Archive for May, 2011

A few years ago I launched the google agile conferences calendar. This calendar allows you to see all agile conferences in your own calendar.  It is maintained by 62 people.

More and more people were interested in adding also smaller events.
Smaller events are  interesting for local people and for people that are at one moment in a country and want to look what is happening.
[The definition of event is < smaller 1 day.] For that I created the google agile events calendar:

This is maintained by the same 62 people.

This works fine if you want to see it in your agenda.
If you are interested in seeing where are events on a map, you should check out ConfRadar.

This website shows the conferences map based. It also allows you to download a specific conference to your own calendar. (using iCall)
ConfRadar works with tags and allows you to even receive notification when someone add’s a conference with the same tag.

The direct link is here:

Family Resources

Saturday morning I as a taxi-resource, drive our family football -resource to his match.
At the same time my co taxi-resource, is bringing our musical-resource to his music class.
While he is in this class, the other taxi-resource goes back to our home and then 30 minutes later brings our gymnastics-resource to the gymnastics class.

Then she goes back home and another 30 minutes later she brings the musical-resource back home. Another 30 minutes the gymnastic-resource is ready to come home.

By that time the football match is over and this taxi-resource goes home or the football resource is brought home by another taxi-resource from a non-colocated football teammember.

In the afternoon we bring to scouting resources to the local scouting, the scouting resources are in fact the same as the football-resource and the musical-resource. (Yet in a different roles so we look at them as another resource.)

Do you like my idea of talking about my family as in resources?

I HATE it. My kids are not resources, neither is my wife or me.

Next time you talk about people as a resource, think about your kids. When you are ready to call your kids a resource, then you can talk about me as a human resource.

(The management version of that line is: when you call your people resources, be prepared they call you management overhead.)














In every book about teamwork, software management, etc you will read the same, great teams have a shared vision.
My idea of a shared vision is different from what you will find in most books. These books talk about creating a shared vision statement. For me a shared vision is a state, not a statement.

Yes creating a statement together is one way of creating such a shared vision state. I’m afraid that people reading about such a workshop, only think about the visual result (the statement) and try to be efficient and come up with a statement themselves.
No matter how smart you are, no matter if you found the best shared vision statement, you wasted all your time and probably made the life of the team member a lot more miserable. Although I’m not a big footbal expert, my nicest example of a shared vision state is when one player runs along the line with the ball and then passes to the other side, without looking, knowing his colleague is there.

The visions statement of such a team could be as simple as “we will win as much as possible” or even “have fun all the way”. Does this mean the statement does not matter at all? Once a shared vision statement is created it’s most important work is done.
Now it is used to remind the team of the state of shared vision.
While I’m working, I’m completely in a flow going in one direction, and that might not be in the direction of the team. When we have a shared vision statement. This statement will remind me about the vision space I shared with my colleagues.
Getting teams in that space called shared vision is one of the most powerfull ways a coach can help a team.

Jim and Michele McCarthy think a shared vision is so important that they spend 4 days from their 5 days Teamwork Bootcamp on it.  As unbelieveble as its sound, they have found a predictable way to bring teams in a state of shared vision. (Everytime I participated in a bootcamp I saw working. Ok, that is exagerated, everytime except one, and I also know why it did not work that one time.)

Although I think it is the best way. It’s not the only way. You also have Lyssa’s journey lines or the Strategic Play creating a Vision with lego.


Agile Practises that support a Shared Vision:

Books & Articles to read

Books recommended by others:


They recommend the Producing Open Source software book.

Most important aspect of open source project:
Attention and Focus of your community


  • OCD are:
    • Perfectionist
    • People obsessed with the process
  • Paint in the  bikeshit: the amount of discussion for a feature is inversially proposional to it’s complexity (similar to the fourth law of parkinson)
  • Commit e-mails are the best way to have people realize what others people are working on
  • Do large changes in branches
  • they mention the busfactors
  • Don’t let people add their names to the top of the source-code
    • the health of your community is more important then any feature or bug fix
  • Even founders can be booted
  • If you find yourself voting on everything, something is wrong
  • It’s good to have bad and good cops in your community
  • Everybody wants to write code, but who wants to sit down and discuss the design with…
  • I’ll let you see the code when I’m done. It’s ok, I’m willing to press the delete key when you are done.
  • Patches welcome is a nice way to say screw yourself.
  • Learn to divorce yourself from the argumentation
  • Is it going to help the project?
  • Are they distracting the project right now?

