Archive for the ‘Retroflection’ Category

On the 1ste of January 2010, I started the twitter account @Retroflection. Already 1179 days in a row, this twitter account tweets a something to think about.
Although I started that alone, quickly people asked me if they could join. At this moment , we have 53 people who collaborate in it.
Recently this project resulted in a website, that can give you random things to think about.

A few weeks ago, inspired by this small success, I looked how I could go a step further. On my train home, I asked myself,  what I have learned today/this week.
I called it #FridaysLessonsLearned

I hope the name (twitter tag) says it all.

Yes every Friday, I will stand still and think: what have I learned this week?

These are my lessons:

15 March: I (re) learned to ask more question in person ( and not in mail).
23 March: I need to CheckOut faster and Pass more
29 March: Discussing to convince someone that I am listening to him , is proving I am not.

Yesterday Cesario Ramos & Gitte Klitgaard joined me.

Will you join me next Friday?



Here are the slides of my ALE2012 Presentation about all the online collaboration projects I started.
Unfortunatly on the slide I only have pictures of 68 people. somehow I did not find out how to create a picture of 146 people in google picassa.
The presentation was originally called: “What I learned from Who is agile”, but when the ALE2012 organisation to talk for 1 hour instead of 30 minutes, I started thinking about more projects then just the book creation.

My professional life started in 1994 by doing software support for a small (7 people) IT company.
The company had a DOS program for insurance brokers. Most of their users were people who did not know much of computers.
Philippe hired me to offer free support to these people. Making his customers life as easy as possible helped the company a lot. We went from a 200 (or 300, I don’t remember anymore) customers to over 1400 customers in little over a year.
When I later started my own company in 1998, I decided I would take this to the extreme:

I offer Free Lifetime support on everything I do.

A few examples to show that I take this pretty serious:

Free support for

At ALE 2011 I did a lightning talk to challenge every consultant or consulting firm to do the same thing. If you support this idea, you can tag yourself with this tag at entaggle

As I love recursive things, I do give FLS to this post about FLS.
my SLA? I guarantee a reply in 48 hours. And usually it’s a lot faster then 24 hours.

And now it’s my turn to ask for help: Will you help me finding someone who wants to create a logo for FLS?

Oh and when I say LIFE, I mean mine, not yours. 😉

I started this project on the 1ste of January.

I have tweeted every single day (Ok I scheduled a tweet that was only tweeted the next day on 1 day…)

Today I have tweeted the 222 question.

Thanks to 16 colaborators, I now have a backlog of questions for the next 40 days …

Wow. Thank you for making this work.

On the 1st of January of 2010 I launched the Agile Retroflection of the Day initiative.
Instead of waiting until I had the perfect idea, I launched it right away and I wanted to change it based on the feedback I got.
The feedback I heard most, was that "the rules" were to complicated.

So this is Version 3. An attempt to make it simpler. A big kudos to Deborah and Mike for helping me with doing that. 

-I tweet the retroflection question on Twitter in the morning
-You use the question (for yourself, at work, with others)
-Write down your story of how you used the question / what happened
– send me a tweet or email with
   – where you have written your story (blog, tweet, comment, etc)
   – your suggested "next question". Open ended questions are preferred, using "what" "how", etc,  not yes/no answers or questions with "why".
-I (re) tweet the link to your story.

Update: on 24 may 2011 an iphone app was released with questions of 2010

On the first of January I started the agile retroflection of the day series.

You can read about the original idea here. We are less then one week far and I’m already writing about version 2.0. (who says we can’t upgrade in production? 😉 )

Update: Version 3 was just published

Yesterday Simon assumed that only one person was allowed to write down an opinion. That is not true. I actually would love to see multiple people writing about the same topic on the same day. I have been thinking about launching multiple opinion threads. I am afraid if I create more then one threat that one of them would die because persons would always know someone else was also writing about it.

While I was thinking about this, a crazy idea came to my mind. Why not create a male and a female answering thread.
I’m one of these men that promotes women working in agile. (to not get sidetracked on why, I promise to write about why later.)

So these are the new rules:

  • you have been asked and you want to write about the next topic (you don’t know yet what it will be). Tell the requester ASAP if you want to do it or not (if you know someone else ask that person.)
  • At the beginning of your day
    • read my tweet to know the retroflection of the day (I don’t send it by e-mail)
    • Ask a same sex person if he/she wants to answer the next one.
      • do this ASAP as this will help you finding someone else in time. When that person can’t do it tomorrow.
      • If it is Friday that is even more important so that we can warn both the Saturday and Sunday person (the hardest days to find someone)
      • Send me an e-mail with who has accepted it. With his/her e-mail twitter account, blog link
    • Blog your answer
    • tweet a link to your answer to @retroflection.
    • send me at least one retroflection I can add to my pool.

Other then the sex there are no restrictions on who can answer. You don’t need to be a coach. I love to see team members like developer and testers answer these questions. Just like PO and SM’s that are no coaches. (I want to hear much more stories from the trenches)

It’s tempting to start a threat just for these people. I’m not doing that because the people I want to hear, are on a project for a long time, and that might make it hard to select a larger number of different people to respond (yes I know that is judgmental of me)

If you are do have an opinion about a topic and are not selected, please don’t feel restricted. I think it would be lovely to have a lot of people blogging about the same topic. For one it tells it is a great retroflection, so hopefully it encourages more people think about it. And if more people are blogging about it, when people read multiple opinions they even think harder about it.

I from my site will  link the blogs on Delicious and add the people to the Retroflection Opinions list.

At this moment the women are behind a few opinions. Yes I want them to start from the first tweet, this way we have a lot of opinions. And with only 5 opinions to catch up that should happen pretty fast.

Update: On 24 May 2011 an iPhone app was released with the questions of 2010


On my desk I have a set of cards from FranklinCovey.
Every day I select a new card at random. Whatever the message on the card, I try to make this the motto of my day.

This year, I want to create a similar experience for agilists around the world. That is why I created a Twitter Account for an agile Retroflection of the Day.

Every day in 2010 I will tweet one message to think about in your team, company, life,…
It will be general questions and very specific ones.

I also hope to find an agilist every day that wants to blog his “answer/opinion” to the retroflection of the day.

If you have idea’s, remarks or want to be one of the coaches that blog an answer feel free to mail me at retroflection at

Update: A short chat with Mike Sutton made this idea a lot better.
This is the version One:

I tweet a retroflection.
An agilists writes an opinion on his blog.
He sends me the link to his opinion. He sends me a new retroflection. And the name, e-adres of another agilist that wants to answer another retroflection.
(He has to check this.)
I’m tweeting the link to the opinion.
I add the retroflection to my pool of retroflections

The next day I will tweet a retroflection out of my pool. I will send a link to the new volunteer.
When she posts her opinion and send it to me I will tweet this also and add her retroflection to my pool…

==> UPDATE 2.0 See my newer post for the version 2.0
==> UPDATE 3.0 See my newer post for the version 3.0

I hope you will follow our list of retroflections on twitter.

Update: On 24 May 2011 an Iphone app was released with the Retroflection questions of 2010