Archive for the ‘Quiz’ Category

For todays ATQ I did not receive any quiz about agile. One of the things I do as a coach (I did not learn it from Lyssa Adkins but she made me aware of it.) is when a teams is stuck, I ask them to go back to  the agile manifesto. Read the first page and read principle page and see if we can find an answer in there for our problems.

So I thought why don’t I do the same thing for my problem here. Why don’t I open the mainfesto and see if I see a sentence about which I can create 4 questions.
I looked. And I saw 4 statements.

Do I(we) really know the statements that well?  Try to select the right 4 sentences without going back to the manifesto.

  • Statement 1:

1) Individuals and processes over interactions and tools
2) Interactions and processes over individuals and tools
3) Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
4) Individuals and tools over processes and interactions
5) Processes and tools over individuals and interactions
6) Interactions and tools over individuals and processes

  • Statement 2:

1) Working software with lots of documentation
2) Working software over comprehensive documentation
3) Working software with as little documentation as possible
4) Working software without documentation
5) Well-crafted software over comprehensive documentation
6) Well-crafted software over working software

  • Statement 3:

1) Productive partnerships over customer collaboration
2) customer collaboration over contract negotiation
3) Productive partnerships over contract negotiation
4) customer partnerships over contract collaboration
5) customer partnerships over contract negotiation
6) Productive contracts over negotiation collaboration

  • Statement 4:

1) Creating a plan over following a plan
2) Following a plan over constant changes
3) Responding to change over following a plan
4) Steadily adding value over responding to change
5) Responsive changes over perfect plans
6) Planning for changes over following responsivenes

 

Here are Xaviers answers for his Agile Thursday Quiz on Visual Management

What is Visual Management about?

C. Work and workflows

E. Signs and signals

 

What are the benefits of Visual Management?

A. Creates transparency and trust

D. Exposes lazy and useless people

E. Enables people to decide what they have to do next


Which of these are desireable attributes of your taskboard?

A. It should be clear and simple

C. It should be in a public space

D. It should be comprehensible by random people

E. It should be clean and tidy


What are the drawbacks of Visual Management?

A. It kills trees

B. It does not work well with distributed teams

D. It cannot be used by the blind

F. It is not suitable for highly regulated environments

 

You can learn more Xaviers blog about Visual Management

Gemba Panta Rei blogs about Visual Management from a different point of view
Visual Management is an important part of Kanban so check out David Andersons book on Kanban

I personally also like Personal Kanban and use Visual Management in my personal life.

While we wait for Xavier to write the book about Visual management, here is a list of a few books that are related:

This weeks ATQ is coming from my friend Xavier Quesada. I thought I understood Visual Management, and then I started working with Xavier.

 

1) What is Visual Management about?

A. Drawings and pictures

B. Mind maps

C. Work and workflows

D. Arrows, boxes, and other shapes

E. Signs and signals

F. Graphs and charts

 

2) What are the benefits of Visual Management?

A. Creates transparency and trust

B. Spawns higher quality work

C. Enables command and control

D. Exposes lazy and useless people

E. Enables people to decide what they have to do next

F. Exposes projects behind schedule

3) Which of these are desirable attributes of your taskboard?

A. It should be clear and simple

B. It should be as big as possible

C. It should be in a public space

D. It should be comprehensible by random people

E. It should be clean and tidy

F. It should capture and show as much information as possible

4) What are the drawbacks of Visual Management?

A. It kills trees

B. It does not work well with distributed teams

C. It works well only in startups and small organizations

D. It cannot be used by the blind

E. Traditional management doesn’t like it

F. It is not suitable for highly regulated environments

Here are Deborah Preuss answers of the quiz about Powerful questions that she wrote as part of my Agile Thursday quiz serie. We both hope you will follow the retroflection twitter account, were a team of 41 people create a powerful (agile related)question on a daily basis (already for 2 years).

“In coaching, powerful questions knock people off their automatic pilot program and make them fly the airplane”.
— Karen Kimsey-House,
Henry Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, in Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business,
Transforming Lives
(this is the recent, revised edition of the classic Co-Active coaching text).

