Full transparency: most links on these list use amazon affiliates links.
|Coaching agile teams||Lyssa Adkins||This is the reference book for agile coaches, 10 years after it’s release it’s still brings me value.|
|Agile Coaching||Rachel Davies & Liz Sedley||For me this is a book that I recommend for scrummasters that want to “up their game”.|
|Tip From The agile Trenches||89 people collected by YvesHanoulle||I know I’m biased as I collected this book, yet with tips from people around the world, I really believe this book contains valuable info for everyone who calls themselves an agile coach|
|Fearless Change||Linda Rising & MaryLynn Manns||Proposed by Daniel Terhorst-North|
|Fearless Organisation||Amy C Edmondson||Proposed by Daniel Terhorst-North|
|Turn The Ship Around||L David Marquet||Proposed by Daniel Terhorst-North|
|The Art of Agile Development||James Shore||Proposed by Wolf Gideon Bleek|
|When Will It Be Done||Daniel S Vacanti||Proposed by Johanna Rothman|
|7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results||Esther Derby||Proposed by Johanna Rothman|
|Becoming a technical Leader||Jerry Weinberg||Proposed by Arne Åhlander|
|Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformatio||Karen Martin & Mike Osterling||Proposed by Dominika Bula|
|Responsive Agile Coaching||Niall McShane||Proposed by Dan Hill|
|Secrets of Consulting||Gerald M (Jerry) Weinberg||Proposed by Marc Evers|
|The People’s Scrum||Tobias Mayer||Proposed by Marc Evers|
|Enterprise agile coaching||Cherie Silas||Proposed by Femi Odelusi|
Full transparency: most links on these list use amazon affiliates links.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the after-party. After I published that story, I realized there is also the pre-party. Or Pre as my kids call that these days.
Yes, my kids are teenagers these days; hence many of my metaphors come from that part of life. When my kids and their friends will go out to a party, they meet at one of their houses and they have a pre-party. Sometimes they cook and eat together, sometimes they just drink, talk and do whatever teenagers do (and I don’t want to know) And then they go to the real party. When I was young I never did this, yet I understand that this allows them to connect and talk, something that is hard at a party with loud blasting music. Not stupid these teenagers.
X: Nice story Yves, what does this have to do with my team?
Y: Ah, yes X, always direct to the point, very efficient.
X: Thank you, I guess?
Y: When the after-party is the second part of the daily standup, what do you think is the pre-party is?
X: Sounds like something that happens before the standup.
X: What would you do before the standup? is this yet another mandatory agile meeting?
Y: I think every meeting is optional in agile, yet your results will be different.
X: Yeah, just teasing, I know you prefer heads that count over counting heads.
Y: Just like the after-party, the pre-party is also optional.
X: Yet what happens at the pre-party? In the after-party, they discussed things that they figured out during the standup they had to talk about.
Y: In the pre-party, they do exactly the same thing that my kids do at their pre-party. They connect on a personal level.
X: You mean have chit-chat and stuff?
Y: Exact talk about life, the universe, and everything…
X: Isn’t that already happening?
Y: Just like with the after-party I‘m not inventing anything, I‘m just giving things a name.
X: I’m not sure I like the pre-party, I already have the feeling that our standup is too much chit-chat and …
Y: Not efficient enough?
X: I was going to say effective.
Y: I agree that many standups are going in all kinds of directions
X: Glad you agree, and it seems to have become worse since we went remote during the covid lockdown
Y: yes, well partly that is because it’s no longer a standup, people are sitting at their desk
X: Not all people
Y: yeah let’s not go there, saying “not all” has never added anything to a conversation
X: So you want people to stand up again.
Y: it would not hurt, yet the pre-party is another way to help with the focus
X: Now you completely lost me, you said the pre-party is about chit-chat, how can it help with focus?
Y: Can you repeat that sentence?
X: the pre-party is about chit-chat, how can it help with focus? …
Y: and again, yet a little slower focusing on all words…
X: THE … PRE … oh I see
Y: Say more
X: because the chit-chat is part of the pre-party, we remove it from the party eh the daily …
X: But Yves then the standup will take again more time
Y: Not really
X: You lost me again
Y: It’s a PRE party
X: ah, you mean it takes place before the daily
X: yeah but when does it start?
Y: that’s the same as with a pre-party that my kids are having, there is not really a start time.
