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Individuals and Interactions: An Agile Guide

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Individuals and Interactions: An Agile Guide


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  • Copyright 2011
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 240
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-71409-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-71409-1

“In my opinion, this is the handbook for Agile teams. I have been wishing for this book since we implemented Agile several years ago. In many Agile process books, the team aspect of Agile has been glossed over in favor of the technical aspects; this book is a welcome change.”

--Sarah Edrie, Director of Quality Engineering, Harvard Business School

“Cloud Computing, Distributed Architecture, Test Driven Development...these are simple to master compared to building an agile, efficient, and top-performing team. The path from skilled developer/tester to successful manager, team leader, and beyond is now more easily attainable with the insights, knowledge, and guidance provided by Ken Howard and Barry Rogers in Individuals and Interactions: An Agile Guide.”

--R.L. Bogetti, www.RLBogetti.com, Lead System Designer, Baxter Healthcare

“This book provides fantastic insight on how individuals act and relate as a team. Ken and Barry give great examples and exercises to help the reader understand behaviors of each individual and use this knowledge to perform better as a team.”

--Lisa Shoop, Director Product Development, Sabre-Holdings

Individuals and Interactions is a masterfully crafted must-read for anyone who is serious about understanding and applying the human-centered values of Agile development. It is like Patrick Lencioni meets the Poppendiecks to write ‘Agile through the Looking-Glass.’ Here the ‘Looking-Glass’ is the powerful DISC framework, and we see it used to enable different kind of TDD (Team-Driven Development) through the use of stories, examples, models, and guidance.”

--Brad Appleton, Agile coach/consultant in a Fortune 100 telecom company; coauthor of Software Configuration Management Patterns

“This book is essential reading for any engineering team that’s serious about Agile development. Its chapters on team dynamics and development lay the foundation for learning all of the factors that enable a team to transform itself into an Agile success story.”

--Bernard Farrell, Consultant Software Engineer at EMC Corporation

Great emphasis is typically placed on the “mechanics” of agile development--its processes and tools. It’s easy to forget that the Agile Manifesto values individuals and interactions ahead of processes and tools. You can gain powerful benefits by refocusing on the people side of agile development.

This book will show you how. It’s your practical user’s guide to solving the problems agile teams encounter, packed with stories, best practices, exercises, and tips you can actually use. Step by step, you’ll learn how to get teams to truly work as teams, not as disconnected individuals. Along the way, you’ll find profoundly realistic advice on communication, motivation, collaboration, change, group dynamics, and much more.

Whether you are an agile project manager, ScrumMaster, product owner, developer, trainer, or consultant, this book will help you make your agile environment more productive, more effective, and more personally fulfilling.

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Individuals and Interactions: An Agile Guide

Table of Contents

Preface     xv

Introduction     1

A Brief History of Organizational Behavior     2

   Stage 1: People Are Machines (Late 1800s—Mid 1900s)     2

   Stage 2: People Are Emotional Beings (1940s—1970s)     3

   Stage 3: Organization Is a Machine (1980s—2000s)     4

   Stage 4: Empowered Teams Transform the Organization (Current Trend)     6

Birds of a Feather...     6


Chapter 1  Autonomous Securities, LLC     11

Chapter 2  Behavior and Individuals     13

Communication Framework     14

   DISC History     15

   DISC Definition     15

So Why Is This Important?     17

   Understanding and Accepting Others    17

   Communicate in Your Own Language     19

   The Language of DISC     20

   Strategies for Communicating     21

How Do You Take a DISC Assessment?     22

Closing     23

Chapter 3  Team Dynamics     25

An Apoplectic Dilemma     25

A Different Approach to Teams    26

Capitalizing on Strengths     28

The Anarchical Team    30

The Evolution of a Maturing Team     30

Conflict     33

Now What?     40

Closing    42

Chapter 4  Communication     43

Lingo     45

Empathy     46

Eye Contact    48

Ambiguity     49

Body Language     50

Cultural Awareness     53

Reflecting Body Language     54

Small Talk    54

Collaborative Conversations     57

   The Power of Shutting Up     64

   Communication Latency    65

   We the People...     68

Closing     69

Chapter 5  Collaboration     73

Working as a Team    73

   Vox Populi     74

   Group Survival     77

Problem-Solving Versus Decision Making     78

   Individuals and Decisions     79

   Groups and Decisions     79

   Group Influence    80

Six Degrees of the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae    83

Diametrically Opposing Forces    85

Closing    88

Chapter 6  Behavior and Teams     89

Harmony/Conflict     89

Why Not Hire a Team with Members That Will All Naturally Get Along?     92

   Be Prepared for Conflict     93

   Stressed Out     94

   Fill the Gaps    94

Organizational or Team Culture     95

Closing     95

Chapter 7  Change    97

A True Story     97

Why Is Change Difficult?     99

Change Squirm     102

Change Apprehension     103

   Fear of Changes to Self-Actualization Needs     104

   Fear of Changes to Esteem Needs     105

   Fear of Changes to Love/Belonging Needs    105

   Fear of Changes to Safety Needs     106

   Fear of Changes to Physiological Needs     106

Change Coach    107

Change Catalyst 108

Tracing to the Roots     109

Grass Roots Resistance to Change    110

Exposing the Origins     111

Exercise    113

Closing    114

Chapter 8  Motivators     115

Individual Workplace Motivators     115

   Theoretical     116

   Utilitarian/Economic     116

   Aesthetic     117

   Social     117

   Individualistic/Political     117

   Traditional/Regulatory     117

   Why Is This Important?     118

   Strategies for Motivating     119

Leveraging Strengths    122

Leadership and Environment     123

Closing     124


Chapter 9  Team Dynamics Workshop     129

Preparation     129

Workshop Instructions     130

   Pre-Workshop     130

   The Workshop    132

Chapter 10  Communication Origami     139

Materials     140

Setup    140

Facilitation     141

Post-Exercise Discussion     141

Chapter 11  Bridge Building     145

Materials     146

Setup    146

Facilitation     147

Post-Exercise Discussion     148

Chapter 12  Moon Survival     151

Setup    152

Facilitation     152

   Individual Exercise     152

   Team Exercise     153

   Scoring    153

   Post-Exercise Discussion     153

Moon Survival Expert Analysis     158

Chapter 13  BalderDISC    163

Materials    164

Setup     164

Facilitation     165

Post-Exercise Discussion     166

Chapter 14  Assessing Concordance and Discordance     169

Materials    169

Setup    170

Facilitation     170

Post-Exercise Discussion     171

Chapter 15  Change Exercise     175

Overview     175

Setup     176

   The Drawing Board     177

   The Teams     177

Facilitation     178

Post-Exercise Discussion     179

Chapter 16  Groups and Decisions     183

Setup 183    

DISC-Homogeneous Behavior     185

Appendix  How to Take the DISC     187

References     195

Index    199


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