Agile Retrospectives, Making Good Teams Great

28 04 2009

Agile Retrospectives, Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen


Found myself writing a recommendation internally on our intranet, so I thought I better share it with some more people.

If you serious about agile you should doing good retrospectives, this is a really simple and concrete book for you to take retrospectives to a high level. I have also had the pleasure to attend in a 1 day workshop with Diana Larsen, if you have the possibility I warmly recommend you to do the same.

In my experience retrospectives not only help the process and the team to “inspect and adapt”.
It’s also a great way to build strong teams, mainly since it helps the communication and build trusts in the team. Start doing retrospectives seriously and you will grow really strong teams out of it.

I will try to going in more deeply in my experience of how retrospectives can help you building team in a later post.

The book at Amazon

Esther derby

Diana Larsen


Just Say Thanks, a Hometown Story

14 04 2009

I have earlier recommended the book Fearless Change. Here is one of my  [HomeTown Story]* about [Just Say Thanks]**.

In one of the companies I worked in there were an “internal Service desk”. There was a huge amount of frustrations about this function probably because they didn’t have time enough to solve the huge amount of problems reported. Most work was done to the one screaming highest or with most managers on CC on the reported issue.

It was normal with weeks of waiting time and a really poor service where most of the time nobody told you when the finally actually did resolve the issue.

Then suddenly of some reasons I don’t know about, I one day got a response about my issue in a reasonably time after sent it in, they told me they worked on it, and a hour or so later I got the message that my issue was solved.

I was sincerely appreciating this fast handling and rich communication around the issue, and I did send a mail to thank them, and I did put on there boss on the CC.

Magic, absolute magic from now on every time I send in a request I got a quick answer and help to solve my problems. And every time I send them a “thank you” for the help and the quick handling even if they just did what the supposed to do.

This went so long that it ended up with my colleague in my department asking me for help when they needed help from the internal service desk.

“Why do you always get help?”

“Please Michael can you send a mail to service desk so I can get some help on my issue”

I do now have the insight on why the story ended up this way.

*[ HomeTown Story] To help people see the usefulness of the new idea, encourage those who have had success with it to share their stories.

**[Just Say Thanks] To make people feel appreciated, say “thanks” in the most sincere way you can to everyone who helps you.

Keep your promise

18 03 2009

This seems obvious but why is it so important? And why tend people to make promises they can’t keep? Let’s take a look at it and I hope it will help you and me to make sure we really keep our given promises.

What happens when we make a promise?
We give a person hope and expectation and the other person starts to look forward to the promise.

Why do some people make promises they can’t keep?
The why is direct connected to what happens; it is a great feeling when someone is happy about the promise you made, they get excited and build expectations and starts looking forward to it.
This is short time rewards.

Every time you break a promise you loose trust and respect.

The long time reward is trust and respect, to build that you need to keep your promises.

Note! A lot of people likes to look forward to things so don’t stop making promises, just take it very seriously.

Please help me on this one by make sure you do your best to keep your promises and help me and others with feedback when we don’t keep them.

Thank you Stephen R. Covey for the book:
7 habits of highly effective people

Just Say Thanks

23 02 2009

Thank you Mary Lyfearlesschangenn Manns and Linda Rising for your book.

Fearless Change

Patterns for introducing new ideas

This is a great book about introducing ideas written in the pattern format.
Changes will always be hard but this book will for sure help you in your work.

The book covers 48 named patterns and as I see it, many of the patterns is to a great use in many situations in life not only in the “introducing ideas” area.

One example is the pattern “Just Say thanks
To show your appreciations, say Thanks in the most sincere way you can to everyone who helps you

I could go on and on with things from the book, but I will instead recommend you to read it.

And don’t forget to:

Make it a habit to, appreciate help.
Make it a habit to, always say thanks.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Here is a link to amazons :Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas

Web page for the book:

Linda Rising:
Mary Lynn Manns:

Book recommendation: Presentation Zen

27 01 2009

Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter)


I love this kind of conceptual books this have really open my eyes of the difference in a good and a bad presentations.