I was introduced to the importance of Curiosity in coaching while going through Co-Active
Coach training
. One way to practice curiosity is to ask “powerful questions” – in Co-Active coaching this term denotes open questions asked to move a person or group toward something of importance to them. Powerful questions operate by engaging the answerer’s own curiosity to surface important facts, memories, assumptions, feelings and ideas. It is taught together with the Three Levels of Listening, because good listening skills enhance the ability to pose and use powerful questions.

What do you know about asking questions that energise people and move them forward in constructive and innovative ways? I hope this quiz teaches (or reminds) you of  at least one practice for your people-skills toolkit!

What makes a question “powerful”?

A) It conveys the questioner’s strong desire for change.

B) It sets a clear direction for answerers to follow.

C) It evokes the answerer’s wisdom.

D) It is specific to the answerer’s context.

E) It is easily answered.

F) It has never been asked before.

My answer is C.

While a desire for change helps frame questions, and context sensitivity is very important, it is the effect in the answerer that defines a powerful question. A powerful question cuts through old habits, defenses and assumptions, and invites the answerer to apply their wisdom in a fresh way. This may or may not make it easy to answer. And the same question in different contexts may lead to a very different outcome, so don’t hesitate to re-use a question, when appropriate!

A warning: be careful to look for and remove your own assumptions embedded in the question. If your question embeds hidden assumptions or suggestions, people (ever eager to meet expectations!) may look for your answers rather than coming up with their own! This suggests that a little thinking might be in order, if you have the opportunity to prepare (often you don’t, you just have to wing it, keep practising!)

Which of these is (or are) evidence that question has been “powerful”?

A) The energy in the room shifts.

B) There is a pause, while a deep breath is taken.

C) Body language indicates curiosity.

D) One or more of the above may happen.

E) It is impossible to tell right away.

F) All of the above.

My answer is D. And of course, an infitinte number of other signals!

While there are often long-term effects from a powerful question, its effect is almost always palpable within seconds, as the answerer wakes up, gets curious and begins to think differently. Those of us who would use powerful questions must also develop deep listening skills: using eyes and ears and gut-feel. Listening helps before, when framing a question, and after, to detect how the question has landed. And if a question does fall flat, be transparent: just acknowledge it and try again. When you are free to fail, so is your coachee… and this is just what we want to model. We “eat our own dogfood” when we fail without shame, learn from it and improve!

Which of these are sure to weaken the effect of a question?

A) feeling nervous and stumbling when posing the question.

B) already knowing the answer you want the answerers to discover.

C) presenting some possible answers, to get the ball rolling.

D) rephrasing it, to be sure it was understood.

E) allowing an awkward silence to lengthen after asking it.

F) None of the above.

My answer: B, C and D are sure to weaken a question.

The problem illustrated here is that of being too “helpful,” which may be more of an issue in some cultures than others (said the Canadian )
While it may seem kind to soothe the answerer’s anxiety by “helping” them with hints,  if you really want powerful, helpful answers you must let kindness sit by the side, as it is this anxiety that irritates the oyster and seeds the pearl, to coin a metaphor.

The answer to this natural temptation to “help” is to learn to WAIT.  Practise waiting, even if you think the question needs a little rephrasing (oh, this is a hard one for me!) Wait longer than you think you should. If you feel pressured to talk, count to 20 (try this, it’s harder than it sounds). If you have the courage, count to 20 again! When it starts to get awkward, Diana Larsen sometimes says to a group “I bet I can wait longer than you can!” and continues to wait!
With an individual it is easier to watch for non-verbal clues and be sensitive to their own timing. Remember that, with both groups and individuals, the reply may come non-verbally. I once had a group reveal deep distress non-verbally, at which point the right question was: What is going on here now? And suddenly we moved off a new and more deeply relevant direction.

Here’s something else to practice: while you wait, remain curious
–  *let go* of the outcome. With an open question, you cannot know in advance where they will go with their answers, and if you try to control or direct (i.e. suggesting there is a “correct answer”) people may sit back and wait for you to deliver your wisdom, short-cirtuiting the collaboration and innovation you seek.

Items A and E, while awkward, may well become invisible once the answerer is engaged and thinking. A powerful question shifts the answerer’s focus inward, and the asker’s discomfort or imperfection quickly becomes irrelevant.

