About this Case Study
Agile ceremonies provide useful indicators of a team's health, much like a pulse and brain activity are good indicators of a person's health. Ceremonies such as stand-ups, planning and retrospectives provide perfect opportunities for observers or newcomers to gauge team personalities, dynamics and engagement. Just as there are many causes for a weak or intermittent pulse rate, so there are many contributors that could reduce the effectiveness or suitable regularity of agile ceremonies. These include poor leadership and disruptive personalities as well as ceremony fatigue.
Ceremony fatigue can be a particular problem for long-established agile teams. This can lead to disengagement, which negatively impacts ceremony outcomes and leads to a reduction in the team's ability to deliver. Frequent changes to ceremony formats is one solution, but this can be unsettling for the team, as (despite the agile mantra of embracing change) humans on the whole struggle with change.
This experience report focuses on how to improve the health of a team via its agile ceremonies. It includes what health indicators to look for, how to balance change with stability and some ceremony adaptations that I've found keep things fresh and improve engagement. This will include how to run lightweight yet long-lived planning sessions, interactive design/architecture walkthroughs and a retrospective based on Bananagrams!
About the Speaker
I'm an agile delivery consultant with over twenty years' experience of helping individuals, teams and organisations improve their software delivery. I'm currently working with Equal Experts, at a variety of public and private sector clients.