Help Agile Knoxville BE Agile – Survey says!

Let’s not just Do agile, let’s BE agile!
Transparency is the stem that everything comes out of.
Adaptation and Inspection are the other two foundation principles.


So let’s practice inspection and adaption with Agile Knoxville Meetup and help me make it better or at least get a few more people to come! 😉

Just takes a few moments of your time


Survey says….

See the results yourself below! Some initial action items I’m taking are:

  1. I’ll continue to try and find a place in West Knoxville – Cedar Bluff area mid-week and experiment with trying to start earlier as well especially if more say they want to. If anyone knows of a good place, let me know!
  2. This month’s retro will be about how to work with challenging personality types in a team setting. Please start thinking of what you’d like to learn how to handle better.
  3. I’ll be sending out reminders through Meetup, LinkedIn,, and, and Twitter and Facebook. I also post links and helpful articles and videos through all of these throughout the month. Plus, if anyone wants me to add your email to a reminder please email
  4. I’m going to incorporate more opportunities for hands on learning as well.
  5. I’ll continue to do all of the other topics as well and if anyone has anything at any time let me know – no one had any other suggestions, so we are doing the things I see the most often.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply – I sure do appreciate it!

Let’s Meetup and Retro Notes

The notes from this Meetup are going to be like I do notes after a retro for any of the teams that I work with. A description of what we did and relevant info on the results.

Check In – One Word

Everyone was asked to write on a post it note how you would describe 2016 with one word – you may also use one song, book, or movie title, even if it is more than one word.

Result: Great words and we got to know a little more about each other 🙂

Focus On: Being Agile vs Doing Agile

We looked at and discussed the following images








Discussion questions:

  1. Is thinking about being agile vs doing agile new for anyone?
  2. Is anyone seeing any areas where things could stand to improve at your job?

RESULT: It wasn’t exactly new for anyone but after looking at the handouts they were thinking about it in a different way and saw that there was a major difference, AND that it was often the missing link between how things “should” be and how things “are”. Everyone saw areas where things could improve at work and within ourselves as well.

Set the goal/ context (1) The goal of this retrospective is to look at being agile vs doing agile, to identify and gather feedback from each of our places of employment, and to create action items to improve challenges as well as continue to maximize what is working that any team could also use.

Energizer: Agile Principles

  1. Ask the team about the twelve Agile principles. If they know it jump to the next point, if they don’t do a brief introduction to Agile values and principles.
  2. Ask all team members to stand up.
  3. Read loud and clear the twelve Agile principles. For each one of them, any team member that thinks the team is accomplishing the principle should remain standing up, but if they think they are not fulfilling the principle they should sit down
  4. Keep reading until everyone is sitting down.

RESULT: Everyone sat down within the first 6 principles , but I continued reading through all of them and then everyone shared if they would stay sitting or not on each one.


Gathering Information: DAKI Drop, Add, Keep, Improve

While thinking about the difference between BEING Agile and DOING Agile factor in how things are at your place of employment and/or these Agile Meetups. Then think about what things you would drop and what you would add. What you would keep and what you would improve on. Please write one thing only per post it note and when you are finished go ahead and bring them up and place them where they go.


  • Negativity
  • Apathy
  • Putting past experiences into present situations
  • Drop Bottlenecks
  • Thinking having a burndown equals being agile


  • Accountability
  • Willingness to change/ grow
  • Continuous Learning Engagement
  • More understanding of agile and practice being agile


  • Perseverance
  • Communicating
  • Keep Agile Process to learn Agile
  • Doing leads to Being
  • Quantity
  • Productivity


  • Open Mind
  • Retros – self-organization
  • Embrace change
  • Deliver Working Software
  • Working with Customers
  • Environment
  • Improve communication
  • Team Problem Solving of interested parties
  • Emotional IQ/ awareness of others on team/ realize you are part of a team and don’t always get your way
  • Looking for compromise

Analyze and Create Action Items:

Since we are all on separate teams this is not the same as it usually would be but I thought we could still take a few that have several people mentioning them or are the most common and we could come up with some Action Items that any one of us could take back to our jobs and implement.

Action Items – not in usual SMART format because of the nature of doing a retro for people working in different places etc.

