Archive for the ‘retrospectives’ Category

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

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?”

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

Are Your Software Development Practices Jumping the Shark?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman

In September 1977, the TV sitcom Happy Days had über-hip Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and swimshorts, water ski over a shark to prove his mettle—and at that moment even diehard fans knew that the show was past its prime. They were right. After that episode, ratings plummeted, and the expression “Jumping the Shark” was born. When a TV show, or anything else, jumps the shark, you know it’s on its way out.

Our question this month: have any of your software development practices jumped the shark?

For example, are there boundaries around people’s roles? Some organizations tend to confine people to roles such as developer, architect… Continue reading

The 4L’s: A Retrospective Technique

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener

We liked it when a good thing took on a life of its own.
We learned that it really resonated with many folks.
We lacked sharing the full understanding of the technique.
We longed for more sharing.

Liked Learned Lacked Longed For

At the recent Deep Agile event, Mary briefly mentioned a 3Ls’ technique she used in a recent  retrospective (Liked, Lacked, Longed For).  A few folks tweeted about it, and it took off in the web’o’sphere

To fulfill our longing to share and provide some background, keep reading to learn how we use this technique.

Many moons ago we… Continue reading | 16 Comments

Opening Space for Passion, Energy, and Learning Part II

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Last time, I introduced Open Space, an innovative approach to creating change in whole systems and inspiring the best in human performance. Also called Open Space Technology (OST), Open Space was created by Harrison Owen in the 1980s. It’s a self-organizing practice that encourages people to exchange information and ideas in informal settings.

How Does It Work?

To start, Open Space participants gather in a dynamic opening event in what we call the marketplace. Anyone can offer topics they care about, want to reflect on, and learn about with others. You don’t have to be an expert, guru, or even highly experienced or knowledgeable about the topic you convene. During the marketplace, participants create a board that lists all the session topics people want to talk about, with time slots and locations for each proposed topic.

Then each participant directs her own choices. Groups convene sessions around these topics and record their findings.

Open Space operates on four principles:

1. Whoever comes is the right people.

2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.

3. Whenever it starts is the right time.

4. When it is over it is over. Continue reading

Opening Space for Passion, Energy, and Learning

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Next week, I’ll have the honor of facilitating the Open Space at the Deep Agile 2010: Empowering Teams with Agile Games Conference May 15-16 in Boston.

If you haven’t heard much about Open Space, read on. I want to share my experiences and define this technique in detail.

My Open Space Journey

Imagine going to an “un” conference: it’s like other conferences, except that you determine the topics, interact with others who have passion, experience, and curiosity about the same topics, and cross-fertilize your knowledge by sharing with other highly engaged learners. If you’re bored, tired, or not getting value from any session, it’s OK to just walk away. Oh, and someone will record and share the findings, so you can get a flavor for any sessions you missed. That’s Open Space.

Wow. Continue reading | 2 Comments

Lessons on Distributed Volunteer Collaboration: Retrospective on Delivering the IIBA BABOK, Part 2

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

In my earlier post, I talked about a project I am working on: an all-volunteer effort to write an Agile-BABOK® extension (now we are officially calling it an “extension”, vs. an addendum).

I had suggested we learn from a similar effort—the development of the BABOK itself.

I figured the agile extension effort would be an ideal opportunity to document and leverage the lessons learned in conducting a project staffed by our geographically dispersed volunteers.

What works? What doesn’t? How can we adjust our practices based on our experience?

To learn about the BABOK development effort, I interviewed Mary Gorman, the person I consider the most knowledgeable about the BABOK (except for Kevin Brennan, IIBA’s VP, Body of Knowledge). (By the way, Mary’s BABOK Navigation tools are being freely provided to the business analysis community on our EBG Consulting web site.) Continue reading