Call for Experience Reports

Experience reports are at the heart of learning in the Agile community.

We are soliciting for experience reports to form part of the Experience Report Track at XP Day 2011. If you have had an experience that you feel would be of value to the wider community, please submit a session.

If you have not presented before, you will be assigned a shepherd to help you prepare.

To submit a session, leave a comment on this post. We will create a blog post for each experience report so that others can leave a comment on your submission.

Your submission should be a paragraph or two and should cover the following points as appropriate:

  1. Background context
  2. What we wanted to change
  3. What we tried
  4. Something that succeeded
  5. Something that failed
  6. Something that surprised us

All the best

The XP Day 2011 team.

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5 Comments on “Call for Experience Reports”

  1. F1 In Paediatric Intensive Care: Reducing Bottlenecks in Time Critical Environments

    A joint presentation between Paul Shannon (7Digital, Agile Staffordshire) and Dr. Harriet Shannon (Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Institute of Child Health) on findings from research into reducing the amount of time to transport patients from the operating theatre to intensive care, and how this relates to Agile teams. The intensive care team wanted to improve patient recovery and manage risk by removing bottlenecks and defining responsibilities for emergency situations.

    Intensive care teams attended sessions with an F1 pit crew to understand how their roles, responsibilities, communication techniques and safeguards could help meet their goals. Parallels can be draw between these aspects of the F1 team, the intensive care team and agile teams; similar roles (Chief Engineer, Head Surgeon, Product Owner) and safeguards (Replacement wheel guns, spare heart monitors, automated acceptance tests) are two of the key successes. Conversely, some of the more successful practices adopted by the intensive care team (implementing more detailed processes rather than relying on communication and collaboration) conflict with current agile thinking.

    I was surprised by the similarities between teams and that by abstracting the domain in which these teams work we can appreciate, as Agile practitioners, why we structure teams and define responsibilities the way we do. The presentation usually sparks some interesting discussion which is why I believe it will be suitable for the XPDay experience report track – it also features videos of loud racing cars.

  2. How about “Scrum Mastering experiences at News International”?

    • Full submission:

      1. Background context

      I recently spent three months as Scrum Master for the two Web Development (Digital Titles) teams at News International; i.e. the teams looking after the websites for The Times, the Sunday Times, The Sun and the (late) News Of The World.

      2. What we wanted to change
      A newly-appointed technology management team, under a new CIO, stated their intention to make News International (Technology) “as great a place to work as Google or Apple” – with the implication that productivity and effectiveness would consequently rise dramatically from their baseline (lamentable) levels to soaring heights of splendour and joy.

      3. What we tried
      Being human; taking a Synergistic view; Theory Y.

      4. Something that succeeded
      The teams became more effective, and happier places to be. The folks in the teams began to engage with their work and the way that work worked.

      5. Something that failed
      The management failed to understand the initiatives, failed to seek to so understand, continued to try to control the way the work worked, and generally neither participated-in nor lent their support to the teams’ endeavours.

      6. Something that surprised us
      Lack of dialogue, lack of effective leadership, absence of management engagement and their failure to live up to their own declared ambitions.

  3. 1. Background context

    Joined an organisation, as a Tech Lead, with a remit to replace a crucial legacy system and improve development practices.

    2. What we wanted to change

    Everything! Technology stack, technical practice and quality of interaction/collaboration with the business.

    3. What we tried

    Introduced the team to XP practices. Chose new clients/contracts in which to develop, from the ground up, a replacement for the legacy system. Split the team in two, the first team developed using the new process on the new platform for the new clients leaving the second team to support, maintain and extend the legacy system for the existing clients.

    4. Something that succeeded

    Those who worked in the first team, learned a lot, and after a while enjoyed their work. For a large part they weren’t exposed to the pressures of the business, this meant they could express themselves and focus on working to the best of their abilities.

    5. Something that failed

    I think the overall experience gained during this time was that radical change, in this context, wasn’t right.

    6. Something that surprised us

    Initially, how long it took for the new practices and technology to become established within the team. In reflection, how naive we were to the think such a radical systemic change could possibly have happened smoothly.

  4. […] has been presented at both Agile Staffordshire in June 2011 and XP Day in November […]


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