2011 agile conference Esther Derby afternoon session

I had promised Carsten to attend his presentation, so I only attended half of Esther Derby’s.  I am so happy I saw her speak.  She’s incredible.  These were my rough notes, but I’ve gone in and edited to give my own reactions.

60 percent info in the start – build foundation, real team, goal, information.

Enabling conditions: info, expertise, material support, connection to org

Adapted from Thomas and Kilman, she showed a grid for to use as tools for analyzing how we respond to conflict.  These words below were dimensions on a grid and you would place yourself on one of the squares.

Compete. Compromise. Accommodate

Next Esther took a look at sources of conflict.  She had a great diagram that had:

Structure (as the top layer)

Task (a column header)
Missing or misunderstood communication
Hardened positions

Interpersonal (a second column header)
Past history

When negotiating conflict, just getting clear can solve a lot of issues.


Another source of conflict is lack of transparency.  Withholding from the team members.

[This I view as a major teaching for traditional advertising, which tends to follow the Broadcast paradigm through and through.  We think up information and Broadcast it at you.  It is not so much a conversation.]


(ran over to hear Tom Poppendieck and Carsten Jakobsen Lean team fixes)

Main recommendation in this talk was to use A3 Demming approach, as recommended too by Jeff Sutherland. I’ve also tried this with my teams and have found very effective.  For more info on A3, see here.

-spoke about root cause analysis
-A3 problem solving with teams facing the same problem

“simplify critical decision making”

Only way to get improvements is to ask people to solve their own, not other’s problems.  Judoka

Ready velocity > done velocity

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