes. The principles developed in the agile methodology were initially put to use in the software industry because the production of software is rapid. Any creative processes that aim to create a final product or service for the benefit of a user will benefit from the agile methodology. I can predict that derivatives of the agile methodology will be forged in other industries such as finance, marketing, etc. The slow transition toward a more agile workplace creates a new context which modifies leaders and employees expectations. So far, companies rely on hierarchical power to make things happen. Now, within this new methodology, employees are free to act on their responsibilities as they wish in order to achieve a common goal. This “freedom to act” can be referred to as “self-management”, a term defined by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organizations.   So far, the organizational puzzle was made of silos, bureaucracy and hierarchy while agile methodology puzzle piece introduces the notion of self-management. But what is it? In some ways the agile methodology and self-management have similar ground beliefs: Image Required: Employees are trustworthy Collective intelligence is the new black Transparency is a must Distributed authority makes everyone adept When the agile methodology is a puzzle piece then self-management is the bigger picture. It entails the whole organization structure and redefine its leadership, communication, strategy, change, talent & performance management. Self-management is based on a few core beliefs about employees and their competencies. Employees are trustworthy, mature, driven and capable of learning when put in the right conditions. Self-management is the next level of evolution after the implementation of the agile methodology. I invite you to watch this short video where Frederic Laloux explains the principle of self-management: Self-management is a system of distributed power, where the collective intelligence enables the pursuit of a company vision.   I predict the shift from pyramidal organizations--made up of hierarchy and power games (patriarchy)--to a new, progressive and interconnected organization with clearly set rules and roles managed through a clear decision process at the individual level (self-management). Self-management is the next logical step after agile.  
Self-Management: The Next Step After Agile
Author Image
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Self-Management: The Next Step After Agile

The Agile methodology has gained the interest of multinationals becaus... Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: CSM, PSM and PSD: Certification Features and Benefits

Scrum provides an iterative framework that helps achieve the project goals in an appropriate manner. Today, Scrum is not just alive as the ongoing workshops and seminars. It is known as the bread and butter of businesses, and there exists Scrum Master who designs Scrum framework for the organizations. Since it is related to an employment, many questions have started coming up on Scrum. One of the questions that most of the people are asking is the difference between the various levels of the Scrum Master Certification. Let’s move a little back to understand the meaning of the certification. Certification is all about the trust and proficiency. Before proceeding, it is very important to get the true reason for the certification, in order to attain proper options.     “Top-down doesn’t cut it anymore. As our world continues to change, Agile business structure will not only become invaluable but non negotiable. Agile and Scrum present a significant opportunity across industries and roles for companies to work better and create joyful, efficient, and productive workplaces. The 2016 State of Scrum report shows that successful businesses of all types use Scrum.”  -Scrum Alliance interim CEO Lisa W. Hershman Points of Differentiation:   How does any organization figure out the competency level of an employee in a particular domain? The best way is to arrange an assessment program, where an employee can exhibit his knowledge and this is equivalent to many certification programs. Let us compare and contrast  the various Scrum certifications like Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Professional Scrum Developer (PSD). This will help you choose the right certification that fits your requirements.    1) What are CSM, PSM, and PSD? Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a foundation-level certification that guides the team members on how to use the Scrum principles to achieve a project goal.  Professional Scrum Master (PSM) demonstrates the teams on the Scrum principles to apply it in real-world situations.  Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) details the Scrum principles to build a software successfully. 2) How to get certified? CSM is a degree program where you have to enrol your name with the institute and attend the classes for two-days (16 hours) and the assignments. In the end, you have to clear the CSM test with a passing score of 24 out of 35 questions in two attempts.  PSM and PSD are entirely different from CSM. These certifications do not require you to attend the classes. You just need to pass the exam with the passing marks of 68 out of 80 questions in 1 hour. It requires additionally paid attempts on failure.  3)What are the different levels of certification? CSM requires only one level of certification, known as CSM level 1. PSM consists of the 3 levels of assessment- PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. PSD entails only one level of certification- PSD I. 4) What is the Exam Format? The exam format of CSM is quite easy. The test consists of 35 MCQs followed by 2 attempts and the time limit is 90 days. On the other hand, PSM and PSD certification programs consist of 80 MCQs in a 60-minutes time limit. If you are looking to build your career as a Professional Scrum Master, you need to learn a few quick hacks to clear the PSM certification exam.  5) How much does it cost? The Certified Scrum Master Certification costs around $1,000 - $1,300, whereas Professional Scrum Master training costs around $1,000 - $1,300 and the training cost for Professional Scrum Developer is $200 per attempt. 6) What is the certificate renewal duration? You need to renew your CSM certificate after every two years. For each renewal, you have to pay $250.   On the other hand, talking about the PSM and PSD credential renewal, they have come up with a lifetime validity. Once achieved, these will stay throughout your life. 7) How much is the salary after certification? 8) Who are eligible for the certification? The CSM training and certification is ideal for:  Project Managers Software Developers Product Owners Software Testers Team Lead The PSM training course is beneficial for: People with the knowledge of Scrum practices Scrum Masters Managers Scrum team members The PSD certification course can be taken by the: Developers working on JAVA platforms Scrum Professionals IT Professionals 9) What are benefits of the certification? 10) Are there any prerequisites for the certification? To achieve CSM certification, people simply need to have knowledge of Scrum. PSM certification requires 4-5 years of experience as a Scrum Master and for Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) you need to have knowledge of programming.   Concluding Thoughts All the 3 certifications are highly compatible, with their own unique benefits. The PSM course can be more appealing than CSM. But as far as the originality and the history of the CSM program are concerned, it can compete with PSM. However, the features like no renewal, content reliability and the average salary of PSM and PSD, make both of them stand out from the crowd.    
INFOGRAPHIC: CSM, PSM and PSD: Certification Features and Benefits
Author Image
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
INFOGRAPHIC: CSM, PSM and PSD: Certification Featu...

Scrum provides an iterative framework that helps achieve the proje... Read More