Entries by Don

No Group Is a Team on Day One

The agile training class for a newly formed team was almost complete. We’d covered values, practices, roles, the product backlog, done simulations teaching the Scrum process and I could see the end of  training. A little team building activity, and we could start tomorrow with building the backlog, story sizing, then start the first sprint.  Forging ahead, the team […]

One Issue – Two Sides: Safety and Trust

When we flip the safety discussion over, we find trust. When I trust you I provide the safety you need to take risks and speak your truth without fear of ridicule, rejections or retribution. What Does Trust Mean? I like to use the following four beliefs I learned from Esther Derby to define trust in […]

Why Not Ask Why?

It all started with a tweet I posted: “Why” questions trigger feelings bypassing data input and thinking. #dontdothat As this got retweeted, interesting questions started coming my way: What about the Five Whys? Do you have data? What is your context? All good questions. “Why” questions have the ability to both gather data and to […]

Generating Safety

Most of the time, most of the people don’t put a lot of thought into their behavior. They run an “auto-pilot” program that governs how they respond. If we examine the elements that generate behavior, we get something like this list: Physical sensations – information coming into us from “the real world”. Beliefs and Values […]

The Blame Game

Engelbert watched Pam nervously chew on her knuckle as she stood in the door of his office, answering his call. “Come in and close the door.” He motioned her to a seat, then stood and pointed an accusing finger down at her. “We need to decide how you’re going to explain what happened with the […]

The Identified Patient Pattern

Engelbert frowned, trying to understand why Pamela had been acting strangely. Her programming skills were among the best in the company. She had a way of getting things completed. That’s why he made her project lead for Uberdenke’s next UDCRM product release. With only two weeks left until the ship date, Pamela’s personality had shifted. […]

How Safe is Your Workplace?

We’ve defined safety to mean we can take risks and our coworkers/management will support us, especially if setbacks occur. We have the ability to speak our truth without fear of ridicule, rejection, or retribution. Throughout the day we will feel differently about the risks we’re willing to take and what we might say. I’ve seen […]

What Does Safety Mean?

When I talk with other coaches about teams, I  hear a lot about “creating safety” and “safe teams”. I don’t hear much about how to do that. While debriefing a coaching simulation the 2010 AYE Conference we listed things coaches did and models coaches might use. Someone said, “Create a safe environment”. I replied, “And […]

Teamwork at agile-RTP

58 members of agile-RTP and I explored communication in agile teams March 2, 2010. I appreciate the turnout. The rain and temperature were falling. We kept warm and had a great time. Here’s the slide deck I had time for. Thank you again to Jeff Barschaw, the other agile-RTP organizers, and agile-RTP members!