Which of the following statements about “Why…?” questions is (or are)
FALSE?

A) Research has found “Why” questions, in general, to be more powerful
than “what,” “when” and “which” questions.

B) You can pose a “why” question without using “why”.

C) A “Why” question is the fastest way to the real root of any issue.

D) A “why” question may need to be repeated to dig down.

E) A “why” question can put answerers on the defensive.

F) It doesn’t matter who asks it – a solid “why” question always works.

My answer is C and F.

A “why” question may need to be repeated in different ways to get past the initial excuses, assumptions or “pat” answers – hence Lean Manufacturing’s “5 whys” exercise. But be careful: a “Why” question can backfire powerfully, too, making “Why” a great way to NOT get to the root cause. If people feel blamed, their energy will go towards hiding
or justification, not memory and creative thinking. For best results, use “why” questions in situations where mutual trust and respect exist.
And beware: situations of inequality, despite respect, may in fact reduce trust: Questioning while towering over a seated person can send an unintentional message of inequality and pressure! And any question could land quite differently if asked by a peer or by the CEO. These effects can be reduced by paying attention to body language (again, a form of listening), or by rephrasing “why” in a less triggering way:
“What made you choose that?” or “What is it that causes us to behave like this?”. These remain effectively “why” questions: digging for root
causes while feeling less blaming.

You can read a little about the research that revealed the differences between different sorts of questions in The Art of Powerful Questions, a pdf download on the World Cafe website. How does this relate to World Cafe? I have come to realise that many of our facilitation practices, including World Cafe, are simply ways to set up a context in which we can use powerful questions to help people! A powerful question is a great way to “get the right people in the room”, as when we make an invitation to an Open Space event.

Do you wish you had a coach to ask you powerful questions when you get stuck? (Question: What’s keeping you from getting a coach? )

Here is my offer to you: The next best thing might be my Powerful Question cards, a free pdf download in English, German and Dutch. (Further translations are welcome).

This weeks ATQ is about powerful question. Last year I worked together with Deborah Preuss who is probably an even bigger fan of powerful questions than I am. She wrote a nice introduction to the quiz, that I decided to publish together with the answers.
We hope this quiz teaches (or reminds) you of  at least one practice for your people-skills toolkit!

1) What makes a question “powerful”?

A) It conveys the questioner’s strong desire for change.

B) It sets a clear direction for answerers to follow.

C) It evokes the answerer’s wisdom.

D) It is specific to the answerer’s context.

E) It is easily answered.

F) It has never been asked before.


2) Which of these is (or are) evidence that question has been “powerful”?

A) The energy in the room shifts.

B) There is a pause, while a deep breath is taken.

C) Body language indicates curiosity.

D) One or more of the above may happen.

E) It is impossible to tell right away.

F) All of the above.


3) Which of these are sure to weaken the effect of a question?

A) feeling nervous and stumbling when posing the question.

B) already knowing the answer you want the answerers to discover.

C) presenting some possible answers, to get the ball rolling.

D) rephrasing it, to be sure it was understood.

E) allowing an awkward silence to lengthen after asking it.

F) None of the above.


4) Which of the following statements about “Why…?” questions is (or are) FALSE?

A) Research has found “Why” questions, in general, to be more powerful than “what,” “when” and “which” questions.

B) You can pose a “why” question without using “why”.

C) A “Why” question is the fastest way to the real root of any issue.

D) A “why” question may need to be repeated to dig down.

E) A “why” question can put answerers on the defensive.

F) It doesn’t matter who asks it – a solid “why” question always works.

 

Last week I published Bob Marshalls questions about RightShifting.

[I admit that I added a few answers myself to make sure that all 4 questions had 6 answers. (2 f & 3 e f)]

Here are Bob’s answers:

1) What is rightshifting:

D An education campaign targeted at helping people working in knowledge-work organisations.

2) What is the primary aim of Rightshifting?

E To illustrate just how under-performing most knowlegde-work organisations really are.

3) What is the Marshall Model?

B A vocabulary to help folks in discussing the state of their organisations.

D An illustration of the hypothesis that collective mindset is the overarching determinant of organisational effectiveness.

4) How should folks best use the Marshall Model?

