The Retrospective Easy A3 Visual Guide

The Retro Canvas is a great simple way to distribute an easy guide to all your scrummasters to print out for their teams and as a gentle reminder to be disciplined on using the 5 steps of the good retro guide.  The content of the Visual Retro Guide is leveraged from Esther Derby fantastic blog and her book written with Diana Larsen ‘Agile Retrospectives, Making Good teams Great’.

The Retrospective Canvas

As part of my own Continuous Improvement framework I’d love to hear any feedback on the poster and to hear if you’ve used it in your teams to help improve your inspect & adapt cycles. 🙂


Agile Coach Camp Canada 2013 Snapshots from a far…

As much as I would love to travel the world only attending agile conferences and agile unconferences I simply can’t. Instead i’ll review the outputs and create learning snapshots to add to my coaching tool kit. These are some favourites from the Agile Coach Camp held in Canada June 2013.

Note: If you recognise any of your words in these snapshots please let me know so that I can assign you credt. Some of the videos don’t give presenter names.

How to teach anything;
1. The first lesson of teaching is to teach them where they are at
2. We need to discover what their hurdles are – emotional & knowledge
3. Understand what their motives – work with them to find that motivation
Motivation is where you will get the engagement
All learning is made through meaningful association

How many coaches does it take to change a light bulb?
1. Well, it depends
2. Why do you ask?
3. Who’s willing to pay, i’m tired of freebies
4. Who has the problem
5. Do you mind if I ask you 5 questions first
6. Lets visualise this
7. How do you know the light bulb is the problem
8. How do you know it’s fixed
9. We need to add some disciplines to this so we can scale
10. Do you know what your organisation culture is?

“Solve problems, real problems and don’t just focus on agile as the only solution…cause I just want to make the world suck a little less”

“What ever you are scared to do on stage – is exactly what you should do! Is there anything in your life, in this conference come up and do it. The more you get out of your comfort zone, the more you’ll get out of it.”

10 steps to proper motorcycleing cornering, and leaning into the corners of your life – using motorcycling as a metaphor

1. position yourself so you don’t catch your toe
2. prepare your body before the corner
3. use counter-force to lean into the corner
4. set your sites on the next horizon
5. and release into it

“As a coach we ask questions that allow the student to come up with the answer.” (Questions that lead to the insight needed for the student to learn.)

Kaizen Camp Melbourne 2013 – Discussing the future of work – Kaikaku

Kaizen Camp™ Melbourne 2013 is an unconference that focuses on shared learning and peer teaching to build valuable discussions and insight from Lean principles, lean practices, agile values, agile principles, agile methodologies, systems thinking practices, problem solving, business leadership, theory of constraints and of course lean manufacturing.

In this Kaizen Camp Melbourne blog seriesI’ve captured a few of the Lean Coffee sessions in my visually creative note taking style for you. My learning style is to capture insights, draw the story that’s playing out in front of me, and sometimes I just doodle while discussing because it actually helps me to remember and actively process the information.
Kaikaku – radical change in limited time of a production system
The Kaikaku session was one of the most fascinating because there was quite a lot of debate around when is it OK to create’Kaikaku’ also known as ‘Kaizen blitz’. That is, when is it ok for change agents to create disruption that forces dramatic change in a work place? The consensus seemed to be when the result of the disruption is beneficial. If it’s not a good outcome than it’s just another ‘unnecessary forced and poorly thought out change management program’.

This is all in contrast to the majority of conversations about Kaizen – incremental change that creates benefits sequentially step by step. Jim Benson – author of the book Personal Kanban – joined the conversation and gave a good example of searching for benefit to know when and what a good radical change is…’On a recent lean hospital kanban engagement with hospital clients the team were looking to understand why there are so many ‘deadly bug’ infections – staph – continuously being spread throughout the wards regardless of recent protective measures. (the protective measures were doctors wearing badges that said “ask me if i’ve washed my hands today?” – I kid you not!!)
The lean team discovered that the orderlies NEVER got infected unlike the majority of nurses and doctors, so they asked the orderlies ‘why don’t you get infected’? The orderlies said they only ever served the infected patients last.

Yes, that simple they served them last so as not to spread the infection back to other patients and that way they could essentially unwrap themselves from their protective gear and eliminate the gear; therefore, effectively eliminating any possibility to spread the infection to other patients.

Brilliant and so simple!!! I know, I laughed too at the obviousness of it. None the less the point of Jim Bensons story was when you are looking for ‘what to change’ look at who / what is successful or the abnormal in the world of normal and replicate it.

Having discussed all that this lean coffee group enjoyed hearing about the Vanto group who have created a successful business around ‘kaikaku’ and intentional kaizen blitz.

Kaikaku - radical change in limited time of a production system

Photo and stories from Kaizen Camp: Melbourne 2013 – discussing the future of work is available at