Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Greatest Misses of an XP coach

J. B. Rainsberger is a software consultant that gave a talk about his greatest misses as an XP coach. He is a very good speaker, the talk was rather pleasant and interesting. What he basically said during 90 minutes is "people are more important than practices", and that the key to succeeding with Agile is good communication.

He mentioned two techniques that can improve your communication skills:
  • The Satir Interaction Model. This model will help you "debug" the conversations you have with other people.
  • The laws of "generous interpretation" and "harsh interpretation". When someone tells you something, try to come up with three different interpretations of what they said. Assume that most generous is the real one. On the other hand, when you want to say something to someone, make up three different interpretations and assume the other person will choose the most harsh. This should improve your reactions to what other people tell you, and also deepen your understanding of the reaction of others to what you say.
He also suggested a book, "The Psychology of Computer Programming", saying that it was the most influential book he ever read.

I would like to end this post with something that Rainsberger said that I found very interesting:
Doing the right thing for the right reason is not enough. [You also need to have the trust and commitment of your teammates and stakeholders.]

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