C To make visible and discussable the nature of the challenges in moving the organisation towards improved effectiveness.

Resources about the RightShifting:

The origins of the Rightshifting model

A short introduction to Rightshifting from SMS

At Lean & Kanban Benelux Bob & the late Grant Rule gave two great session about RightShifting

RightShifting Explained

Realizing Value: how to apply rightshifting

The linkedin group about RightShifting

You might also want to read Dee Hocks paper about the chaordic orgnanisation that was an inspiration to Bob.

21Apps also wrote about Rightshifting

Book: Presence was also an inspiration.

More info about the Rightshifting Unconference and the twitter chats

When I started ATQ, I did not only want to have questions about mainstream agile idea’s.

Here are some questions, about one of the latest ideas inspired by agile and created by agile minded people: RightShifting. The questions are created by Bob Marshall, also known as @FlowChainSensei

1) What is Rightshifting ?

a) A talking-point for people working in big corporations.
b) A management model for process improvement.
c) A collection of diagrams illustrating differences in how various organisations think about the World of Work.
d) An education campaign targeted at helping people working in knowledge-work organisations.
e) A context in which to help software development groups perform better.
f) An affectation intended to enhance the author’s reputation.

 

2) What is the primary aim of Rightshifting?

a) To encourage Agile teams to understand their place in the organisation .
b) To show how much waste is prevalent in typical knowledge-work organisations.
c) To highlight the causes of poor performance in knowledge-work organisations
d) To help management understand what they need to do to improve performance in their organisations.
e) To illustrate just how under-performing most knowlegde-work organisations really are.
f)  To have a new agile methodology.

3) What is the Marshall Model?

a) A manifesto for process improvement in organisations.
b) A vocabulary to help folks in discussing the state of their organisations.
c) A cultural model highlighting the moral superiority of the Synergistic and Chaordic mindsets.
d) An illustration of the hypothesis that collective mindset is the overarching determinant of organisational effectiveness.
e)  An excuse to play loud guitar music in corporations.
f)  Another name for Rightshifting.

4) How should folks best use the Marshall Model?

a) To enhance the likelihood of successful Agile adoption.
b) To make a case for not adopting Agile or Lean practices in the organisation.
c) To make visible and discussable the nature of the challenges in moving the organisation towards improved effectiveness.
d) As a blueprint for organisational transformation.
e) As a means to make Agile teams more effective.
f) To tell management that their current improvement strategy has little chance of working.

Last week I published Vickie Gray’s questions about The Core Protocols.

Here are her answers.

1. What are the two main steps you MUST take if you Check Out?
a. Say "I’m checking out" and then physically leave the group.

2. What is the first of the Core Commitments?
c. I commit to engage when present.

3. What is the one protocol that you cannot Pass on?
d. Decider

4. Which of the following statements is TRUE of the Ask For Help Protocol?
a. The best time to Ask For Help is when things are going well.

Jim McCarthy added an extra question in the comments. Here is his answer:

What do you do when you think someone needs help, but doesn’t ask for it?

I think the safest correct answer is a). You are least likely to do harm with behavior a). 
However, behavior b) can sometimes be effective, and therefor correct, too, as others have pointed out. 
So this means, the next best answer is c), either a or b.
Finally, d) can also be correct, especially in cases where you yourself are in harm’s way. To rescue yourself is never the wrong move.  As with so many situations relevant to the Core, good judgment is ever valuable.

Perhaps it is safe to say this: when it comes to other adults (and many or even most situations involving children), a posture of general supportiveness,  consisting of good will, receptivity, curiosity and a readiness to help when asked might be the most effective and beautiful basic attitude to maintain.

Resources the core:

Methods And Tools article: The Core Protocols, an experience report (Part1) & Part 2

These article were written with the help from Jim & Michele McCarthy, Els Ryssen, Paul Reeves, Christopher Thibaut,Adam Feuer, Ralph Miarka, Mary Poppendieck, Gino Marckx, Alistair Cockburn, Philip Almey, Lilian Nijboer, Esther Derby & Michael Sahota. A big kudo’s to Emmanuel Gaillot who initiated the conversational style.

