Agile Africa 2017

Agile Africa 2017 Conference – another great opportunity to touch-base with other Agile Professionals across South Africa, Africa and to have some amazing international speakers come visit our country. Thank you to the Agile Africa Committee and Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) for organising again this year.

Here are my sketches from Agile Africa…

You can download the full booklet of my sketchnotes here: Sketchnoter’s Guide to Agile Africa 2017.

1 Kent Beck - Agile Africa

4 Ryan Riley Faye Thompson Keynote - Agile Africa

2 Platform 45 - Agile Africa

5 Agile Architecture - Wayne Yan

6 Biase - Agile Africa

 

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Agile2017 – Orlando, Florida

We were fortunate to be accepted to present our Visual Thinking (Sketching outside the Box) workshop at Agile2017 this year in Orlando, Florida.  All I can say is “Wow”! What an amazing experience meeting awesome, like-minded people from around the world. I did behave a bit like a groupie, and yes, possibly asked for some autographs…

I have compiled a little booklet of all of the sketchnotes that I did from the conference – some light reading until next year (and for those who may not have been able to attend).

1 Cover (2)
Download the Sketchnoter’s Guide to Agile2017

 

Some highlights from Agile2017 below (all sketches are included in link above)…

2 David Marquet

3 Quote David Marquet

11 Jez Humble

16 Linda Rising

Thank you Agile Alliance and all those who were involved in organising, and took the time to attend.

Check out #Agile2017 and #Agile17 to view the conversations from the conference. I was not the only sketchnoter at the conference, please check out the awesome sketches from the other visual thinkers there:

Please comment if I’ve left anyone out…

 

Regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2016

Last week was the Regional Scrum Gathering in South Africa, which was organised by SUGSA. So some of my colleagues and I from IQ Business took a trip down to Cape Town, what an awesome experience!

I was fortunate to be selected as a speaker. My colleague, Angie Doyle, and I facilitated a workshop on Visual Thinking for Agile Teams which was extremely well received – it’s exciting to see the interest and enthusiasm that people have for thinking visually! You can follow this link to view our “slides” from the workshop – all were created using flip charts.

I also used this opportunity to sketchnote the presentations and workshops I attended, there were lots of interesting topics. It’s always uplifting to get together with other Agile Practitioners and talk about what’s going on in the industry.

There was a lot of conversation and other sketchnoters (some new ones after the Visual Thinking workshop) who also posted sketches during the conference, to have a look at these you can check out the #SGZA and #SGZA2016 tags on Twitter.

Here are mine:

Goldilocks at work – Danie Roux

danie-roux_pg1

danie-roux_pg2

Taming the Beast – Continuous Evolution keeps products and teams alive – Nigel Basel

nigel-basel-taming-the-beast

DevOps… Avoid Stupid… Unleash Awesome – Renesh Moodley

renesh-unleash-awesome

Standup Poker: How We Hacked Our Daily Stand-Up & Our Teams Mindset! – Kalpesh Shah

standup-poker

It’s time to speak, it’s time to act – Biase De Gregorio

biase-its-time-to-speak-its-time-to-act

Facing challenging conversations with ease – Alison Gitelson

alison-facing-challenging-conversations

 

 

Planning a Retrospective

I really do think visually. Here’s proof. I had a retrospective with my team this week and this is how I planned it:

Retro Agenda

 

Before the session I just used this plan to sketch out the techniques on some flip chart paper or the whiteboard. I kept this open as a reference.

I used the 5 stage Retrospective format and referenced a couple of activities. For an overview of different techniques, you can have a look at: Retrospective Techniques for coaches, scrum masters and other facilitators. Another great reference is Retromat.

If you are interested, here is my Retro Agenda in a bit more detail:

  • Setting the stage

I used Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s Weather Report Technique. This is a great way to gauge how the team is feeling. You can find the full technique in their book Agile Retrospectives, alternatively there is also a reference on Retromat and Retrospective Techniques for coaches, scrum masters and other facilitators.

  • Gather data

For the Gather Data technique, I used  Mary Gorman & Ellen Gottesdiener’s 4L’s: Loved, Learned, Lacked, Longed For. You can find the full technique here

This really worked well! It’s a great way to gather data, and adds a bit more information than the Stop, Start, Continue technique.

  • Generating insights

From the 4L’s, I went through all the responses with the team. I then grouped them into themes with the team. I then asked the team to dot vote on the “Lacked” and “Longed For” categories in order to do a deep dive on what was going on.

I used the 5 Why’s to delve into the details of the top 3 things that the team felt was missing or needed attention in the sprint. It’s a really interesting technique because you can go down into a culture-level and then need to decide (in the Decide what to do portion) where you can influence the most change and where to focus your energy as a team. The 5 Why’s is also in Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s book Agile Retrospectives and there are some references online as well.

  • Decide what to do

From the 5 Why’s, we brainstormed some action items as a team. We then chose 1 per category / issue that was raised. We use the good old raise your hands to vote technique, to show which action items the team wanted to focus on.

  • Close the retrospective

To close the retro, I just asked for a quick show of fingers using the Fist of Five technique to gauge how they were feeling to end off there. I also set up a scale (from happy to neutral to sad) and asked them to make a mark with their name as they walked out to see how they were feeling. This way I could go touch base individually afterwards.

That’s it!