Agile Coaching, Good Question!

NOT done!

One of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is maximizing the amount of work NOT done! If you really manage to do it, it is very liberating. It actually sounds very easy but is really hard to get it started and keep it going.


In meetings I again and again find myself trapped in the role of a project manager: Collect as many assigned ToDos as possible, be happy if you leave the meeting with a long list of ToDos and if you have produced MORE work (mostly for others…).

Thinking a lot about the Agile Manifesto and the Lean Disciplines I started to measure the success of a planning or status meeting in a different way now:

  • How many cards with User Stories or tasks have been ripped into pieces at the end of the meeting?
  • How many items of the backlog have been deleted (b/c “not relevant anymore”, “nice to have and will never have time for that”, “what was this about anyway”)?
  • How many minutes could we end the meeting earlier by stopping useless discussions and meanigless monologues?
  • How many tasks or tickets that have not been changed in your issue tracking system since 60 days (or longer) can we delete? (If the task or ticket is really important it will pop up again via a new task or ticket anyway.)
  • How many tasks or tickets of your team that are not completly clear have we bounced to the person responsible (most probably your product owner or project manager)?

This list is to be continued…

Agile Coaching, Books

Really listening

At the moment I’m reading “Agile Coaching” from Rachel Davies & Liz Sedley.

It strikes me, how much of the things they describe as the basics I’ve naturally done in the last years. Nevertheless one of the most important, easiest but also hardest things is to really listen to & to really pay attention to your colleagues when they are talking to you.

A lot of colleagues visit me in my office these days. It’s ok that most of them ignore that I’m either actually working on something or am just about to leave for a meeting; they simply jump in…
For a couple of days I find myself restarting in those situations:
I’m listening to what my colleague has to say, I’m trying to be open and relaxed, I allow silence in the conversation and try to pay my complete attention to the colleague.

We all know it’s important. It sounds easy. But it’s hard.