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Let Go Knowing: How Holding onto Views May Be Holding You Back - Mile High Agile 2015

Mike Cohn
April 03, 2015

Let Go Knowing: How Holding onto Views May Be Holding You Back - Mile High Agile 2015

You undoubtedly have a firmly held set of convictions about what is necessary to do agile well. These convictions have served you well—your teams have delivered better products more quickly and more economically than before they were agile. But could some of your firmly held convictions be holding you back? And have you ever wondered why some of your most agile friends are similarly firm in their own opinions—even ones that are the exact opposite of your own?

In this session, you’ll see ways that biases may be preventing you from questioning your assumptions, why being open to new views is hard but vital, and why beginners so often think they know it all. After this session, you will know how to discern the inviolate rules of Scrum from its merely good practices. You’ll know why you feel certain of some aspects of agile, less so about others. You’ll leave with the confidence to let go of knowing. And when we let go of knowing, we open ourselves to learning, which is the heart of agile.

Mike Cohn

April 03, 2015

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  1. Mike Cohn Mile High Agile April 3, 2015 Let Go

    of Knowing: How Holding onto Views May Be Holding You Back
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  5. Parametric Estimating Task Decomposition Ideal Days Story Points

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  7. Open-Minded Willing to consider new ideas

  8. 1-week sprints are the best Let’s include the product owner

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  9. “We do waterfall, but we test all the time.” “We

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  10. “I was wrong. The vastness of my wrongness was staggering.”

  11. Sprint retrospectives

  12. “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if

    it’s not open.“ —Frank Zappa
  13. #ICouldBeWrong

  14. #QuestionYourAssumptions

  15. None
  16. None
  17. None
  18. Loving father

  19. #QuestionYourAssumptions Confirmation bias Hindsight bias

  20. One-week sprints suck. 1-week sprints are stressful. There’s no time

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  21. #ConfirmationBias #HindsightBias

  22. 1. Question our assumptions 2. Exhibit intellectual humility

  23. “Who does such-and-such in Scrum?” “When you’re teaching, always assume

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  24. Dunning-Kruger Effect

  25. ComparativeAgility.com False Mostly False Not True or False Mostly True

    True Management sets goals but doesn't tell team members how to achieve them. All bugs are fixed during the sprint in which they are found.
  26. Seven dimensions • Teamwork • Requirements • Planning • Technical

    practices • Quality • Culture • Knowledge creation • Is the product owner involved in identifying acceptance criteria? • Are tests automated? • Are testers involved early?
  27. Quality False Mostly False Not True or False Mostly True

    True Timing 2 years 6 months Acceptance tests Timing Quality focus
  28. #AvoidBrandLoyalty

  29. #AvoidBrandLoyalty

  30. None
  31. Sample Scrum rules • Sprints cannot be longer than a

    month. • Be done with something by the end of the sprint. • Meet at the start of the sprint to discuss what you’ll do during the sprint. Do these
 or else!!
  32. “If I’d followed all the rules, I’d never have gotten

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  33. Test-Driven Development Pair Programming Sprint 0 Definition of Done User

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  34. “I’m the world’s greatest ScrumMaster!” “I’ve never heard of pair

    programming.” “Hey, I could be wrong!”
  35. “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know,

    that's a really good argument, my position is mistaken,’
  36. and then they actually change their minds, and you never

    hear that old view from them again. They really do it.
  37. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists

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  38. But it happens every day. 
 I cannot recall the

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 —Carl Sagan
  39. Question your assumptions Exhibit intellectual humility Avoid brand loyalty To

    remain open-minded:
  40. #ICouldBeWrong #ThankYou @MikeWCohn mike@mountaingoatsoftware.com