X: And so the people show up when they want to show up
Y: or if they want to show up…
X: And our stand up starts on time?
Y: That’s the goal.
X: Am I correct to assume that this also means we no longer will need to wait for people who are late to the standup
Y: Well if it’s up to me, a daily always starts at the same time and place, independently of who is present.
X: Even if the scrum master or product owner is not yet present?
Y: Especially if one of them is not present. A daily is from the team for the team, it has never been a meeting for SM or PO, yet that’s a different discussion… Do you still have another question?
X: No, or wait maybe one, in our previous conversation, you talked about the after-party being the second part of the daily, if we do a pre-party, isn’t that the third party?
Y: Ah great question, I leave that one for the agile police, you know the people telling us we are or are not doing agile….
X: Just to be sure, what is the goal of the pre-party
Y: Many people feel that it’s harder to create a team remotely. They want everyone back in the office. I think this is partly because when we are working in the office, we do connect on a personal level automatically. When we are working remote, we have to design our interactions in a way we also have time and place for the moments to connect. The pre-party is one of these moments. By having it as an optional part, it works nicely for people who like this and it does not force the others to be part of conversations where they don’t have energy for …
X: Then I have no more questions, it was fun and I learned again a lot…
Yves: you are welcome…
PS The writing style is both inspired and an hommage to Simon Wardley
A few days ago my twitter friend Jason Gorman tweeted :
It made me think about the interviewing process. One of the stories I heard growing up, is that my father did not like to do job interviews. As a result he only worked at a few places.
So when I started to work, I told myself: I want to like job interviews and I want the interview to show who I am. As a results I accepted all interviews I could, yes even after I had already received a job offer.
The first interview I did after I already had my first job, I realized: hey it’s not just about them liking me, it’s a two way street, I can also look for the best companies to work for. That interview gave me a big ego boost.
I did take the job at the first company and I’m happy I did. yet at the same time I kept doing interviews, not because I did not like this job, I did the interviews because I wanted to learn how to become good at interviewing. I can advise everyone to do interviews when you don’t need a job. For me it gave me freedom to practise. Once I was happy with my interview skills I stopped doing this. Yet there is also the tweet from Charity Majors
I think this is great advice.
In the +20 years that passed since my first interview, I have read a lot about interviewing and even created a community book about interviewing.
There is also another technique I have used that I did not add yet to the book:
Prioritized discussing topics.
Before the interview starts, I add a lot of topics on post it’s and I add them to the wall of the interview room. The topics are topics related to the job we offer, and picked from the candidates CV. Then I add a few of my favorite-topics-of-the-day on it.
When the candidate comes in, I asked her to pick a 2-4 topics she wants to discuss. And ask her if she wants to add 1 to 3 extra.. (With a maximum total of 5). Then I ask the candidate to put them in order of priority to discuss.
What I have noticed when I do interviews like this, is that it changes the dynamic totally. It really puts the candidate in the driver seat. And by doing that, I have the feeling I know much more about the candidate.
One candidate had 5 years experience in Node.Js, yet did not even select to talk about that.
We were looking for someone a senior Node.JS person who could coach the team. So I ask the candidate why she did not select NodeJS?
Why? Oh, my CV proves I know it and really I want to move on, I leave my current job because I’m tired of being the only Node.JS developer on the team.
This candidate continued talking about why she want to coach a team: she had no desire to be the senior that would keep the code for herself. We hired her and indeed she was the right fit.
It’s also interesting to how a candidate chooses topics.
And discuss that process at meta level.
I like these meta discussions, because they are about a concrete case. And no theoretical situation. Having a less typical interview technique, also allow us to talk about the interview as a process. Usually this puts candidates at ease.
I’m working on a new workshop for Product Owners, called PO as a service. (The public version I hope to grow into PO Retreat)
In the manual for this workshop, I added a list of books for Product Owners.
yet I know I the best things are co-created with a community hence I tweeted:
I’m creating a list of books for Product owners.
What book did help you to become a better product owner?
(RT for inspiration for creating better User stories )
— Yves Hanoulle 🇪🇺 Write English/Dutch read French (@YvesHanoulle) November 23, 2019
The list below was created with the help of the community.
Way of working
Cards & game
At the bottom of my own bookpage, you can find all the bookslists I have gathered since 2010.