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Personal Responsibility


Last week we attended Agile Africa and had the pleasure of hearing Kent Beck's closing keynote. His talk was about how Facebook operates and how they have scaled personal responsibility. It was an amazing talk with some great ideas and insights.
 

Imagine a workplace where trust is given from day 1. You arrive and ask what team you're on, the response is "you decide". You are given a task and you have a few weeks to get it to production. You get to make all the decisions about how to do that task. If your change causes a bug in production,  the bug will get fixed and you will get immediate feedback. There is no section of the code that is out of bounds. Nothing is somebody else's problem. There is no blame, and if you don't accept personal responsibility you get clear, direct and immediate feedback from everyone else in the company. 

Sound crazy? Well, Facebook is getting this right with thousands of developers. Personally we would love to visit and see this in action. Kent explained a few of the practices they use. Take a look at P50 goals in the technique below.

This month we are excited to launch our latest course: The whole team approach to building great products. As valued newsletter subscribers we'd like to offer you a 50% discount to celebrate the launch. Use the coupon code Launch_team_NL. This is a great learning opportunity to get your whole team to start taking responsibility for your product.

Cheers,

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Whole Team Approach to Building Great Products
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So much more than what I expected. Instead of a course, this was a "get your hands dirty" learning experience. It changed the way I think of my teams, and the way that I view myself as a scrum master.

Danette Kok, ScrumMaster

Where we will be

28-30 September
BASSA, Cape Town
We will be talking about "The Agile Analyst Mindset".

19-20 October
Scrum Gathering, Johannesburg
We will be hosting the Coaching Clinic.

23-25 October
Coach Retreat, Cape Town
An openspace event - we want to create some new games!

9-11 November
Agile Testing Days, Potsdam
We will be delivering a workshop and a keynote at this conference in Germany. Use code SamLai_015 for 15% discount.

16-18 November
Scrum Gathering, Prague
We will be doing a workshop on "From ScrumMaster to Agile Coach" and a talk on "Managing Software Development in the age of agile".

24-26 November
UXConference, Cape Town
We will be doing a workshop on "UX techniques for agile teams".
P50 Goals

This is a technique that Kent Back explained to us. It's how they create goals at Facebook.

The basic idea:
When you create your goals they need to be big and ambitious enough that there is only a 50% chance of them succeeding. 
At Facebook the expectation is to achieve half your goals and not the other half. If you achieve them all - then you are not challenging yourself enough, and if you achieve none, well then you did not pick wisely.

The consequences:
You should not achieve all your goals, as a result every goal is a stretch goal. Because of this people tend to create a portfolio of goals that are in different areas.

Our experience:
About 3 years ago at Growing Agile, we would set realistic goals for the year and easily achieved them. Perfect you might think - but actually they weren't. It meant we never really left our comfort zone. For the last 2 years we have decided on a goal and then multiplied it by 10. This has resulted in us never reaching our goals, but dramatically changing how we work and think. We usually get about 25% of the way towards the goal, which is much more than we believed was possible.


What goals can you create this month? How can you make them P50 goals?

Interesting Blog Posts


Improving User Stories
Recently we worked with a client that was looking to improve their agile requirements. Although they were creating user stories, they didn’t feel like they captured enough details in the user stories.

Dealing with interruptions in Scrum
Most teams starting out with Scrum understand their backlog and what we called planned work. This is work that everyone grooms together and fully understands. Then there is all the other stuff!

Dealing with command and control
What strategies can I follow when working with a command and control Agile coach who is suffocatingly breathing down my neck ?

Is agile more efficient that waterfall?
Agile and Scrum can work in any software development scenario - true or false?
Are you a new Scrum Master or Product Owner?

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