A retrospective is an opportunity to learn and improve. It is time set aside – outside of day-to-day routine – to reflect on past events and behaviors. In its simplest form you answer 3 questions:
WHAT IS OPEN SPACE?
It is a self-organizing practice of inner discipline and collective activity which releases the inherent creativity and leadership in people. By inviting people to take responsibility for what they care about, Open Space establishes a marketplace of inquiry, reflection and learning, bringing out the best in both individuals and the whole.
WHEN TO USE IT:
Communities of Practice (CoP) is defined as an organized group of professional people who share the same interests in resolving an issue, improving skills, and learning from each other’s experiences.
Every company that implements CoPs is expected to rapidly and effectively increase its success compared to their competitors due to its impact such as:
Fishbone Diagram with Pareto analysis helps the team to do root cause discussions on the biggest problems facing the team. It’s a very collaborative, lean approach to prioritizing your top issues, understanding the root causes, and discussing a solution to the real problem.
The Team using the fishbone diagram tool should carry out the steps listed below.
Lean Planning is an activity to plan across multiple teams collaborating to deliver a combined solution or system. It is important to note that these Team plans are high level. This means the User Stories are high level with high level estimates. It is common at this stage, a User Story can be large, with the understanding that it will be broken down into smaller Stories via Backlog Refinement, when they get closer to being high priority in the Backlog. The Team plans communicates objectives, alignment with Business and Leadership, understanding of dependencies/risks, and conveys confidence to deliver based on their Goals for that quarter.
A Program Board will be used to capture inter-team dependencies and when Features will be targeted for completion. The Program Board also serves as a great artifact for the Scrum of Scrums to ensure dependencies don’t become blockers and the Features are on track to be delivered.
The identified risks across the teams will be discussed and categories in the ROAM chart. ROAM stands for Resolved, Owned, Accepted, and Mitigated.
Keeping a meeting highly focused and productive is hard. Agenda Driven meetings is a useful format when you know the exact topics that needs to be discussed before going into the meeting.
To help understand realistic timelines for releasing or how many Lean|Agile Teams you need to meet a specific release date, Story Mapping is a successful Agile technique to accomplish this. Each release can be viewed as an “MVP” – Minimum Viable Product. In other words, it’s the most valuable, high priority feature set and defect fixes for the next release, and to gain maximum learning through feedback from stakeholders.
In Story mapping, the Product Manager or Product Owner has an initial Backlog of Epics, Features, and high-level stories. For successful Story Mapping, we recommend to break the meetings down into multiple smaller steps with focused working groups. Here are the steps we recommend:
After you do the above 3 steps, the Team should then have an understanding to the initial size of the backlog, and will be ready to move into the Story Mapping workshop.
The SailBoat format for retrospectives is a good way for the team to think individually, and then collaborate and define solutions for their problems through visualization. This retrospective is quite simple. The islands represent team´s goals/vision. They work every day to achieve these islands. The rocks represent the risks they might encounter towards their vision. The anchor on the SailBoat is everything that is slowing them down on their journey. The clouds and the wind represent everything that is helping them to reach their goal.
Having the picture on the screen, write what the team vision is or what are goals as a team. After that, start a brainstorming session with the team allowing them place their ideas within different areas. Give ten minutes to write their ideas. Afterwards, give 5 minutes to each person to read out loud their ideas.
At this point discuss together with the team how can they continue to practice what was written on the “clouds” area. These are good ideas that help the team, and they need to continue with these ideas.
Then spend some time discussing how can the team mitigate the risks that were identified. Finally, together with the team chose the most important issue that is slowing the team down. If you do not find an agreement within the team about the most important topic that should be tackled, you can use vote dots. In the end, you can define what steps can be done to fix the problem, and you can close the retrospective.
SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or system delivery. This technique, which operates by peeling back layers of the company is designed for use in the preliminary stages of decision-making processes, and can be used as a tool for evaluation of the strategic position of an organization.SWOT has been described as the tried-and-true tool of strategic analysis. Below is a starting point to having those meaningful conversations.
The Lean Canvas is a useful tool for rapid development and refinement of systems, initiatives, and products in order to make the most impact and generate the most revenue. The Lean Canvas is designed to be flexible and testable, which will assist you in using your most precious resource (time) wisely, unlike moving forward on a static business plan which can result in taking unnecessary risks since the plan is based on untested assumptions.
The Canvas helps you to avoid bias by leading you through a quick process of documenting your ideas and then testing them on a small scale instead wasting time and money pursuing fruitless ideas. With the Canvas, you can learn quickly which problems are most critically in need of solving, to whom those solutions matter most, and which solutions can make the biggest impact with the least investment of your resources.
