Position Papers

Below see a list of position papers of other participants already registered to Agile Coach Camp, so that you can learn in advance what are other people motivations and planned contributions:

1. Lukas Simandl

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Team agreement – when team summarise its own team agreement it can really help the team to have written guardrails.  I’ve learn sometimes written agreement can help the team to feel more safely.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
It depends on the people within the team. Every team is different. In general people will not follow any change if it’s not properly communicated and explained to them. Learning point is to every time explain changes and expected outputs to the team.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I’d like to hear about scaling in small area (between few teams). Also I’d like to hear about how far you can go with “self-management” in the team (hiring, bonuses, etc.). I can share how to work with the teams in corporate. How to motivate people and how to communicate with them on daily bases

2. Irena Buršová

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Scrum.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
I’ve experimented to drive Scrum with one really big team and finally it didn’t work due to mindset of leaders and directive approach. So I’ve learned that next time I have to spend more time with leaders to clarify all topics, work as one team before any work with the development team.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to hear more about DevOps.
I could share my experience with distributed teams.

3. Bettina Ruggeri

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
NoEstimates – relaxed the team and focused more on outcome.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Cannot remember, I’m going to try out mindful actions. We’ll see.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I want to offer a session for NVC (nonviolent communication).

4. Anna Zalucka

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Completing each feature before moving on to the next. The team really focused on Done before starting to work on something else.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Working with one of the teams I thought that empowering them will lead to better results. They were very focused on complaining during retrospectives about having no power to decide. I tried to help them to change that and they succeeded. Although results were unexpected – now the team has the power to decide what project to take next, but they are lost, and now are complaining about having nobody to tell them what to do.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to learn more about cultural shifts within the team, about creating environment where it is ok to fail, blaming is not part of the culture and where people are happy with what they do, even if there are routine tasks.

5. Michael Táncoš

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
I have tried the No-Estimate and running grooming and it went very well with one of my team. Other team in the same situation struggled very much and this approach would not helped them at all.It reinforced the message that Agile is not “One size fits all” for me.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
My first experimentation with WIP limits taught me, that Kanban works with mature teams only.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to come with as open mind as possible – I am trying to not confine myself to topics I want to hear about. I would like to take Agile Coach Camp as a mainly learning opportunity, but I am prepared to offer all my experiences to anybody willing to listen. I consider Scrumban and active listening my forte, but I have lots of opinions about almost anything.

6. Ivo Peksens

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Succeeded with visualization of product. Split team into 3 parts and let them draw the product as they see it, then present to the rest. At the end, team comes up with common, aligned visual about the product (rich picture). I learnt that people have lots to say if you ask properly and that they see things differently all the time.

Introducing WIP limits. Caused interesting discussions and healthy peer pressure about how much one can actually work on. As a result cycle time went down, stand-up meetings became shorter and more focused. I learnt that giving examples, analogies and games help in getting these things.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
In my experience I have failed with trying to introduce working agreements into a team that is not ready for it. As a result, no-one really follows them all, just few items at best. I learnt that first team maturity needs to be assessed which is not an easy task.

In my earlier days, I approached a team with several Scrum events in one batch which caused resistance and hate towards Scrum. I learnt that Kanban approach is better :), yet it can be applied while introducing Scrum.

I have also failed with Retrospectives in teams that are too deep into systemic problems. At some point, there is no sense to improve inside team, you just need to fix some things beyond team. I learnt that the bigger the org, the more probable that coach needs to work with organization more.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to discuss about how to assess where the team is in its life. I know the models like Tuckman, Sibbet, but would like to talk about using them in practice.

I would like to discuss what to do in an organization that hires SMs/ACs, but in reality is not clear about the expectations of these roles.

Scrum Master vs Agile Coach: There is still this thinking that SM sits in team, while AC is “flying” around the organization. Would like to discuss about these 2 roles and their co-working, boundaries and similar.

7. Michael Rychna

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
I cannot say I have ever tried and agile approach which has surprisingly worked. It was mainly about applying the right approach and creating proper conditions for allowing the approach to succeed. The framework I was mainly focusing on is DAD.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Pure SCRUM in corporate environment. But honestly…it was not really a surprise.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
My experience with application of agile principles in corporate environment. I would also like to focus on a role of a product owner and how to choose the right one.

8. Michal Zapletal

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Lead by example. / Do not always wait when the team will find out without help of Scrum Master.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
ROI – Return of investment. / I was told by the team it is not our responsibility, it is responsibility of the Product Owner.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Present: Why do I thing following all Scrum ceremonies is sometimes waste of time.
Hear from others:
1) I would like to hear from other Scrum Masters what do members of his/her team(s) thing about her/his job as a Scrum Master. What are the benefits, if there are some. I would like to hear real answers from team members, not what Scrum Master’s opinion.
2) What does management expect from you in your company/ Do you have any responsibility? If yes, what are you responsible for?

