Lessons Learned from our “Fail Faire”

On a cold December evening, several of us gathered to share our latest stories of Agile woe.

One of the outcomes of a “Fail Faire” event is to gather a set of lessons learned. The session we hosted three years ago gathered many such insightful gems – you should go read them – great stuff there: https://agileottawa.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/lessons-learned-from-our-fail-faire/

This session proved a little different. The group of participants was smaller. We sat (round table style) and shared stories – the outcome was an incredible amount of support and help from all. Indeed, everyone at the table was keen to exchange ideas on how to make things better. The session was a shining example of the very spirit of an Agile team…

By sharing our problems openly, we create the opportunity to learn and gain the support we need to improve.

For those who missed the event, here’s a quick summary of lessons learned from our discussion:

  • Strong facilitation can accelerate your meetings and help to solve problems.
  • Make sure “safety” is established and maintained during a retrospective.
  • Recognize when your help is not “helping” – sometimes, the skills required are beyond what you are able to offer.
  • When adding a new team (scaling), you need to have active support from leadership. Be aware of leadership “passively” supporting – they need to be involved.
  • Guide the solution, don’t provide the solution.
  • Anonymous feedback is very helpful at uncovering blindspots.

Thank you to all the participants who joined us for this event. From everyone at Agile Ottawa, happy holidays – looking forward to connecting in 2017!

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