My Approach to Re-Centering

I have a little black book.

No, it’s not that.

This is the point of the blog-post-writing process where I decided to search through 10 years of public journaling to see if I’ve covered this topic before. I have, 8 years ago. And I began that post the exact same way. Ugh.

Do I keep typing? Is there additional value I can provide? Have I changed at all in a way that’s worth sharing?

Eh, I’ve got two things for ya.

1 – This practice is still the best thing I can do, at a deeper level than a solid night’s rest, to re-center myself.

2 – I’ve recently recommitted to do this 4-hour activity every quarter, after only doing it a handful of times over the past few years.

Re-read that post. (I just did.)

How do you re-center yourself?

Look At The Camera

It’s simple… If you Zoom-From-Home, then: Look at the camera!

I mean… I could end this post right here.

But I won’t… This is just one of a few Remote Facilitation Tactics I wrote about a year ago, where a piece of insight I came to was:

You are either connecting with a person for your benefit (by looking at the person’s image), or connecting with a person for their benefit (by looking ‘at’ the person via the camera).

I seriously think I’ll turn this Public Agile Service Announcement into a rap song:

Continue reading Look At The Camera

Your Obituary

Beyond being at least half-decent at relating to a few key humans, what do you want it to say on your obituary?

Are there episodes to your life / career?

Are there grand acts of service / contributions to a field?

Are there noble crafts you dedicated yourself to each day?

Is this an exercise that helps you figure out what to do now & next?

What is your legacy?

So yeah. I think about this. A lot.

My Approach to a Quick Retrospective

It’s simple… Do not do a quick Retrospective.

But if y’ain’t got a lotta time… I do a “Fist Of Five“, gather quantitative & qualitative data, pretend for a moment we have 6 fingers on a hand, then capture a piece of Kaizen, all in 3 minutes.

I mean… I could end this post right here.

But I won’t… Remember that insurrection on January 6th? What the fuck was that shit? People were fed lies to fuel all sorts of anger & fear, which led to some of them invading the Capitol?!? Like, holy fucking shit!!! That whole scene represents major failure on a number of fronts, and… We. Need. To. Retrospect. HARD.

Alors… The quicker you Retrospect, the lesser the quality of the actionable item of improvement on the other side, mostly because you don’t give yourself the time to think up and dive down into how to make the next chunk of time better. Also, the shorter the amount of time you’re reflecting on, which is usually the same amount of time ahead of you that you hope to improve, the lesser the potential impact of the Kaizen. Think about it… Are you holding a Retrospective at the end of your day? Then the Kaizen will impact the next day, which will not be as potentially impactful as one you would pick from a weekly Sprint Retrospective, or a quarterly one, or a yearly one (New Year’s Resolutions, anyone?). Or one for a 4-year cycle (voting for a US President, anyone?). The LONGER the amount of time you’re retrospecting, the deeper the potential impact of… a piece of Kaizen. Yet, this isn’t what Agile is about… it’s about quicker feedback loops, to more frequently validate if you’re going in the right direction, mechanizing pivot/persevere decisions. Think about it… again… Are you holding a Retrospective at the end of your day? Then that retrospecting mechanizes how you change direction once a day, which will not be as potentially impactful as one for the next half-day (re-centering post-lunch, anyone?), or half-hour (a 1-1 regular meeting, anyone?). Or one for a moment (mindfulness, anyone?). The SHORTER the amount of time you’re retrospecting, the deeper the potential impact of… retrospecting. Oh, and the less risky a piece of Kaizen.

Maybe… I should’ve ended this post back there.

Continue reading My Approach to a Quick Retrospective

My Approach to the Daily Scrum

It’s simple… We walk the board, address 4 questions, then refine 1 ticket, all in 15 mins.

I mean… I could end this post right here.

But I won’t… As I chat up more Agilists, I realize that after 6 years of being a Scrum Master or Agile Coach full-time, and after almost 10 years of engaging in my own ScrumOfOne adventure, I’ve developed a few practices that are well received upon me sharing ’em verbally. So I figure I’ll share ’em here, bloggally.

Ya’ani… This reflects an internal shift I’m trying (ooh, a forelog), where I see a lack of clear & solid support for newer Scrum Masters, so I’m quietly working on a product & service to address this (yep, a backlog), through experimenting with newer approaches on myself (aha, a frontlog) (BINGO!). Thus, I see this blog shifting from present-day journaling to documenting ideas & practices from my recent past, plus playing with ideas & practices for a future I’d like to create: lowering the barrier to becoming a Daily Agilist. You don’t need a damn certificate (caveat: I have 3) to start playing this Agile game: this isn’t secret knowledge, nor should it be. And yes, certification was borne out of a desire to standardize after the organic spread of Scrum, to improve marketing (“hold up, this is Scrum”) and to reduce anti-patterns (“hold up, this is good Scrum”), but embarking on your own Agility, and then benefiting from it, shouldn’t require a big bang. There’s got to be a better way. Anyway, this paragraph is way too long, and you’re here for my “at-least-ha” take on the stand-up.

Maybe… I should’ve ended this post back there.

Continue reading My Approach to the Daily Scrum