Author: ewebber

Agile and Lean, Remote

Quick icebreakers for online meetings, (that don’t suck)

Reading Time: 4 minutes Icebreakers seem to have lots of people squirming in their seats, me included. There is a lot of benefit to running them well and downsides when they are not. This post covers why do them and shares some that have gone well for me in the past. I have been running an online lean coffee …

Communities of practice

Social group sizes, Dunbar’s number and implications for communities of practice

Reading Time: 4 minutes Communities of practice have a significant impact on organisations for all the reasons which I have spoken about in my book and many times on stage. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore the correlation of communities of practice and natural human communities with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. This lead to a …

Communities of practice, Culture

Assisted Serendipity, Random Coffee and the power of the unstructured meeting

Reading Time: 3 minutes We have some of the best conversations when they are unstructured and happen by chance. That moment when you bump into someone when you are out and about, and they happen to mention something that really helps you. Or you sit down to lunch with a work colleague, and it sparks a great new idea. …

Agile and Lean

Consequence Scanning – an agile event for responsible teams

Reading Time: 2 minutes This post is about something important, which is why it’s taken some time to put together. Earlier this year I was fortunate to work with Doteveryone. We created a new agile event that frames team conversation about the potential wider consequences of what they are building. Doteveryone describes themselves as a responsible technology think tank. …

Capability, Communities of practice

Introducing Capability Profile Mapping

Capability profile mapping

Reading Time: 5 minutes A little while back I wrote a post on skills and capability mapping with communities of practice, I have been developing this work further into an organisational-wide approach, under the name of Capability Profile Mapping. Capability Profile Mapping is a powerful approach for organisations, individuals and teams to create a shared understanding of their current …

Agile and Lean, diversity, Remote

Agile in the Ether’s first remote conference

Agile in the Ether tweet: I’m thinking about running a small remote one day conference, a mix of short talks and unconference style sessions. Maybe in May - does that sound like a good thing?

Reading Time: 6 minutes I run a remote meet-up called Agile in the Ether. A while back I asked twitter followers if I should extend it out to a conference and they said yes, so I did and it was great. This is what happened and what I learnt. Remote meeting is a hot topic, remote meet-ups and conferences …

Agile and Lean, Communities of practice, Tools

Facilitation feedback tool

Facilitation tool

Reading Time: < 1 minute Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement Helen Timperley and John Hattie Many of us facilitate workshops or agile habits regularly and we know if a workshop has gone well if the outcomes are useful. There are also lots of elements of facilitation that we don’t often get feedback on. …

Communities of practice, Tools

Posters to show how awesome communities of practice are

Community of practice posters

Reading Time: < 1 minute If you regularly read my blog, then you will know that communities of practice are my specialist subject and core to a lot of the work that I do. I help lots of organisations who are building their specialist skills in digital and agile delivery and those communities form an essential foundation for just that. …

Agile and Lean, Culture

The team manual, an exercise to help build empathy in teams

Team Manual

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a recent talk that I gave at Agile testing days and Lean Agile Scotland called “Whole Team Responsibility”, I mentioned the team manual as a way of growing empathy in teams. Here is a quick write up with a little more detail and how to use it.

Agile and Lean, Public Speaking, Remote

Agile in the Ether, a remote meetup

Reading Time: 2 minutes I have a habit of bringing people and communities together, this means I can’t seem to help myself setting up or getting involved in running meetups (my current count is at six*). Faced with not enough time to devote to my existing meetup, I naturally decided to start a new one. This time a remote …

Agile and Lean

Why I’m going to stop saying agile ceremonies

Reading Time: 2 minutes Many people use the term “Agile ceremonies” as a collective term for activities like standups, retrospectives, reviews and planning. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the word “ceremony” in this context. It’s never sat well with me and I don’t like using it with people who are new to agile ways of working. I’ve been thinking …

Agile and Lean, Public Speaking, Remote, Tools

A decent remote show and tell set up

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many organisations work with dispersed teams or stakeholders, so there must be an easy way to do an engaging remote show and tell, surely… right? I couldn’t find one, this post is the result of my research to find my own and a guide for others.

