An exercise from 5 dysfunctions of a team

I have a couple of times been recommended the book The five dysfunctions of a team and the last couple of weeks I finally got around to read it. The book is really great and worth reading. In this post I wanted to talk about a very simple exercise that we used in our team the other day. “Review” First of all; I love the book. It’s another of the those text books that is a novel. In this case a very well-written, well-developed story about a new CEO that enters a startup. The company have some really good people in their management team, but their failure to work together as a team hurts the company. The rest of the book is devoted to how the heroine (Kathryn) helps the management team to really become a team and not just a bunch of people happen to work together. It’s of...
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What is important, really?

The team I’m in right now is under a lot of pressure and stress. And have been for some time before I joined it. I’ve been in meetings where no-one of the five people in the room could sit down, due to stress. Two weeks after I started I had to comfort a crying colleague after the “customer” yelled at her, despite her best efforts. Me, myself, I’m nervous to report any news (good or bad) to the customers, since they seem to be angry all the time. Things like that. I cannot help but wonder: What is important? Really. Glimpses Before I reveal my thoughts here - let me give a few glimpses (recent and old) that made me think about this; I remember in Indonesia that we had an important meeting that all of a sudden was interrupted by the news that one of the board members in...
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My day off

As you might now the last couple of years have taken quite a toll on my personal life. It was work and my work situation that wore me (and my wife) down. Before we moved back to Sweden Elin and I decided to try to do something about it, so that we didn’t fall back into a work-life-situation that wore us down again. Therefor we decided to not work full time when we get back. Wednesdays are my day off. I wanted to share some initial reactions and … eeeeh … symptoms. Just to be clear - I’m ok. I don’t feel bad, stressed or depressed now. But I don’t want to go there again. This is my ways of protection. Others The first thing that have strike me is that I need to explain the reasons for me taking Wednesdays off to people around me: Oh, you're working for...
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... what does that say about me

I more and more realize that what I’m doing is about change management. It’s involved in more or less every gig I get and I feel that I know just a fraction about what I need to handle it. However I have three thoughts that have helped me immensely in how to approach change. They calm me down around the nervosity I’ve felt about “changing people”, since both have to do with changing perspective, putting me on the other side. In this post I wanted to share these ideas, that are not mine mind you, and maybe you will feel a bit calmer too. I’ve blogged many times about Switch which is the best book I’ve read on the topic. Change! or Change? There’s a sentence in the beginning of the book that I really think is important to approach change in a more humble, gentle and (hopefully) hence more...
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Indonesia, Agile, Kanban, Lean - its a new book

Never in my life would I dream of writing a book. But that have happened and we (me and Joakim) are super proud of the result and very humbled by the good reception the book has got. Never in my life would I dream about me writing another book… But it’s happening. Again. I can’t believe it, this time around again. This will be a story about my experiences in the hospital that I helped during my two years in Indonesia. I’ve blogged extensively about it here and many of those posts will resurface in the book. There will soon be a site for the book and I’ll make sure to update this post with the link to that. The background The story how it came to be is a bit similar as the story of Kanban In Action. One of the most amazing things that happened during my two...
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What if only small works?

In my church, Vasakåren of the Salvation Army, there’s some amazing work being done for people outside the church. All along the lines of William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army); Soup, soap, Salvation One of the more impressive ones are led by my good friend Johan. It’s a program that helps people to get job. It’s called “faith, hope and work”1. They have had amazing results. About 75% of the people that comes to “Faith, hope and work” gets a job! My mind was blown away. I learned that the governmental job-finder facility has a hit rate of about 10-25%. And I did the same erroneous assumption as many of the organizations where agile is started to be used, does. I tried to scale it. What I did, which I think that many of you just did too, was to say to Johan: That's just amazing! How if we...
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Prioritization - some thoughts and tools

Basically we have a lot things to do, many different wills and opinions as to what is more important and 3 hours to get it done. Can you facilitate that for us? The end of the first email from my “new”1 could not have been more direct and to the point. And yet part of me found it a bit scary too. This is one of the hardest things you encounter in a project or any organization, and now I was going to do it as the first impression. Therefor I thought that I could list a couple of thoughts and tools that have helped me through the years. Just to revise them for myself at least. You can peak if you want. There’s high and low stuff here. Some of it might not be suitable for the kind of prioritization that you’re doing. Your mileage may vary. Thoughts First...
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Book review: 50 quick ideas to improve your retrospectives

I have a confession to make: I think retrospectives are boring There. It’s out there. I’ve attended many and facilitated even more. I don’t like it. But before you all start to throw wasted fruit and vegetables my way, let me follow that statement up with a contradiction: I think that retrospecting is the fundament of agile, and what's needed to improve If agile brought anything new to the IT table it was the idea that we repeatedly, often or even continuously look back on our work, our tools, our output or our environment and try to improve it. Admittedly that was not invented by agile, but that’s how most of us got in contact with it. And it’s the one basic idea that can be found in all agile framework. Because it’s essential to improve. Anyway - those two statements causes a problem for me, as you probably can...
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Riot.js: anatomy of a tag

Remember back in the days when you (or me at least) proudly could say: “I’m a back end developer”? Well, sorry those days are gone since a few years. Now, front end can mean many different things and quite often, luckily for me, it’s been just feeding data into a already structured framework, but what if you need to set the architecture? Naturally we turn to the frameworks of choice and … about at this point I run into problems. Because I really have a problem with “big” frameworks like Angular Js, Ember, Aurelia or React. They look nice and I have really tried to learn, at least part of, them. Sometimes I’ve been close, but they just don’t stick. Too much for my poor head. Maybe Koa and Nancy has destroyed me. I’m now a micro-framework guy. I just want my tools, as much as possible, to stay out...
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Some kanban questions from a keen learner, and my answers

I sometimes have the good fortune to get questions sent to me via email. Often they are very thought provoking and makes me put some (or in this case considerable) effort behind to be able to get a intelligent answer. Also, I try to share my answers on line to increase the learning possibilities. I try to answer those questions when I get the can, especially when I see that the person really wants to learn. A really good example of that came to me the other day, when Jocelyn wrote me. He’s about to attend a course on kanban and was required, before the course, to conduct an interview with someone who knew the topic. Here’s Jocelyn’s questions and my answers to follow Benefits of Kanban If Agile methodology is a bag of tricks what are the benefit of KANBAN? How does it adapt to various sectors and particularly...
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