AFH 012: Agile Experiments with Woody Zuill [PODCAST]

Hosts

Ryan Ripley, Zach Bonaker, Woody Zuill

Discussion

Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill) joined Zach and Ryan to talk about experimentation in Agile. Woody talked about his early experiences in the workforce and the need to investigate. These experiences taught him to never take anything for granted and to be inquisitive about all things. This lead to one of his key mantras: Question the things that you have the most faith in.

We then moved on to The Pattern of Continuous No Improvement. This phenomenon occurs when teams set out to correct the same issue sprint over sprint but cannot seem to make progress. Often this pattern is caused by not addressing the root cause of the issue. We talked about 5 why’s as one means to discovering the root cause. We also talked about the team’s need to recognize this pattern and to confront it head on.

#NoEstimates was born from this insight as a team tried repeatedly to improve their estimates but continued to miss that goal. Finally the team decided to work without task estimates and found some improvement and later on, success.

#MobProgramming is another idea brought to the agile world by Woody. He described its origin as an impromptu presentation during Agile 2012. Fortunately, that open jam session was popular and an important conversation about how teams get their work done was born.

Asking the inverse of a question was highlighted as a powerful probing technique, especially during retrospectives. We all agreed that frequent retros bring valuable insights to the team and that effective mob programming is fueled by effective retrospectives.

The discussion then shifted to how teams can measure their agility and the renaissance of craftsmanship in the software development world.

And then…we called it a night.

Resources, Plugs, and More

Ryan – http://agileanswerman.com

Zach – https://www.linkedin.com/in/zachbonaker

Woody – http://zuill.us/WoodyZuill/

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