What are you passionate about?

At Rally, Tim asked me this in my interview. And as we went through a recent company retreat, Jeff asked me this a few times. Here’s my answer.

I’m passionate about many things. Being in service to those in need. Helping others love their job with contemporary work practices like: Agile, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, XP, Lean Startup and Design Thinking. My own learning and personal development. Staying fit mentally and physically by practicing yoga, hiking, skiing and dancing. Living sustainably. Seeing the world. Working with startup companies that are developing emerging technologies. Building software as a craft and a creative outlet. Donating my time and money to non-profits with similar pursuits.

Personal hedgehog or what today is called - a niche.In the context of earning a living, looking at these things in isolation isn’t necessarily enough. I’ve tried making a living by skiing, and wound up couch surfing to afford housing. But I did see a lot of the world! So I think about my personal hedgehog.

Looking at it through that lens, I’m passionate at staying healthy, and have taken some teacher training for yoga. My favorite being partner yoga. Yet, I’m unsure it can drive my economic engine and I’m perfectly happy to leave it as a hobby. I always fear trying to make money at a hobby, and have it turning in to an- I have to do it -job.

I’m a successful Agile coach, working primarily with enterprises. It is hugely challenging, sometimes rewarding, and drives my economic engine. And while I’m good at it and passionate about Agile, it’s not really where my passion is so it turns out, that’s my job.

I am skilled at contemporary work practices, and passionate about startups working with emerging technologies. And yet, my experience in these domains is limited. So that remains a dream (for now) while I develop some skills and a network in the space. I will use my job to fund the pursuit of my dreams. I’ve found my hedgehog, it’s a matter of obtaining it. The nice thing is, that this pursuit also supports other passions like seeing the world, and my continued growth and development.

What’s your personal hedgehog?

I am also passionate about donating time and money to these organizations. If you’re looking to donate some of your time or money, would you consider one of these excellent groups?
Elephant Nature Park
Red Fred Project
The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation
Engineers Without Borders

Consequences of Thinking, Fast and Slow – Blog Series

Thinking, Fast and SlowHave you read the book Thinking, Fast and Slow? Getting asked that occasionally I did little more that watch a video of it from AsapSCIENCE), so that I could nod vaguely as the person who asked me talked about it. Picking it up more than a couple of years after its release I made my way through it all, pausing frequently. Pausing because it’s information dense and I needed to process what I was reading. And as I processed, it made me think about what it means for how I teach and coach people.
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dual track Scrum in brief

Coining the term “dual track”

Desireé Sy‘s Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-centered Design(pdf) (2007) might be one of the first examples drawing out and labeling a process knows as dual track Scrum and stating,

Although the dual tracks depicted (…) seem separate, in reality, interaction designers need to communicate every day with developers. This is not only to ensure that designs are being implemented correctly, but also so that we have a thorough understanding of technical constraints that affect design decisions

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My response for a Project Manager trying to improve the use of Agile

A Project Manager asks me at the end of a class how best to show progress in Agile projects, since phases can’t be checked off complete. My questions for him are: can measures like lead time, throughput, and defect rates be measured across any type of project? What tools are used to track the work from larger goals and initiatives through to smaller stories and tasks? He decided to have the tool vendors used demonstrate full system capabilities, from portfolio management to daily task tracking.
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