I have a confession to make: My name is Anat, and I was infected with the agile virus while I was a product owner.
The first agile technique that made me look at the system differently was the minimum viable product (MVP). The moment I realized what it means, I asked myself: “why have I ever invested time in infrastructure that I do not know I'm ever going to use?”or “why have I ever invested 2 months on a feature that I do not know my customers even find value in?”
MVP is one of the most important techniques, and it’s important to notice that its power is matched only by the amount of confusion it causes, because it's actually quite hard to do. It requires judgment to figure out, for any given context, what MVP actually means. 

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At a course I held recently, one of the participants kept a record of all the resources that were mentioned during over the two days.

There are endless "vitamins" that can be extracted from this behavior  taking roles in a team, encouraging learning, fostering a growth culture  to name just a few.

Instead of telling you what I think you can learn from this, I am sharing the list of resources that she recorded.

  1. Clark Ching - Rolling Rocks Downhill: How to Ship YOUR Software Projects On Time, Every Time
  2. Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow
  3. Robert Martin - Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship Add a comment

All the scrum ceremonies are designed to implement most of Agile values and principles. However, only the retrospective ceremony is specifically mentioned as a principle in the agile manifesto.

Principle number 12: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”.  

In order to keep the retrospective valuable, it requires from the facilitator (usually the scrum master) to invest time in order to prepare himself or herself for the next retro. The preparation includes observing and taking notes during the iteration, learning new activities to spark ideas and encourage participates involvement, and creativity to keep the retrospective interesting and fun.

Recently, a scrum master of a team, within one of my customers I worked with during the last 3 months, had very good, valuable, and creative retrospective. I want to share this retrospective plan with you - it might help you prepare your next retrospective. 

Some background: the team is within the “norming”stage. It has begun to be effective, and focusing on cooperation. 

The scrum master shared with me that he feels that on one story the team preforms like in the movie “The Avengers”-  the team is collaborating together, and like a super heroes, they are getting the work done. However, on another story he feels the team performs like in the movie “The never-ending story” - it is being dragged from one iteration to another. This is how we come to the idea of retrospective from the movies. 

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*The original name of this post was “Have some focus to spare?” but since Passover is around the corner it seemed nice to use the famous statement made by Charlton Heston(Moses).

Very often when we detect a problem, we have a tendency is to shift attention to the area where the problem is in an attempt to solve it. Just ask my kids if you don't believe me…
This approach, while sometimes useful, overlooks two very important factors: We have a limited amount of focus to distribute & looking at a problem may make it worse.

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Prgamatism: a reasonable and logical way of doing things or of thinking about problems that is based on dealing with specific situations instead of on ideas and theories [merriam-webster Dictionary] 

In my role as an agile coach i often get to meet people and organizations that are considering embarking on their journey towards organizational agility, more often than not these people are seeking a coach that will offer them what they refer to as “pragmatic advice”, they are seeking advice and ideas that are not religious or theoretical, advice that will work it their own company with its own limitations and realities.

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