Once you have your initial roadmap, the first version of your Lean Canvas, you can then work through a process of identifying the most risky aspects of your plan, and whether or not you have correctly identified the solution that brings the largest return for the opportunity cost of bringing it forth.
In order to do this, the Lean Canvas requires you to keep in constant contact with your customers throughout the development process. Although this may seem like an extraordinary outlay of time and effort, you actually only need to make meaningful contact five or so customers to make a difference (although you will also ask them for referrals of other people to talk to). These customers will help you through several stages of testing your assumptions and learning about your customer's goals and the challenges to achieving those goals, and you avoid wasting more resources by pursuing what you think people want instead of what they actually want.
Fill in your canvas quickly; don't spend an endless amount of time but rather record your ideas as they exist so that they can be formally tested and proven or disproven by people other than yourself. Spend no more than 15 minutes or so per canvas, and be concise. Attempt to fit your entire canvas onto one page by distilling your ideas to their essence. Sometimes business plans try to predict the future or at least account for it, but base your canvas on the current state of affairs and what you know right now. If you need to leave a section blank, it's OK; in fact, that blank section can help indicate what's riskiest about your idea and point you toward the hypotheses that you need to test in order to move your product forward. The section "Unfair Advantage" might take some time to figure out and that's OK. The task is to test and change your canvas over time, evolving to reflect the discoveries you have made along the way.
An empathy map is a collaborative tool teams can use to gain a deeper insight into their customers. Much like a user persona, an empathy map can represent a group of users, such as a customer segment. It sums up our learning from engagements with people in the field of design research. An Empathy Map consists of four quadrants. The four quadrants reflect four key traits, which the user demonstrated/possessed during the observation/research stage. The four quadrants refer to what the user: Said, Did, Thought, and Felt. It’s fairly easy to determine what the user said and did. However, determining what they thought and felt should be based on careful observations and analysis as to how they behaved and responded to certain activities, suggestions, conversations, etc. Doing this virtually, video conferencing should be considered.
There are three steps to get to the end results:
Identifying operational and development value streams in the large enterprise is not a trivial undertaking. It requires an awareness of the organization’s broader purpose and an explicit understanding of how specific elements of value flow to the customer.
Operational value streams – Contains the steps and the people who deliver end-user value using solutions created by the development value streams
Development value streams – Contains the steps and the people who develop solutions used by operational value streams
These value streams are the primary construct for understanding, organizing, and delivering value. Each value stream is a long-lived series of steps used to create value. A trigger starts the flow of value, and there’s some form of monetization or value delivered at the end. The steps in the middle are the activities used to develop or deliver the value.
Leveraging the Lean Coffee principles and a collaboration environment, your team can brainstorm, discuss, and map the appropriate value streams.
Approximately 60 to 65 percent of the population are visual learners. This means that the mind map, a tool for visual learning, is ideal for a large proportion of people who prefer to collaborate and see things take shape visually, including thoughts and ideas.
Mind mapping is an effective tool for taking notes and for better understanding and learning information.You can use it while studying or you can incorporate it into your professional career. In general, mind mapping is a good alternative way of accumulating knowledge regardless of the area you use it in.
How It Works:
The portfolio canvas describes how a portfolio of solutions creates, delivers and captures value for an organization. It also helps define and align the portfolio’s Value Streams and Solutions to the goals of the enterprise.
Evaluate your present portfolio by analysing current and future business contribution (profitability & potential of new ideas) and risk (disruption risk & validation of new ideas). Then, define objectives, allocate resources and design your desired future business model in other words, define value streams for increasing returns / reducing disruption risk and Innovate.
Implement your strategy to transform your portfolio. Collect empirical data points to help you evaluate the success of your transformed portfolio.
A product vision is key to a product’s success because it conveys purpose, the byproduct of which is motivation and productivity, all crucial elements to any product’s success. It is the overarching goal you are aiming for, the reason for creating the product. The statement concisely captures the intention behind the company's products and services and describes the change the users and customers should experience.
However, there is a difference between the product vision and the product and don’t confuse the two.The former is the motivation for developing the product; the latter is a means to achieve the overarching goal. Say that I want to create a computer game that allows children to choose and interact with characters, select different music tracks and worlds, choreograph their own dances, and play together with friends. This might be a nice idea, but it is not the actual vision. An effective product vision goes beyond the product and captures the change the product should instigate. A vision for the game would be “Help children enjoy music and dancing”
A great way to create a shared product vision is to employ a collaborative visioning workshop. Rather than formulating a product vision and then selling it to the key people you create it together. Use the product idea as an input and ask the workshop attendees to capture their motivation for working on the product. Then compare the different visions, look for common ground, and combine the different goals into a new one everybody agrees with.