Live In Greatness
The McCarthyShow

Links on my own blog:

Click Rewind: how to stop when you said something stupid
Deciding by e-mail
Optimizing your sex life using the perfection game
Tired of Long meetings without decisions?

Books:

Creating Time from Vickie Gray
Dynamics of Software Development from Jim & Michele McCarthy
Fearless Change from Linda Rising, Mary Lynn Manns

Software for your head from Jim & Michele McCarthy

Video:

Ask for help
The Perfection Game
The Perfection Game in French (With piece of “Stairway to heaven” in it…)

There is a mailing list dedicated to the core protocols on yahoo

At XpDays Benelux, we used some Core Protocols like the perfection game, click, click rewind. The Core Protocols are seen by some as the future of agile and by others as the for-fathers of agile. Although maybe technically they are not part of the agile movement, I know lots of agilist, who love to use them to enhance teams. When last week so many people learned about the power of the core at XPDays, I thought it could be a good idea to have this weeks Agile Thursday Quiz about the Core Protocols.

That is why Vickie Gray, who was one of my trainers in The Core Protocols, and author of Creating Time an upcoming book about the core protocols, created questions about the Core Protocols. Here are her questions.

1. What are the two main steps you MUST take if you Check Out?
a. Say “I’m checking out” and then physically leave the group.
b. Say nothing and then physically leave the group.
c. Say “I’m checking out” and tell everyone why.
d. Say “I’m checking out” and either stay or leave – it’s your choice.
e. Say “I’m checking out” and put your earphones on to listen to some music to relax.
f. Say nothing and stay in the group but just don’t participate in anything – saying something about being checked out would just distract the group.

2. What is the first of the Core Commitments?
a. I will speak always and only when I believe it will improve the general results/effort ratio.
b. I will use teams, especially when undertaking difficult tasks.
c. I commit to engage when present.
d. I will offer and accept only rational, results-oriented behavior.
e. I will never do anything dumb on purpose.
f. I will disengage from less productive situations.

3. What is the one protocol that you cannot Pass on?
a. Check In
b. Personal Alignment
c. Perfection Game
d. Decider
e. Ask for Help
f. Investigate

4. Which of the following statements is TRUE of the Ask For Help Protocol?
a. The best time to Ask For Help is when things are going well.
b. You shouldn’t Ask For Help from someone who is busy.
c. You should only ask for help from someone you know has the answer.
d. If you get asked for help it’s important to be polite and give whatever help the asker needs even if you don’t want to help.
e. Never leave the team to Ask For Help when the team is really busy and time is running out.
f. You should always withhold help from someone who asks a lot because they’re probably just being lazy.

Last week I published JB‘s questions about TDD.
These are his answers.
1. What kind of technique is TDD?
(a) It is a testing technique
(b) It is a design technique
(c) It is a learning technique
(d) It is an overall feature delivery technique
(e) More than one of the above applies
Answer: e. If you doubt that d is true, then see the very beginning of http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TestDrivenDevelopment
2. Which of these is necessary to do TDD?
(a) Write tests before production code
(d) Write failing tests, then pass them, one by one
(e) Refactoring
Answer: a, d, and e, but not b, c nor f
3. Which of the following activities does TDD replace?
(d) Debugging
Answer: only d, if you’re really good, but none of the rest
4. If we do TDD well, which of these statements is true about our code base?
(d) The cost of adding new behavior is relatively very low
(f) We feel confident in maintaining it indefinitely
Answer: very probably d and f, but the other statements are far too absolute to be true in general. We probably have very high code coverage. We probably have very little duplication and very clear code in the part of the code base that has changed the most. We probably have very few defects and defects arrive at rate that depends on the age of the code base, rather than its size.
Enjoy.
I agree with JB that you should first read the wiki article on C2. IT’s the basic of a lot in XP if not agile. (if you did not know C2 is the first public wiki)
Here are some more links
Next you can read anything that Brian Marick wrote in TDD
I don’t always agree with Scott Ambler: but this post seems like a nice one on TDD
If that is not enough, check out these books:
If you had a doubt if answer 2 E was right, check out  Agile in a Flash about TDD. JB used here refactoring the way we use it in agile. Not the way some companies call “large 3 years rework”, refactoring.