Sažetak, Agile Conversations – Douglas Squirrel

Razgovarate li s produktnim timovima? Ili svako toliko očekujete prezentaciju o ispunjenim zadacima, planovima i preprekama? Većina organizacija radi isključivo ovo drugo. I završe u statistici koja kaže da 84% agilnih transformacija propadne. Loš rezultat je odgovornost svih. I najčešće je uzrok nedostatak kvalitetno prenošenje informacija – konverzacija.

Autori knjige kao prijedlog poboljšanja konverzacije predlažu Four R’s metodologiju analize i poboljšanja komunikacije. Nakon analize predlažu provođenje pet vrsta konverzacije – Fear, Trust, Why, Commitment i Accountability. Inspiracija za navedene vrste konverzacija dolazi iz kultnih knjiga: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team i Start With Why.

Sastaviti sažetak ove knjige bilo mi je vrlo teško. Nema jedne ili dvije rečenice koje bi bile srž koncepta. Stoga, preporučam pročitati cijelu knjigu. Isplati se.


“After years of study and many missteps, we have come to understand that key to success is not only adopting practices but having difficult conversations that foster the right environment for those practices to work.”

“This book and the use of our conversational methods will teach you and your team not only to diagnose your cultural problems but actually cure them”

“The Five Conversations are:

  1. The Trust Conversation: we hold a belief that those we work with, inside and outside the team, share our goals and values
  2. The Fear Conversation: we openly discuss problems in our team and it’s environment and courageously attack those obstacles
  3. The Why Conversation: we share a common, explicit purpose that inspire us
  4. The Commitment Conversation: we regularly and reliably announce what we will do and when
  5. The Accountability Conversation: we radiate our intent to all interested parties and explain publicly how our results stack up against commitment.”

Improving your conversations

“Conversations make collaboration possible but not inevitable”

“Along with our amazing powers of conversation, we also come equipped with pre-existing, built-in flaws – our so called cognitive biases”

“What we should be seeking from our diversity is productive conflict, through which we harness our difference to create new ideas and better options”

“Experiences five us the opportunity to learn, but most people don’t take the time to actually learn from them. We apply the Four R’s – Record, Reflect, Revise and Role Play – as our preferred way of learning from conversations”

“Think of a conversation you would like to improve. Next, fold the paper down the middle the long way, creating two columns. In the right-hand column, write down what each person in the conversation said. In the left hand column, after you have written the dialogue, write down what you thought at the time as the words were spoken. Tip: keep it short.”

“We suggest examining conversations for evidence of transparency and curiosity, as these are fundamental elements of collaboration”

“The first principle of productive reasoning we are looking for is curiosity”

“By contrast, non genuine questions are used to make a point rather than learn something new. They are often statements in disguise, or attempts to lead the other person to conclusion”

The Trust Conversation

“Because it is [trust] an absolute prerequisite for success in the other conversations, we start our “instructional manual” by investigating the elements of trust, analysing trust-destroying and trust-building conversations, and constructing an effective recipe for the Trust Conversation”

“Aligning stories in the Trust Conversation is going to require something very difficult from you: sharing your current story. This means opening up your feelings and thoughts to someone else”

“If you want to align your stories with those of others, then you will also have to give them evidence that your story is actually productive, that it matches you actions”

“Aligned stories allow us to safely adopt the transparency and curiosity that we need for successful conversational transformation”

“You can use the Trust Conversation in many ways, including the following:

  • An executive leader – can create a trusting relationship with employees, giving confidence to all parties that the cultural transformation is headed in the right direction without micro management and continual supervision
  • An team lead – can align stories with her team to eliminate unproductive infighting and debates, and instead, cooperate to meet sprint goals and product targets
  • An individual contributor – can boost trust with her peers for more effective collaboration, so he can get and give more help with cooperative activities like code reviews, estimations, and pairing sessions”

The Fear Conversation

“Fear is one of the biggest inhibitors of transformation”

“This normalisation of deviance [how-we-do-it-here] is a signal that there is a hidden fear to be uncovered and addressed”

“… although you might think groups who report few operational errors are the best performers, exactly opposite is true; those who report more mistakes get more opportunities to learn and therefore get better results”