9. Michaela Ďuranová

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Retrospective meeting when all members were really “for agile approaches”, small improvements that did a lot.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Retrospective meeting when all members are happy and do not want even single change.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I don’t want to present if I don’t have to.
How to show team members that change will bring us something useful – when everybody is happy even the software development process is not the best.

10. Ondřej Chylík

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
More responsibility to the team — surprisingly, the team started to self-organize more after some time 🙂 I learned that with the right people and with significant patience it is possible to get positive results and a the team matures.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
More responsibility to the team (again) — surprisingly things went downwards and the scrum meetings were dull and without energy. I learned that it really takes time and patience, but also some motivated individuals in the team.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
A thin(?) line between being an Product Owner or an Agile Project Manager”.
Or “Product Owner helping the Dev Team improve and grow — and vice-versa”.

11. Robert Batůšek

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
User Story Mapping – it always led to surprising insights from both the team and me.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Evolutionary PM by Tom Gilb – the method is complex and even if I simplified it people were not able to take it to its rigor.
I also still struggle with making Definition of Done an intrinsic value of the team rather than something imposed on them.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
User story mapping – I have a workshop ready for it.
LeSS – large scale Scrum – I can share experience from applying it.

12. Hans Baggesen

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Teaching about stories : They got it … perhaps I can teach even though I loathe it.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Trust – Manager didn’t believe in it. Lesson: It is so easy to lead and so hard to coach.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Architecture follows organization follows leadership.

13. Marketa Conka

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
I don’t have so much experiences so I am coming to mainly listen others and getting knowledge.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to know how other people started, and for example what courses they absolved, what mistakes they made, I would like to learn from experienced people.
Now I am working as tester for 2 months so I have almost no experience and studying theory mainly so I would like to see how it goes in use and what problems may appear. Then I want to bring these new gained ideas to my company and procure it to my colleagues.

14. Marek Fexa

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Tools from Scrum, Story Mapping, Fast feedback … I have learned that I love learning and experimenting which can make big impact on many levels.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Retrospectives in company that does not value openness and honesty.
User stories in software house company and especially in fixed price contracts.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I can talk about Montessori method for growing small agilists or about importance of (radical) honesty together with caring for people.
I would like to know about strategies for extending knowledge SM skills like facilitation and coaching.
I would like to learn about team building activities that others do when forming new teams.

15. Jan Krchňák

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Something I call Evolutionary Agile. Tell the team just some basic about Agile, make them follow regular retrospectives and observe/help when asked. Most of the time the team will catch up soon, evolve its own rules and is proud about their process more.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Telling a foreign team to run retrospectives, supposing it would help them. They went in unsupervised from the day 1. It soon turned into a blame-fest, as they were lax on following up agreed actions and their whole retrospective turned into repetition of what does not work and who’s to blame.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Business Games (as usual).
Approaches in team Agile coaching – both good and bad.
Typical painpoints in companies that try to “go Agile” – where did it got stuck?

16. Daniel Hejl

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Having developers as a part of product discovery – sketching ideas, brainstorming, etc. There are better ways how to collaborate between POs, designers and developers.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Doing design sprint exactly by the book. We have learned how to improve the process for our own context.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
To present: Our experiences with Dual Track Agile in product board
To hear: Any personal experiences with agile in startups.

17. Martin Jarcik

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
One team of mine had to deal with lots of maintenance. So we established a small DevOps unit( based on two team members) independent on the running iteration. People in this unit rotated regularly. It has a dramatic impact on the team’s sprint and product ownership.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Once I introduced Lean Kanban into originally SCRUM team, and it exhausted its members.  They just could not manage to slow down and kept pulling tasks from backlog. 😀 It always surprise me, how different every team is.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
No idea now, but I love discussions about company’s culture and its impact on process.

18. Anna Svahn

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Using Scrum within mechatronics combined with stage gate process. People are much happier.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Not really applicable but people are still struggling with the effort estimation. Still need to find better ways.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Happy to share our experience so far with implementation in Sweden and Italy.
Would like to hear more about integrating support functions with Scrum Teams.

19. Richard Ross

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Can’t think of any. Nothing is surprising to me in agile as I think of it as empirical process. It is meant to be like that – try, learn, adapt. So I am even expecting that whatever crazy idea that whoever has, might work.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Not surprisingly, but it’s extremely hard and I can say that I have been unsuccessful to persuade developers to use TDD. I am able to explain, I am able to show examples, they get it, they try it – but then they not continue doing it.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Not sure about what to present. I don’t even have any experience in that. But I would find useful to hear PO related topics (like what Definition of Ready looks like and what is acceptable output from PO – how the tasks entering sprint look like when PO is not so technical).
Also, I’d like to hear some interesting tips for retrospective, so I am able to prevent them from being boring.