Communities of practice

How community, social networks and building habits helped me get fitter and healthier

Witness the Fitness

Reading Time: 5 minutes That might sound like a bit of an odd title on my blog but bear with me. I have spent the last year making some changes in myself and I’ve used everything I know about how people work, approaches to change and experimentation in order to do that. This post talks about how I went …

Capability, Communities of practice

Mapping skills and capabilities with communities of practice

post-its

Reading Time: 3 minutes I first wrote about skills mapping in my book Building successful communities of practice. This post digs a little deeper into identifying skills and capabilities with communities of practice. Skills and capability maps help organisations identify gaps and where to invest in skills development. So it makes sense that many want to create them. At a …

diversity

Should you call people resources?

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m a big believer that language and the words you use say a lot about a culture, and that we can take steps to change culture through changing those words. Words can make people feel excluded, unappreciated and overlooked. I try to make conscious decisions about the words that I use and will phase out …

Agile and Lean

The team collaboration party game

Reading Time: 3 minutes I recently put a workshop together to take a new team through to help describe some important agile concepts including the benefits of working collaboratively and swarming on tasks; the value of communication; how to self-organise; how limiting work in progress achieves more value and what we mean by T-shaped teams. The workshop itself was a …

Agile and Lean

The 4 Ps of effective standups

Daily standup

Reading Time: 2 minutes This is a quick blog post with some tips for effective stand-ups that a friend asked me to write so he could share it with someone else. So here it is Mark. These 4Ps came to life when I was working with Amy Wagner creating and delivering some training in Brussels. The training was intended to …

Public Speaking

Conference speaker needs

Reading Time: < 1 minute About a month ago I put together a list of needs for conference speakers. I’d been thinking about it because I’ve been speaking at a fair few conferences recently and seen various approaches by different organisers. I’ve also seen important information missed that I and other speakers could have benefitted from up front. I know how …

Agile and Lean, Capability

Understanding needs for building digital / agile capability

Street advert for computer training

Reading Time: 2 minutes I do a fair bit of training with organisations who want to become more agile. The conversation often starts with “can you give agile training to our staff?”. This is a starting point for a conversation but needs a bit more digging before I can understand what the real need is and what outcome we should …

Agile and Lean, Learning

What learning to knit has reminded me about learning

Knitting

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have recently taken up knitting (as anyone that follows me on Instagram will know) and as well as helping me build an increasing collection of brightly coloured hats, it’s helped remind me about the process of learning and how this relates to people learning agile. Which is always a good reminder as an agile …

Agile and Lean

Mapping influencers through an authority lens

Reading Time: 4 minutes At a recent Agile on the bench meetup, Matthew Butt gave a great talk called Hacking Authority in which he explored different types of authority that exist within organisations. It is a really interesting lens that can be used to view influencers in an organisation and I’ll be using it for a workshop very soon to create …

Agile and Lean, diversity, Public Speaking

Avoiding groupthink and echo chambers: diversity and the multidisciplinary team – a short talk

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you read my blog, then you’ll know that I have an interest in diversity and I also run a meetup called Agile on the Bench. At the Feb meetup I joined forces with Lakshan Saldin to give a 10 min talk about how diversity, groupthink and echo chambers affect our teams. Here is what we said….

Agile and Lean, Tools

Tips for using Trello effectively

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve been using Trello for a few years, both for personal projects and with teams. I love how simple it is to use, which makes it easy to use in the way that works for you. The downside of this is that some teams struggle with knowing where to start, this post is about showing …

diversity, Public Speaking

Agile on the Bench Gender diversity

Agile on the Bench

Reading Time: 2 minutes I co-host the meetup Agile on the Bench with Cara Bermingham. We have been collecting stats of perceived gender diversity (counted rather than surveyed) since it started it in Nov 2014. This post is sharing those stats and some observations. When I set it up (originally with David Lowe) we set a rule about speakers, …