  1. Accountability
    • Create exposure
    • Create a process for people on the team who have to deal with other commitments
    • Work with people who go off and do their own thing individually and help them to be part of the team
  2. Show the 12 principles of Agile and help teach the team with them
  • Show one a day and discuss or do a game with it to practice it
  • Show/ discuss one per retro and go a little more in depth, it will also take longer
  • Gamify the principles
  • Teach about the value of being Agile vs being Agile
  1. For negativity/ apathy etc,..
  • Deal one on one and find the root, what are they opposed to and address it with them
  • Don’t push, nudge OK depending on who?
  • Try to find a way to cater Agile to them so it serves their interests so they see how it benefits them
  • Go slow – don’t do everything at once
  1. Companies should adjust their thinking to attract the type of people and skill sets they want to be added to their teams and acknowledge that these awesome people could also go work at other places like Google, or Facebook.

 Close Out – ROI

Vertical line with smiley face at top and sad face at the bottom. Asked for a post it note to be placed where on the scale you think it should be when thinking about your ROI on the retro/ meeting and if you want to say why good or bad just leave a note on the post it not and I will use the feedback to improve retros and you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts to make them even better.


  • Great retro
  • Your ability to maintain control over conversation while listening to responses

PS I’m aware that there are two 2’s above – there is something squirrely with the formatting and it is more important to me to get this out than make it look perfect 🙂

Let’s Meetup Open Source Style


Special thanks to Arash for facilitating this meeting 🙂 The goal is to continue to have people in the group share in the presenting, so please always feel free to share your ideas to make this is team effort!

Here are the notes from the Open Source Meetup on Monday, Sept. 26th.

Topic #1: How do you bring Agile concepts into other departments of business/ non software areas
1. Add a retro to get meaningful feedback and then use it to create action items and make things better/ maximize what is going well.
2. Daily Stand Up – determine the best way to do it for your team/business.
3. Take goals and break them into milestones/ smaller pieces so that they can more easily fit into sprints.
4. Use Kanban – take your list of things and put them into a Kanban board to show the status –
not started, ready, in progress, done.
5. Look for bottlenecks in the process and remove them.
6. Take a goal and break it down in planning so that it can be done.

Topic #2: How long should Backlog Grooming/ Planning Meeting be?
1. Think refinement to help narrow the scope of the goal of the meeting – complexity, details, scope – work with Product Owner and team.
2. Observe the team during meeting and cut it off when they appear close to pulling the F#$@ It Switch.
3. Estimate in buckets of size rather than a set number, think range – it might not be a 13 but if it won’t fit in the 8 bucket without overflowing then go with 13.
4. Scrum Master may need to be liaison between technical and non-technical.
5. Scrum Master may need to do coaching with Product Owner, team, and management.

Stay tuned for a survey and update on the October Meetup.

Let’s Meetup and talk Scaling Professional Scrum aka “Nexus”


Recap about the MeetUp

  • My take of Scaling Scrum is that it is like Scrum on steroids – everything is magnified – the good and the not so good. Richard did a fantastic job of detailing the what, why and how using real world examples and enthusiasm.
  • To see his notes on the presentation click here

Info about the MeetUp

  • What is Scaled Professional Scrum?
    When multiple development teams cooperate on the delivery of a single software product, they face unique challenges: dependencies, integration issues, and quality differentials. Even if those teams are high-performance Scrum teams, the communication pathways in Scrum won’t suffice. The Scrum framework wasn’t designed to support more than a single team. The Scaled Professional Scrum framework (a.k.a. the “Nexus”) was designed to handle these higher level functions.
  • Details about the Presentation
    In this presentation, Richard will introduce the Nexus and its new roles, events, and artifacts that provide an “exoskeleton” to existing Scrum teams, enabling them to scale effectively. Even if you have evaluated or adopted other scaling frameworks and methodologies or are just starting to experience the friction of software development at scale, come and be part of the conversation.
  • Read more about the Nexus here:
  • Richard’s Bio
    Richard Hundhausen is the president of Accentient – a company that helps software teams develop better products by leveraging ALM tools and Scrum. He is a Professional Scrum Trainer, author of the book “Professional Scrum Development with Microsoft Visual Studio” and is the co-creator of the Scaled Professional Scrum framework. As a software developer and consultant with over 30 years of experience, he understands that software is built and delivered by people and not by processes or tools


How to encourage your team & what skills & traits are best for Scrum Masters Meetup

Join us!

How to encourage your team and what skills & traits are best for Scrum Masters

Monday, Jul 25, 2016, 6:00 PM

Saw Works Brewing Company
708 E Depot Ave Knoxville, TN

10 Members Attending

According to the Agile Knoxville survey ( the top two topics of interest are;        1. Scrum Master skills, techniques, and traits to help you be even better at what you do AND2. How to encourage, motivate, and empower the team -So that is what we will be talking about, starting at 6:30.We will begin at 6:…

Check out this Meetup →