Logi Helgu

Being Agile

Retrospective talk at USMessan 2019

Posted by on Feb 8, 2019

In this talk, titled “Retrospective – create happy, engaged & productive teams”, I go through the importance of the retrospective meetings and what makes a great retro.

The majority of the talk is based around a story of how the retro meetings changed in a team called HoneyBadgers and the effect these meetings had on the teams culture.

We had the fun part covered and from there we could build up a great team…I think this talk is a must watch. It helps knowing how I see the retrospectives if your working with me but more importantly I think this is something that is often missing when your building up teams…and not just for the facilitator, but for all the team members to truly understand the reason for theses meetings.

I’ve spoken twice before about things from the HoneyBaders team. The first was about Release Thinking and the importance of thinking of the end place for all work. The second was on Estimation and how to “estimate less” by focusing less on the size/effort of a ticket and rather the throughput of the team. This concludes the trilogy/eulogy to the HoneyBadgers.

Check out the youtube recording.

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Teaching Agile (“third iteration”)

Posted by on Feb 1, 2019

This time around we finally got the students wishes through and the previous course where I had ~3 days had now been expanded to 7 days.

So the Scrum talk I did back in 2014 lead to the 3 day teaching in 2017 and 2018 where the wishes for more time were really getting load and in 2018 the courses were changed and Agile & Lean replaced the Agile Project Management course.

I loved getting more time to get through the material and putting more focus on games, teamwork & freedom.

This time around I didn’t get Ingjaldsstofa (room HT-101) and I missed it :'( it was much more cosy than the big space we got this time. It was a bit cold and for the last two times we had to move to other older rooms that I liked more since they were smaller and somewhat more intimate.

On the retro (see image at top) we got a lot of great points that I’ll take into the next iteration of this course:

  • More focus on the games (and more game)
  • Utilize more tools (i.e. zoom.us for a remote session, kahoot.it for follow up (rather than quizes), online chat tool like slack?)
  • Too much time went into the personal assignment…I’ll change that

Then students were really pleased at the retro and then when the results from the schools survey were in we can clearly see that they were pleased there too with the course giving it 8.75 that was well above the average.

The I looked a little deeper into the numbers and the scores were always above average except for the workload where the course was way below.

I don’t know if that is a really bad thing…but I do want to make a lot of improvements on the assignments so hopefully I can get that part up…but I’m not sure if I do want to exceed the average there 😉

Thankful as always, it’s a lot of fun to share and meet curious minds willing to learn =)

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Scrum roles & responsibilities game printouts

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018

The Scrum Roles and Responsibilities game over at TastyCupCakes.org is a great game to use when teaching the scrum roles and getting participants to discuss amongst themselves what each roles does.

I’ve played this a couple of time and its always great to have two team clearing out their understanding together. So this is a pretty good way to follow up on teaching that can be used for any follow up. 

I’ve always been a “player” and when I decided to use this for the first time recently I knew that I had to have something else than index cards. So I created a printout with two different backgrounds (two sets), laminated and cut out…I was pleased =)

Here is the 12 page (select two sided printing and end up with 6 pages) PDF for anyone else to reuse:

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Agile & Gamification talk

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015


I gave a talk at UTMessan 2015 titles “Spilar þú Agile leikinn” which would translate to “Do you play the Agile Game”. I touched on a lot of stuff I like and mostly Gamification. The point of the talk was that we need to learn the game and play it (a lot) to fully capture it and change it. The game here being the Agile game we play…but we could swap that with any “game” we like 😉

In Icelandic I used the word “Leikjafræði” which is used for “Game theory”…and one attendee pointed that out me after the talk…I totally got his point since guests did only get the title of the talk to figure out what was being presented and I hope that will be better next year. I myself to like to read at least a couple of sentences to know what the point of the talk is going to be.

I asked a good friend that attended what he though and he was worried the first moments but then he said I pulled if off. And I was a bit worried since I had been told I could walk around but there was only the mike on the lectern so I was pretty immobilised and did have to skip some parts that I had planned.

It’s really great they now have video recording of all the talks. I havn’t watched all of mine but I feel like I was trying to get over a lot… and I guess I was.
My plan was to have a maximum of 10 slides…but they seemed to enjoy each other and multiply like rabbits when I was planning. One of the hard part was to try to fit this all in 30 minutes.

I general I was pretty pleased and everybody who I talked to about it was pleased or even inspired…a word I really like =)

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Online Sprint Burndown chart

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014

Daily ScrumWhen keeping track of the sprint burndown it’s often good (or ever required) that you show that process on a daily bases. In my case I have a wiki page for each sprint and want to have the daily burndown there updated every day.

So I created a simple Google Spreadsheet for Sprint Daily Burndown. There I create a new tab for each sprint using the TEMPLATE as the base (or just duplicate an old one).

How to set this up

We were running weekly sprints so there are only 5 days on the template now.

  • Start off by duplicating the TEMPLATE sheet (the small triangle on the right site of the Sheets name).
  • Set the Sprint name
  • Fill out the total plan (story points) in the first Planned remaining column (C3), this is your total burndown “plan” for the sprint.
  • Then you have to set how much you plan to have burnt the first day in the second column of Planned Daily Burndown (D4). The reason for this is that we had SPM on Mondays so the planned burndown was always lower on Mondays and we decided that each sprint 😉
  • The rest of the Planned Daily Burndown is just divided evenly automatically, but you can change that if you need to.
  • Then every day you insert the Daily Burndown on your Daily Standup Meeting (Daily Scrum) accordingly and the Chart below is updated.

Sharing the Chart

The sweet part is that you can publish the Chart as an image and place on your wiki or webpage and the image is update each time you fill out new numbers. Very handy when you have a sprint page that you wan’t to display the process of the sprint =)

  • Click the chart and in the right corner click the triangle and select Publish chart
  • In the Select a publish format select Image
  • Copy the URL for the image and pate wherever you desire =)

Feel free to make a copy and edit your own, I’d love to hear if this helps or if you anything else to tell me about this 😉

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Scrum seminar 2014

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014

Today I held another Scrum & Kanban seminar with Dokkan. This time we were at a different location and the 18th floor of Höfðatorg. THe room was not a spacious as last year at Nauthóll but the view was great 😉

Slides
rvl.io has changed to slid.es and I didn’t get to updating them as I wanted to…it was just a minur update to the slides where I replaced much of the Scrum part with the slides from my talk at the University of Iceland the week before where I had managed to put in some of my drawings 😉

Expectations
I asked everybody at the start to write down the expectations people had to have some understanding of what we wanted to achieve.

Scrum vs. Kanban
The Scrum part of the seminar was dominant and I ran out of time to go deep into Kanban 😐 There were some points about that in the retro that might help with the next version of the seminar =)

Open Space vs. Retro
No Open Space this time around…I really like those but I put in a simple retrospective at the end and there were some great things that shined through there…I’ve taken those pointers for me to work on the future of this course.

Participants were very pleased and so was I.

Thanks everybody for a great day and good ideas.

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