Thing that make a heatlthy open source community

  • have a mission
    • this insures that your community have a focus
  • Mailing list etiquette
  • Document your project history
    • Design mistakes
    • Bug fixes
    • Mistakes
  • Have healthy code-collaboration policies
  • Have well defined process
  • Maintain calm and stand your ground


A few montsh ago Jurgen Appelo started ALE (Agile & Lean Europe) Network

This is it’s first Vision created in Madrid. I’m that I was not there. I’m happy to see that Olaf helped out with a session like the one we did together at XPDay Benelux 2010

Last version of my PairProgramming is like sex presentation.

This presentation was first created as a presentation for students. As they loved the title I kept it. As I don’t want to offend people, the second slide of this presentation I ask the people why they think PairProgramming is like sex.

This is what today’s participants came up with:

  • It’s more fun with 2 (more people)
  • Share feelings warm & cuddle
  • Build knowledge really fast
  • Can make you sick if not done right
  • Discuss what works/what not
  • 2 have more idea’s
  • Requires mutual consent to do it

One thing I added:

You can’t learn it from a book.

You can read the AHA wall on flickr (check for the tags to read the post it’s)

Questions that came up during the course :

  • Can you PP over skype?
  • Do we need somebody to ‘supervise’ the way you do PP ? (Esp in the beginning?)
  • What if there’s no option posibility to use some OS/Computer
  • What to do if there is a conflict between the two, a discussion??
  • It can’t work with any type of character, how do you manage?
  • What if one uses AZERTY and another one QWERTY keyboard?
  • Doesn’t it make it harder to plan a project or resources people (Yves reframed resources to people)
  • Can someone do PP with 1 person and PP for something else with another person?
  • Can you get into “the zone” when you’re PP-ing?
  • Does Promiscuous Pairing kill the flow? (30′ interupts)
  • Why not use PP all of the time?
  • PP= More talking
    =more annoying for other nearby teams?
  • Do you plan who is going to do what or how do you choose whose turn it is?
  • Can you do PP with > 2 people?
  • How do you handle the “Don’t care”?

I answered all these questions during the course, I’m interested to hear your answer.


You might also have a look at my improvement game, which is an adaption of the perfection game.

Related to “Just do it” is this theme. The title is a quote from Grace Murray Hopper one of the amazing IT women (I added a book about her in the booklist at the end.)

A special case of perfectionism is people waiting for permission . Complaining that their bosses take to long to take decisions, or that they are moron’s that don’t take the right decision. Complaining does not help your situation.
Agilists are professionals. Professionals take decisions for their work.

Most perfectionists look for some kind of recognition. For some of them that locks them from starting anything without permission.
In reality most chefs are very happy when people come with solutions instead of problems.
Even happier when they execute things and report on the progress.

Some managers have not enough experience with this kind of behavior. Maybe you are a manager and this idea makes you afraid. What will people think of me as a manager when my people take decisions?
Will they consider me as a good manager?
Hold this thought for a while.
Let’s first focus what this could mean for your time.
– A lot less boring meetings
– A lot more time to do all the things that you are supposed to do. And you know do in the evening.
– You will finally have time to help your boss be successful.

⇒ Imagine you can focus on helping and making your boss successful.

Now go back to that thought you had before.
How will she think of such a manager?
Right, she will want more managers like you!

Do you see a pattern?
A perfectionist boss, creates perfectionist teams.
This is called team==product.

Agile Techniques Supporting “Ask for forgiveness instead of asking for permission”:

  • Retrospectives
  • Self-Organization
  • Refactoring
  • Visual Management
  • Small Iterations
  • Continuous Integration
  • Unit Tests
  • TDD
  • BDD


Thanks to Geert Acke for this video


“I regreted the time I wasted with things that did not matter, with people that matter”.
“I decide to eliminate negative energy from my life.”
“I no longer tried to be right, I tried to be happy”
“Dying is not scary”
“Are you being the best parent you can?”