Thursday, 5 May 2016

My favourite coaching tools: No Time To Improve Agile Retrospective Cartoon

This is a short and sweet one that always brings a little smile to my lips (and some or many team members) when I bring it up in front of the "we're too busy with important stuff" teams during agile retrospectives, or preceding an agile retrospective due to too much resistance because "we are too busy"!


No Time To Improve Retrospective Cartoon
From http://i2.wp.com/ecbiz168.inmotionhosting.com/~perfor21/performancemanagementcompanyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/tobusytoimprove.jpg
It seems no one is currently sure where the original is, or who created it. For more modern updates there have been plenty, just search Google!

Once we all get past the uncomfortable "Gulp" moment after this cartoon is presented, the team discusses what things are keeping the team members too busy to think about or to reflect or to introduce improvements to the way(s) they are working.

I might even throw in the original Albert Einstein quote: “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
And/or I might put this one in front of the team to reflect upon: "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln

If there are still some people needing deeper understanding of the situation they are in, I would introduce them to, and request them to, complete the Covey Time Management Usage Matrix (also known as self-study lightweight time and motion study). After this step is complete, especially including the lunch breaks, random web surfing, tea breaks, urgent phone calls and all the other really important things everyone does with intention or with serendipity at work as normal Business-as-Usual, then people are open to the message, and a humble inquiry!

Always respect the people you are introducing this too, and respect it is THEIR context and THEIR experience that matters, not yours, as external coach / observer / non-invested in the focussed business outcome! And remember why you are introducing this to them - something they are doing must be wasting energy in YOUR ?humble? opinion. Be careful and go gently!

1 comment:

Rob Brown said...

An excellent resource for helping your team improve is "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great" (UK or US)