I find that many of the conversations we have about psychological safety tend to devolve into platitudes: “It’s good and we should have more of it” or “managers should create safer spaces”. This doesn’t give anyone any context into why it’s actually important or how we can go about improving it.
I talk a lot about neuroscience, psychology, hypnosis, body language, and other topics as they relate to Agile methods and I’m frequently asked: “What books do you recommend as an introduction?” There is no single best book to start with so I’m giving you a bunch of categories to pick from.
Our brains are highly advanced prediction engines1. They are constantly trying to predict what will happen next so that we can be prepared for what’s coming. When our brain makes a successful prediction then we get rewarded with a tiny shot of dopamine that makes us feel good.
You may have already heard of Google’s Project Aristotle. Back in 2012, Google set out to identify what made their most effective teams so much better than others. They wanted to reproduce that magic that some teams had across the company and so they interviewed 180 teams and collected all kinds of data.
While code coverage can be a useful measurement for teams to improve their own results, the moment it’s tracked by people external to the team, particularly management, it becomes a perverse incentive.
Each day during standup, most teams will have every answer three questions. The questions most commonly asked are fairly poor and result in a undesirably bad meeting.
Are your retros running a bit flat? Need something to spice them up and make them more effective and also more interesting for your team? Join us as we walk through a collection of techniques from psychology and applied neuroscience to give your retros that edge you need.
For years, agile coaches have been touting the benefits of collocated teams and pointing out the inefficiencies of having people remote. When COVID-19 struck and everyone was required to work from home, we found that while teams certainly weren’t as effective as they’d been in the office, it wasn’t nearly as bad as had been anticipated. How do we make sense of this?
Six Thinking Hats is a technique to improve creativity by focusing our attention on only one perspective at a time. Useful wherever we need creativity - from retrospectives to product planning to strategic visioning.
In order for teams to step into high performance. it’s critical that they develop the practice of having effective conversations about what is and isn’t working. Yet in practice, the retrospective meeting is often the least-valued of the agile events: team members feel that their retros are boring, repetitive, and superficial.