Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Amplify Learning with Mind Maps

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Mind Mapping

I’ve long been an advocate for visual learning and discovery tools. Models, maps, prototypes, along with the use of symbols and color, aid in understanding complex ideas. So what I saw in a recent Agile Requirements training class I taught in Tokyo, Japan—hosted by our training partner OGIS-RI—took my love of visuals to a new level. One attendee, Hidehiko Akasaka, was especially engaged. To my delight, he was using mind maps to help him organize and amplify his learning!

I use mind maps for a variety of topics. For example, recently I “wrote” a book review using a mind map. Yet, for me, Akasaka-san takes mind maps to a new level Continue reading | 4 Comments

“Agile Movies”: Tweets for Fun

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Curated by Ellen Gottesdiener

The twitter-verse was recently ablaze with an informal playful contest: rename well-known movies using common agile terms and expressions (see my short list of those terms, below*).

It’s the month of and for April Fools, so join me for some fun.

I’ve assembled the best of the best of “agile movie” – with credit to its originator (and his or her twitter handle). Continue reading | 1 Comment

Cure Your Agile Planning and Analysis Blues: The Top 9 Pain Points

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

frazzledproductchampionIf you’re on a team that’s transitioning to lean/agile, have you experienced troubling truths, baffling barriers, and veritable vexations around planning and analysis? We work with many lean/agile teams, and we’ve noted certain recurring planning and analysis pain points.

Mary Gorman and I shared our top observations in a recent webinar. Our hostess, Maureen McVey, IIBA’s Head of Learning and Development, prompted us to begin by sharing why we wrote the book Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis and then explaining the essential practices you can learn by reading the book. Continue reading | 2 Comments

Software That Matters: A Review of Gojko Adzic’s Impact Mapping

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects, by Gojko Adzic, explains how to use an efficient visual modeling technique to ensure that project partners build the right products—or, as the author says, products that have impact. Impact mapping, the subject of this lithe, approachable book, is an adaptation of visual mapping techniques (effect mapping). Continue reading

Experiencing Agile: 6 Agile Planning and Analysis Practices to Try

Monday, May 14th, 2012

What practices can you adopt to help your team experience Agile?

This question was raised by a listener to the podcast we recorded on agile analysis practices with BA coach Yamo. (Find the podcast here.) The specific question that Katie Metcalf asked us was this:

“What Agile techniques would you suggest introducing to a software development team that is currently not using the Agile approach but would like to get a flavor for the methodology?”

Best Books for Software Developers

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

This winter, SD Times editor Jennifer deJong Lent asked me to contribute an SD Times article on recommended books for developers. Jennifer and I agreed my list would exclude books about languages, databases or IDEs. I was pleased to contribute.

Jennifer begins her article with the following: “With the proliferation of online articles and ebooks, old-fashioned paper books seem not to have a place in today’s world. Many experts, however, still find useful things in paperbacks and hardcovers. From technology to people and team management, these books still help developers out today. Here are what the experts recommend.” Continue reading

Reflecting on My Personal Learning Journey

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011


I’m pleased to share with you an “author cast,” a podcast interview of me by Yaaqub (Yamo) Mohamed of The BACoach.

Yamo’s interview got me thinking and reflecting on my own professional learning journey and dig into the two books I’ve written (so far 😉 ). Continue reading | 1 Comment

This Week’s Business Analysis and Requirements Workshop: 2 Days of Learning in Las Vegas

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I was recently interviewed by SearchSoftwareQuality editor Yvette Francino about this week’s Business Analysis and Requirements Workshop at the Better Conference/Development Conference this week in Las Vegas, Nevada (6-7 June, 2011).

Yvette asked me to explain the logistics, if we would be emulating gathering requirements for a particular project and if the workshop be relevant regardless of domain area. Here are my answers: As conference chair, Continue reading | 1 Comment

Agile Requirements by Collaboration

Monday, November 1st, 2010

By Guest Blogger Rob Elbourn, Scrum Team Lead working at a major financial concern in UK. Visit Rob’s Agile78 Blog

I recently attended the “Agile Requirements by Collaboration” presentation at Skills Matter lead by Ellen Gottesdiener from EBG Consulting. Here are some of the main points I got from it.

Ellen described how collaboration needs to happen on several different levels of granularity along the way requirements are viewed on agile projects– the product (which establishes the product or portfolio roadmap), the release and the iteration (or work-in-progress).

Exploring these views can occur in several different facilitated workshops, from the roadmap workshop, to the release workshop to iteration workshops. The corresponding requirements that are clarified or driven out from these workshops also appear on different levels – boulder, rock and pebble.

The idea is that the pebbles form your user stories and are driven out at the level of the iteration workshop. Projects can encounter rock sized requirements at the iteration level and suffer a time delay as new pebble requirements are chipped off from them. This brings to question the level of “doneness” for a user story. Continue reading

Being Agile when Designing and Playing Agile Games

Friday, July 30th, 2010

By Mary Gorman

In my Stickyminds.com column “Playing at Work: Agile Games Deliver Value” I share game ideas and experiences – the benefits games can provide, selecting an appropriate game, facilitating a game, and designing a winning game.

Designing and Facilitating Agile Games

When writing the column I got to thinking how agile principles could provide a basis for good game design and facilitation. I reflected on a recent experience I had at Deep Agile 2010: Empowering Teams with Agile Games. Working in a small group we created a new game, tested it, and retrospected both the game and our design process in less than half a day. We consciously (and some times unconsciously!) were being agile! (To see and learn more about our game, read Michael Sahota’s summary at The Backlog Is in the Eye of the Beholder.)

Games and The Agile Manifesto

To clearly communicate the agile-ness of our work and what we learned I did a quick mapping to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Continue reading