Agile Africa 2016 – A sketchnote goldmine!

I attended the Agile Africa Conference with my company, IQ Business, on Monday and Tuesday this week. It’s always great to meet others in the field and listen to some amazing thinking from South Africa, Africa and abroad.

As you may have guessed, I spent every talk sketching live (my fingers are a bit sore) and it was so worth it! I managed to get most of the talks down on paper and I’ll use them to refer back to concepts and ideas that were shared. I’m going to share them here and I hope that you find value in them…

To view the whole programme and speakers, you can visit the Agile Africa website, it’s also worth having a look at all the Tweets which encapsulate a lot of the quotes from the talks – here is the tag and the handle for the conference.

There were also some other amazing sketches from the conference:

Keynotes

These are the keynotes that were at the conference:

Henrik Kniberg – Alignment at scale

Hendrik Kniberg1Hendrik Kniberg2

Sandy Mamoli – Self-Selection

Self-selection

Neal Ford – Why does Yesterday’s Best Practice Become Tomorrow’s Anti-pattern?

NealFord1NealFord2

Other Presentations

Here are most of the sketches from the other presentations that I attended:

A Learning Continent – unlocking African opportunities – CodeX

 African Learning - CodeX

UX by Wire: Designing the Most Loved product – Job Mashapa and Farai Madzima

MLP

Is anyone there? Dealing with distributed teams – Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves

Is anyone there.jpg

Leader transformation: a side effect of an agile transition –
Subash Sharma and Felicity Brady

Leader Transformation

Fish ponds and Agile – Dillon Weyer

Fish Ponds.jpg

Unlocking ScrumMastery through the ScrumMaster Academy – Biase De Gregorio

Biase

Requirements Engineering for Agile Product Owners: Hunting Value with Structured Conversations – Pavel Dabrytski

Pavel

Pivoting Without Pain is Impossible – Nyaradzai Samushonga

Pivot

Active Agile: The story of a rewarding scaled agile implementation – Justin Doyle

Active Agile.jpg

Lead with needs – Danie Roux and Kevin Trethewey

Lead with Needs2.jpg

 

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7 Principles of Radical Management

I’ve recently finished listening to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning on Audible.

I found it extremely interesting and inspiring. It incorporated ideas from Agile, Scrum, New Product Development, Lean Manufacturing, to name a few and was synthesized into a compelling argument for a revolution in the way that we currently approach management.

I would really recommend this book. Here are my notes for the 7 key principles of Radical Management.

Stephen Denning_Radical Management Principles_2

 

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!

Poster Series: Lean Coffee

I was asked to create some posters a few months ago for an awareness event at one of the large organisations in South Africa. One of these posters was to explain the Lean Coffee (or Agile Coffee) process.

It’s a really great way to run meetings and keep people involved. We now use this format quite often within our teams, and across our company, as a way of discussing topics and sharing information.

Lean Coffee

The details of how to run your own Lean Coffee and the purpose behind this meeting format can be found here.