New to soccer? Getting ready to watch the 2014 World Cup and want to know some of the games history? This book does a great job of telling the tale of soccer through the World Cup’s view point. Highlighting the main themes and outcomes of every World Cup up until South Africa. It is a great way to get prepped for Brazil 2014!
Good look in the life and work of Nietzsche. Anyone who is interested in philosophy and deeper thought, owes it to get over the audacity of “God is Dead” and peer into the mind of someone who truly challenged the status quo of his time. An original revolutionary. An observer of human behavior who held the creative aspect of humanity in high regard. The audio version is read by Charlton Heston.
At Integrum we use MailChimp to send out our AgileWeekly Newsletter. We love the experience and the product. One of the things that is apparent to me is that MailChimp knows how to have fun. I suspect it has to be one of their values.
When I stopped by Gangplank over the holiday I found a package on my desk from MailChimp. I opened it and was AMAZED. It was a nice box set. The first thing I pulled out was the post card.
Front of Card
Back of Card
This would be “normal” for a company to send. Impressive. Great design. Light hearted. Kudos.
However, that was the just the tip of the iceberg. Next was a full comic “Th’ Adventoorz of Freddie & Mannie”.
I don’t have any idea the meaning of the comic book, but it was brilliantly designed. A pure work of art. If this was all it contained I would still be writing this post, but oh noes. MailChimp knocked it out of the park by including the Minion Handbook.
So what might you find in such a handbook? How about the Minion Oath?
or maybe Dressing and Grooming Standards?
or a Frequently Asked Questions, including how to read your leader?
If all that wasn’t enough at the back of the handbook one can find a minions notes
I can not tell you how impressed I am by the thought, care and design found in this. I am completely perplexed what we did to deserve receiving it, but it was by far and a way the most memorable gift a vendor has ever sent as a gift.
Fantastic book. Challenges everything you think you know about how things work. Economics and statistics turned on their heads and seen through a new light. Nassim has done a fantastic job of asking the right questions and pushing assumptions taken for granted.
Chris does a great job of laying out the hacker culture and how it has evolved into the maker movement. If you want to know how we got to here, this is a great book. It also sheds some light on what is to come. I would love to see a follow up book now that a few years have passed.
Ori does it again. This book is simply brilliant. It hits so many of the elements necessary for serendipity. Truly fantastic stuff. This is a must read. Accelerate your ability to make instant connections.
This book is a group of seven books on the topic of agile methodologies from the author. The first “The Power of Scrum” does a good job providing some history and then covering the rules and practices to get started using Scrum. It’s like a Certified Scrum Master class in book format.
The second “72 Reasons Why Scrum Works” breaks down the roles and practices in a consumable format of background then reasons.
The third “Scrum Checklist” provides quick checklists for common ceremonies. I get worried that people that follow checklists get a bit prescriptive and don’t tend to grow, but for someone just starting these are a great help.
The fourth, “Scrum of Scrums” I could have done without. I am find them in practice to be mostly non-effective and propagate the notion of scaling in the wrong ways.
The fifth, “Scrum Tips” was a nice addition, but felt kind of jammed in.
The sixth, “How to Meet a Project Deadline”, had some practical advice that helps confirm that it was written by a practitioner and not a theorist.
The seventh, “The Kanban Guide” was a bonus that did a rather reasonable job of explaining Kanban. Normally I would say this doesn’t belong in a Scrum book, but because it was brief it was a nice way to expose someone wanting to learn more about Agile frameworks and methodologies to something that is compatible with Scrum.
The short nature of this book (under 200 pages) and its nice indexed format makes it great introduction for someone wanting to take a stab at Scrum, not to mention it is suitable for a reference for those currently already practicing as well.
Don’t take my word for it though. The author offers some free chapters as part of his Free Scrum eBook.
* disclosure: I was provided a free copy of the book by the publisher, but I was not compensated for reviewing it.
So the other day we were watching Ashley play play soccer. It’s the middle of November, but in Arizona the weather is good enough that we are able to wear shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops out watching the game. My wife is sitting there with her legs crossed and she’s kind of bouncing her foot up and down. Bouncing the flip-flop off the bottom of her foot, relaxing herself waiting for the game to start. All of the sudden the flip-flop flies a couple of feet out in front of her and hits the ground.
We both look at the flip-flop. We look back at each other and she says, “Are you gonna get that for me?”.
I pause and I ask, “Are you asking for help?”.
She says, “No! I’m expecting you to pick my flip-flop up.”
I say, “What makes you expect that?”
She says, “Well it is the right thing to.”
I say, “What makes it the right thing to do?”
She says, “Because you’re my husband and you love me and so you should do that.”
I say, “Well, what makes you think I know that as your husband who loves you, that that’s expected of me?”
And she just gave me that look. And, I did the right thing; I picked up flip-flop and I put it back on her foot gently and gave her a kiss. But, I think that’s the problem. In relationships we have all sorts of expectations, unwritten rules, thoughts about how the other person should behave, and what they should know, what they shouldn’t know.
I think sometimes if we just asked for help and did the simple little thing of saying “will you”. It sheds away all that crap and puts us in this state of where “sure why wouldn’t I want to help you.” So if she would’ve said “Will you pick up my flip-flop for me”. Sure I love her, of course why wouldn’t I pick up the flip-flop for her? But if I didn’t pick the flip-flop up and she didn’t ask for help. She might walk away angry because I didn’t meet her expectations. Expectations that I may or may not have known about. Now this particular example is pretty simple, of course I would’ve picked it up regardless. I think it’s a dangerous thing to do, because what we teach each other doing this, is that things are implied and things are unwritten. If we don’t have presence and we have a head gap between ourselves, man a whole lot of hurt comes in pretty quick when expectations aren’t met.
So the next time you want something, the next time you have an expectation don’t use it as a gauntlet to tell if the other person loves you or the other person desires you or the other person wants you to succeed or the other person cares about you. Instead think of it as an opportunity that you could ask for help. You could show someone the behaviors that you want. More importantly, you can get the things that you want and not walk away frustrated, hurt, angry and upset, but instead walk away fulfilled. They certainly have the ability to say no, but at least then you know they are saying no and not just that they didn’t know. So today, break a sweat asking for help.
Note: I have been walking everyday and introspecting. I have started to play with talking into a recorder instead of just talking to myself while walking. This is a transcription/edit of such a recording.
Trying to do Agile practices on teams with remote team members is always a challenge. Especially when there is only one person on the team that this not physically co-located with the rest of the team. It is easy to feel disconnected from the rest of the team and even simple interactions feel painful. When you are the person left on the end of the phone after everyone else has left the room, asking if anyone is there, it is hard to feel valued. Digital tools for process management and video conference rooms are a good step, but they still leave a lot to be desired.
“The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”
So how can we do that on a team with a single member that works remotely?
One solution I have seen that works very nicely is an iPad Mini plus a Nootle iPad Mini Flex Stand. This allows the team to pipe in the remote person to the iPad mini and have as close to face to face communication as possibly with out being physically present, with them all the time. The brilliance is that it is completely mobile. If the team goes to stand up they simply pick up the iPad and walk with the person to the standup. They can pass the person around as the token or prop them on the wall or a shoulder. When going into a meeting room for something like planning or retrospectives they simply put the iPad on the chair and the virtual member sits like everyone else. If they decide to take a team lunch no worries they just take the team member with them.
Recently, I caught a team using this solution trying to feed their virtual team member some home baked cookies that someone brought in to share with the team (see above photo). As you can see it doesn’t solve all problems, but it sure helps some with presence. You may miss freshly baked cookies, but at least you will still feel like part of the team.