Archive for May, 2010


A few days ago I posted the RSA animation of Daniels Pink Drive.

This is another great RSA animated video. Made me think really hard about education and the way I teach people. It explains why I love to teach people about agile using games.


Technorati Tags: Agile,Games,RSA Animate

Another post in my attempt to learn people about retrospectives.

Now a video from a presentations of the masters themselves…


This is a another video of Daniel Pink on motivation.

The style is totally different then the one that I posted earlier.


On Wednesday 11 august 2010, I will do my session “What I learned from burning down my house. That session is based on the book In Search of Urgency.
Victor Frankl has written a book in Search of meaning, about something much worse then a fire. I’m not sure he sees it as the best thing that happened to him (as I thought for a long time) but he surely has written a wonderful book about how people frame their experiences.

Although I only read the book a few years ago, I had similar experiences after the fire.


His last sentences in this talk, gives me energy for my work as an agile coach.


It’s interesting to look at this talk and think about the social network of the agile community.

Good idea’s need a social network and a social network needs good things.

Nicholas Christakis end with “The world need more connections.” I could not agree more…


Henrik Kniberg has started an initiative to translate the Agile Manifesto into multiple languages.

At ACCDE10 this picture was drawn as a universal version.


As promissed I also write a perfection game of the evening itself.


I give the Scrum User Group Bordeaux (11 May 2010) meeting an 8 out of 10.


What I like about the meeting is that

-There is a vivit community

– that it happens inside a company that brings new people to the community

– there were lots of people from this company.

– there was a game.

– I knew at least one person

– I had no problem connecting with other people

– very timeboxed and most of the timeboxes where respected.

– An introduction about Philippe to present briefly the scrum community

– An explanaition about scrum gatherings

– time for the sponsor (important to find new sponsors)

– drinks at the end

Respect for the families of the people joining (sustainable place)

– I could put my kids into bed after the meting

– I found the location quickly (thanks to a great co-driver)


To give it a ten:


– Have 1 meeting every month:

– have a 15 minute introduction to scrum every time

– have every introduction done by another ‘expert’, to learn more people presenting scrum and hear multiple views

– me being able to not feel guilty when leaving a user group early

As promised in the previous post, a perfection game of the game.

I’ll give the retrospective game a 7 out of 10.

What I liked about it is:

-It was a nice implementation of the game

Christophe Deniaud thanked the creators of the game.

-it mentioned where to download and buy the game

-the whole game was timeboxed with a visible timer

-It made me reflect on my last retrospection

-No slides were used

-some of the existing slides were printed and put on the walls.

-Being a participant of a game, made me think hard about my own games.

-it was about retrospectives, something that is close to my heart

Norman Kerth’s book was mentioned

Prime Directive was read out loud

To give this a 10 I would like

– see an agenda of how the game will be run before the game.

– Hear an explanation before the game instead of after the game.

– Have a real retrospective: do some kind of small game, and then do a retrospective of something that really happened, instead of us inventing what could have happened.

(hey it’s my perfection game, so I can dream…)

-a better explanation at the start of the game to explain the purpose of a retrospective (As we had 50% people new to agile/scrum)

-more time in the beginning of the game to understand what will happen.

-use observers instead of having 3 groups.

-A real moderator in each group, so that inside each group the game can be run as a real retrospective

– a pair presentor for having a better flow

– less reading from papers during the presentation

– real feedback round at the end, and thus more time (yes you knew that one was coming)

– Give everyone a set of retrospective game cards at the end

– An English Version that is ready to use with my teams

– The agile alchemiste website would not be down the evening I write this post…  ;  –  )

THE agile retrospective book was also mentioned (or I did hear it mentioned)

– All the text (ex prime directive) would have been translated in the language the presentor wanted to use. (avoids small glitches in the workshops)

One of the advantages of working in another country, is I can visit other agile user groups.

Last year I went to the Extreme Tuesday Club (London)

Today I visited the Scrum User Group Bordeaux


Interesting about these exchanges, is I get to really see the differences in how these user groups are run.

XTC is running every Tuesday.  Same day, same time, more or less same place (they have changed locations a few times in the last 10 years).


Philippe told me he had some challenges finding the right timebox for the user group.

At this moment the Scrum User Group session is from 18:00 till 19:30.


People in the Belgium community might be surprised that I was home at 20:50 after this meeting. Yes I’m working on my life balance.

(Not easy if you know that I asked my family to move with me to Bordeaux and at the same time have scheduled 19 days at conferences.)

At least being home so early I could write about my experience after putting my kids to bed.


In the Belgium Agile community we have a lot’s of agile games, almost all these Belgium games take 3 hours to run. As far as I remember (hey I’m have been working in EMEA since November 2009) the meeting in Belgium started with a drink at 18:00 and the sessions started at 19:00. The sessions ended at 22:00. (And the discussions ended in a pub after midnight) We always had 3 hours for the session.

I can not imagine what the Belgium Games would have looked like with only sessions of 1,5 hours. Not surprisingly, I found the 1 hour for the retrospective game very short 😉

But that view is very influenced by our culture difference (I’m talking about the culture of the agile community here.)


I’ll do two perfection games on the evening:

one on the retrospective game and one on the event.

John’s session at ACCDE10 about leaving your comfort zone was the right session at the right time for me.

I like getting out of my comfort zone. To hear that so many coaches (all?) have that experience was already a good insight (It also made me realize the opposite is true for a lot of the people I coach)

Moving with my family to Bordeaux is really going outside of my comfort zone.

(And even much more for my kids, my partner and our family then it is for me.)


I know that me getting out of my comfort zone is related to being one of the youngest kids of my class and related to the experience I had when I burned down my parents house.

(Come to my session with Robin Dymond at Agile 2010 if you want to know more about that experience.)


Talking with so many coaches about this was a real eye opener.

Especially as I had been thinking about the subject as the result of my gestalt course and our family move. Thank you John for organizing this and everyone else that interacted.


statements I remember:

1) Getting out of your comfort zone is important for personal improvement
2) When you do experiements as a coach to learn people about this, people might see things differently, because of their earlier experiences.
3) Give people a safe environment so they can learn to push their boundaries.
4) People need to feel safe to move out of their comfort zone.
5) The Safety Zone is bigger then Comfort Zone
6) Stepping out of your Comfort zone increases the size of Safety Zone

7) Staying to long in your Comfort Zone decreases your safe zone.
7) Safety zone != Safe zone

8) Safety zone is perceived


Sometimes we coaches are telling the clients, that their safe zone no longer exists.

People might not get the message and be angry at us. (They think we are the problem) Where in fact we are only the messenger.

The trick is to have games or workshops that people realize

A) their safety zone no longer is a safe zone

B) We can help them finding a new Safety zone that is a safe zone.


It was again nice to see that whatever I’m learning that I can use as a coach I can use as a parent to.

I felt really sorry to leave before the end, but I had a session immediately after it, and there were no breaks in between the sessions.