“The Fear Conversation will help you create psychological safety and courage in your team revealing fears and making in okay to mitigate them”

“List each fear, its mitigation, and (this is critical!) someone accountable for ensuring that you carry out the mitigation”

“Creating a Fear Chart can be a transformational experience for a team, allowing them to discuss hidden concerns and address them effectively”

“You can use the Fear Conversation in many ways, including the following:

  • An executive leader – can enable her organisation to take more risks and identify more ways to remove obstacles to achieving company goals if a culture of psychological safety allows information about obstacles and risks to flow upward and downward effectively
  • A team lead – can find out what options his team is not exploring during sprint planning, standups, or retrospectives, and what he can do to encourage more participation and creativity
  • An individual contributor – can identify fears that are stifling her ability to adopt innovations, like Infrastructure as Code (IaC) or executable specifications, and with help from colleagues and managers, effectively mitigate those fears”

The Why Conversation

“Our central message in this chapter is that Why you build must notably explain the impetus for you collective actions as a team but be created jointly, with all those included”

“Distinguishing positions and interests during conversations can often help you and the rest of the group avoid getting stuck in unending and fruitless debate”

“You can use the Why conversation in many ways, including the following:

  • An executive leader – can explore technical or product contributions to team purpose and organisational goals that he might not have considered on his own
  • A team lead – can provide effective guidance to her team on topics like which technical shortcuts to take or what feature to prioritise, using agreed and well understood team and company goals te explain her decisions
  • An individual contributor – can bring her experience of testing, deployment, and for coding to bear on changes to team process or direction, producing better decisions with his and others internal commitment”

The Commitment Conversation

“After adding these methods to your personal conversational toolkit, you’ll be able to:

  • identify key words and phrases and agree on the meaning of the key elements, ensuring that everyone understands team commitment in the same way
  • use a Walking Skeleton to provide framework for a series of commitments and show progress toward each
  • combine these techniques, along with tools and techniques from previous chapters, to define and agree on your commitments while avoiding common pitfalls”

“Compliance is doing what you are told”

“Compliance without commitment is just going through the motions”

“Compliance is showing up; commitment is engaging with whole self. Compliance is filling the space; commitment is participating”

“The three steps to a successful Commitment Conversations are:

  1. Agree on the meaning of the commitment
  2. Agree on the next outcome to commit to
  3. Reaffirm the commitment”

“You can use the Commitment Conversation in many ways, including the following:

  • An executive leader – can align the work culture among multiple departments, like Engineering and Sales, be expecting believable, easily tracked commitments from each, and tracking progress on those commitments
  • A team lead – and her team can make commitments such as sprint goals and build-meassure-learn targets with confidence and enthusiasm
  • An individual contributor – can participate in defining commitments and contribute to their fulfilment”

The Accountability Conversation

“After absorbing the ideas in this chapter, you will be able to:

  • use Theory Y to create a culture that fosters healthy accountability
  • give briefings and back briefings that let the team efficiently and accurately render an account of its actions
  • use the Accountability Conversation to radiate intent, so that everyone concerned with your work can provide help, advice, or corrections in an efficient and supportive way”

“Notice that we are defining accountability very differently from most people”

“By contrast, our definition suggests that you can be accountable for a success, a failure, or a neutral result”

“In particular, an effective Accountability Conversation requires high Trust, low Fear, an agreed Why, and a clear Commitment”

“When deciding what information you’d like to radiate, keep in mind these key elements:

  • share the current state
  • describe plans and intended outcomes
  • alert to obstacles”

“You can use the Accountability Conversation in many ways, including the following:

  • An executive leader – can render an account of her strategic actions of those in her organisation, helping them align with product and company goals
  • A team lead – can brief team members on actions like testing a new feature or performing a penetration test, and have confidence in accurate execution through back briefings
  • An individual contributor – can discover internal commitment and drive by seeing that his peers and managers view him os motivated and capable, perhaps by trusting him to try a new library or experiment with a creative redesign”

Dodatne poveznice

Goodreads: Agile Conversations

Amazon: Agile Conversations

Book Depository: Agile Conversations

Video materijali

Preuzimanje sažetka

PDF: [download id=”905″]

MOBI: [download id=”908″]

EPUB: [download id=”911″]

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