Monday, January 4, 2010

Agile 2009 - Day 4 - 27th August - Climbing the Dreyfus ladder

On the last of Agile 2009, I started with the last half of Jim Highsmith's talk: Agile Project Management—Innovation in Action. I have little to say about it but better that can nothing.
He proposed an interesting change on the view of the production "iron triangle". The traditional one having scope, resources and schedule has its constraints. He suggests that in an agile environment those constraints are, in fact, all parts of one corner alone: "Constraints". The other corners being value and quality. I don't have many notes on this talk so I can't add much more.

On the second slot, I went to Patrick Kua's Climbing the Dreyfus Ladder of Agile Practices. It was a great experience. The main idea of the workshop is to help coaches set up their expectations regarding the use of practice within their teams. Patrick started with a small presentation about the behavioral model such as Shu Ha Ri and the Dreyfus model skill of acquisition. His slides are available here.

The mechanics were pretty simple.
Choose a principle or practice you would like to map. I got into the group talking about Story Walls/Big Visible Charts.
Ask people to write down post-its with desired actions or atitudes they expect to happen for this practice.
Once they are done, have them identify on which level of your behavioral model each of the actions they wrote down should fit. Would you expect a beginner to perform that action? Or is that something more common to someone proficient? Some discussion will lead to a mapping of the actions to each level.
With this result, your coaches are now aligned regarding what they might expect from their teams and how they can identify those who managed to climb the ladder and, mostly, how to help people reach a higher level by slowly going up one step at each time.

The results of our workshop are available on Patrick's website and I strongly suggest this activity to help your teams set a common expectation and improve consistently the members of your team.