In our last post we discussed how Dojos require a sound overarching strategy. In this post we talk about why Dojos provide the most value when they address the whole value stream.Read More
Having helped organizations with Dojos for five years, we felt it was the right time to share what we’ve learned so far. In this series of blog posts, we want to offer you our “best tips” for starting your own Dojo or for improving your existing Dojo. We’ll wrap up with our thoughts on where Dojos are going next.
Without further ado…Read More
Last week, we (along with Mark Graban) had the pleasure of spending 2 days with 40 individuals focused on looking at continuous learning and improvement. If you missed the event, it is archived here.
We posted a little while back about why we were excited about the event. Now that the event has passed, we wanted to quickly share some of our ‘A-ha’ moments.Read More
We’re excited to be partnering with Mark Graban in presenting a new “conference” on creating learning organizations. Mark is and is an engaging speaker. We look forward to learning from him ourselves (see his book Measures of Success).
The event is on September 26th & 27th. As we write this, there are only 5 seats left. More information and registration details are available here.
Why are we so excited about this conference?Read More
Skilled coaches are critical to the success of any Dojo. The specific skills needed will vary. A Dojo focused on DevOps requires one set of coaching skills. A Dojo focused on agile and product discovery capabilities needs different coaching skills.
Staffing a Dojo with coaches can be a challenge. There’s an abundance of agile coaches but many of them know only process. The Dojo can be an effective place for improving development processes. But, the investment required to run a Dojo should return a bigger payoff. Most organizations want to improve engineering and product discovery practices. Coaches who can help teams improve these skills are hard to find. You may need to hire skilled engineers and product managers and develop their coaching skills.
Here are four ways we help grow coaching skills in the Dojo.Read More
When we’re explaining the Dojo model to people who are unfamiliar with it we often get a lot of head nods and other indicators that people understand the model. They see how it’s different from other approaches to learning. Sadly, most of us have had experience with inadequate training programs...Read More
Last month at Agile Day Chicago, I (Joel) had the pleasure of listening to Mark Graban speak about separating signal from noise in our measurements. Mark referenced Process Behavior Charts, a technique described in the book Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos by Donald J. Wheeler. This simple tool helps us look at metrics over time and understand the difference between naturally occurring variations (what Wheeler calls “The Voice of the Process”) and signals, or variation in the metrics representing real changes. Signals can be indicators that a desired change is manifesting, or they can be indicators that something is wrong and requires further investigation.Read More
A fair question to ask when starting a Dojo (or any initiative for that matter) is “how do we know this is working?” Invariably, right on the heels of that question somebody always brings up the idea of capturing metrics. Then they turn to us and say “What are the right metrics for the Dojo?”.Read More
Empowering teams is a topic the DevOps and Agile communities frequently talk about. But it is easier said than done. Here is one simple approach to empowering teams you can do right now.
But first a little background...Read More
Technical Debt has a few definitions ranging from 'the previous person's bad code' to 'the shortcuts taken to hit a deadline' to my favorite - Technical Debt is 'the gap in the code between what we knew when we started building our product and what we know now'.Read More
Many teams struggle to break down stories to a size that can be completed within a sprint. Perhaps the product needs seem too large, or the technical debt is too deep. There could be a high degree of uncertainty around what the product should be. Or, the team might be new to the domain. Regardless of the reason, here are a few ways we tackle this in the dojo - and given that we generally do two and a half day sprints in the dojo (more on this in the next post) it’s critical that teams develop this skill.
Here are six dimensions to think about when decomposing stories.Read More
Many organizations attempt to manage knowledge by creating Centers of Excellence (CoE). A CoE is supposed to develop skills and best practices (or leading practices), codify the knowledge around those skills and practices, and blast that knowledge out to the rest of the organization. In our experience, CoEs seldom work. They do not deliver on the expected outcomes and are eventually abandoned.Read More
Annealing and tempering are two complementary heat treatment processes used to alter the physical characteristics of a material, most often metal. They’re frequently used to increase the strength of the metal while ensuring it does not become brittle. Like annealing and tempering – the learning processes that take place in the Dojo make product teams stronger while reducing their brittleness.
But first, some grounding…Read More