Wednesday, January 27, 2010

February Meeting Details

The next APLN meeting will be on Thursday, February 4th at 6 PM, hosted by Neudesic at 8105 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.

February's topic will be an experience report from Kaiser Permanente's multi-team, dual shore mega-project to replace its pharmacy system. The project included:
  • introducing Scrum
  • running under a formal PMO structure
  • ramping up eight teams
  • several vendors
  • training offshore teams in Chennai, India
  • using embedded coaches
  • implementing an enterprise agile project management tool

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lyssa Adkins on Coaching

Lyssa Adkins' presentation "What is an Agile Coach" at the Orange County APLN was great. Lyssa is the author of the upcoming book "A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches and Project Managers in Transition" from the Mike Cohn Signature Series.

She started off the session with a great exercise of having all the attendees go around and tell other people one thing they loved about agile, one thing they hated. She said this helped with modes of communication and encouraged everyone to get up at work, even in small groups.

Some of the items she brought up were that an agile coach has to learn to be detached from outcomes, take issues to the team, be a mirror, master your face, allow and be okay with silence, model being outrageous (what holds teams back, so be wild to get around what they can accept) and be freed from assumptions.

She also said to be willing to let the team fail. Don't save them from themselves. Some of our best learning comes from failures, and sometimes only from failures.

Be their biggest fan, but don't complement them on the good job they did. The work ebbs and flows. That's far less important than how they are doing on being a good team.

We want those we coach to be unleashed as a human being.

We also want developers to be solid developers. A great slide of hers read "Craftsmanship matters. Period." Software developers' career path can go to Tech Lead (XP is the way) and then to XP Coach, and the people stuff matters.

She also described the roles of Bulldozer, Shepherd, and Servant Leader, noting that "You'll make sure that people leave you better than they arrived", and Guardian of quality and performance.

There are changes to go through, such as switching from:
  • coordinating individual contributions towards coaching the whole team for collaboration
  • being a subject matter experts to a facilitator
  • invested in outcomes to invested in performance
  • knowing answer to asking team for answer
  • directing to letting them find their way
  • stop driving, to start guiding

There are aspects to the coach of being facilitator, teacher, coach-mentor, conflict navigator, collaboration conductor, and problem solver.

Personal retrospectives were noted as being a helpful tool. On that not, she asked the group to reflect personally if in each of several areas they "promoted" or "inhibited":
  • self-organization
  • being consensus driven
  • team success
  • trust
  • owns decisions and commitments
  • team believes they can solve any problem
  • empowerment
  • constructive disagreement
Click to view or download Lyssa Adkins' presentation on agile coaching. Also, more information can be found on her site for 1-on-1 coaching, Scrum training, upcoming speaking events, as well as her blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

APLN Coordination Mtg - 1/21

We're moving the start time back to 6:30 P.M., this Thursday, January 21st. Get involved and help shape the Orange County APLN. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1/21 Coordinating Commitee Mtg

On January 21st some of us will be getting together to talk about how best to foster the APLN OC community, how to keep it active and vibrant, relevant and useful. Together we decide on the next couple of events, and on this occasion we will also be talking about new ways to support your agile endeavors and help you achieve your goals.

You are welcome to join in the fun of building a community. Bring your ideas and figure out with the group how to make them happen. This is an opportunity to be a "part of" and help shape and influence the local agile community.

We are meeting at the Starbucks in the new community across from The Spectrum - 38 Prism Place, Irvine, CA. We will start at 6 P.M. and try to finish at a reasonable hour.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More on APLN OC - January 7th

The January APLN OC meeting will be Thursday, January 7th. The speaker, Lyssa Adkins, is a Certified Scrum Trainer and an Agile Coach, PMP and Six Sigma Green Belt. She is also a professionally trained Co-Active Coach which gives the skills to coach people one-on-one. She has over 15 years’ project management expertise, including time as a former large-scale program manager and director of Project Management Offices

For the last four years, she has been coaching teams in the financial services industry and coaching coaches who represent the gamut of Agile implementations, from small consulting firms to the giants of industry.

She is passionate about deepening the roles in Agile – specifically Agile Coach and Agile Manager – to help Agile move into its fullest expression.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Meeting Address

The meeting address is at Kelley Blue Book, 217 Technology Drive, Irvine. The meeting will begin at 6 P.M.