20. Tatsiana Trubilka

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Demo after each sprint, even in case of really very technical projects, like redesigning (scaling) of huge IN platform.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Permanent cross-functional agile teams throughout the company. Still having problems with this. Experienced two patterns here:
1. Cross-functional scrum teams, organized by projects (temporary).
2. Permanent agile teams, some of which are partly specialized in particular domains and cannot provide E2E delivery.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to discuss something on business agility and on scaled agile (I’m familiar with SAFe, but have no experience with LeSS or DAD).

21. Sabrina Ferlisi

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Retrospective with distributed teams are always more difficult to plan and manage, but it works surprisingly well. Everybody in the team can speak and share. Of course it’s easier with collocated teams… but what I learnt is : Yes it could work.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Scrum of scrum meeting between two teams. As a scrum master, I thought it was a good way to share important information between two teams, but the two teams didn’t want to continue with this meeting, saying that it was a waste of time as we shared the same open space.
I learnt that the feelings of the scrum master is not always the truth, but I always wonder if it was because of the teams were too “lazy” (it’s a big word, but I can’t find another one more appropriate).

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to hear experience on distributed team, team spirit in that case, technics to help the product owner.

22. Lukáš Heinz

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Retrospective and agile approach in top management team. We conducted strategic and tactic retrospectives and we have Kanban board we worked on. I learned that agile techniques can be adopted outside IT and SW development.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Backlog management, roadmap and product release planning just doesn’t work for me and I still do not know how to handle this 😦

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to present how we work in our management team.
I would like to hear from others about long term product planning in agile.

23. Václav Macíček

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
I haven’t experimented with any agile approach.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
I haven’t experimented with any agile approach.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I am beginner in agile so i don’t have any topic to present, but i would like to hear from others how build self organized team 🙂

24. Ondrej Kavula

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
When I don’t tell to my team openly that we actually use some Agile principles, practices or techniques. I call it stealth Agile… hmm… or shall say Stealth Agile™ ? 🙂 It helped me to cope with complexity at large waterfall projects in companies who were not ready for starting actual Agile Transition or Agile was a nasty word there… Then cloaked as a Project or Program Manager I slowly started to convert WBS to Stories and Gantt charts to Kanban boards and fostered self-management instead of command and control.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Lots of them… As various practices are emerging, Agile sphere is like a snowball and one has to be vigilant what deserves trying and what is a dead end. Recently I said to myself to stick with the core of Agile and Scrum and focus on absolute mastering of core principles of the Manifesto and The Scrum Guide – understand them is more important than to know about zillion of “agile-ish” stuff 🙂

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I would like to propose a hands-on session called “Complexity cannot be beaten by analysis” … I will not tell you more but promise that it will be eye-opening, usable in your agile coaching practice and fun 🙂
I would like to hear about any thoughts how to embrace Agile in highly unfavourable environments where customer is constantly unavailable. Does it still make sense if most important of all feedback loops is broken?

25. Peter Vlcek

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Retrospective activity called “Movie critic”. I learned that it’s worth to vary retrospective activities to keep them fresh and eventually to have some fun.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Stand-up variation called “Buddy stand-up”, the team refused to do it. I learned that not every experiment I like is acceptable by the team.

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I’d like to learn some useful soft skills I could use as Scrum Master to reduce the lack of ownership and encourage the self-organisation of the team.

26. Ludo Mikula

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Switching from waterfall, the communication started working almost immediately! Lesson learned: Talk early, talk often.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Cannot remember right now (yeah time is ticking away…)

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I’d like to hear about: Writing user stories.

27. Silvana Wasitova

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Write the test first: before Agile, I never even considered this. Now it’s so obvious.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Self-organization: some individuals adapt to it more easily, others need more time. A lot more time. 🙂

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
Always relevant topic: steps to ease the transformation. Business metrics to track. Strengthening the dev team and management team.

28. Tamás Hajdu

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly worked? What did you learn from this?
Most recent experiment was storymapping, the result was pretty great. We still need to learn how to use it better during the iterations I think, but it was a promising start. We learnt that story mapping could be a useful part of initial discovery process and next time we will probably start with it before we start ideating around wireframes and screens and flows.

What Agile approach have you experimented with that surprisingly did not work? And what did you learn from this?
Reshuffling team members in a common meeting where the POs presented the roadmap for their products. A few parameters badly set (too short timebox, too open options) resulted in a very interesting result, the experiment provided a lot of learnings, but was definitely not a success. I’d be curious to try it again with a modified setup to see if we had enough learnings for a successful setup or there is more to it. 🙂

What topic would you like to present to others and/or what topic would you like to hear from others?
I’m hoping to put together enough content for a discussion about “life scripts” – a part of Eric Berne’s theories in transactional analysis. I think the theory and the model can help us better understand both our behaviours and others’.
Hear from others: i’d be very interested in how to be able to assess or self-assess the work and success of a scrum master in any slightly objective way.