19 January 2017

The Art of Asking for Feedback - How to Avoid Feedback Failure Modes?

I was asking for feedback. It is a habit of mine. Maybe I am doing it too much. I learned much from feedback that I can not live without it! It was for a session I taught and facilitated. I asked for feedback in different ways.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56218409@N03/15371262455/in/photolist-pqiJNt-bAd4AH-9grzfE-6KDtm-fUnHWJ-2FNUzm-9tQh9o-9tMj4F-9tMiYv-i6cpkf-gDQZRE-aW2T4-7iyNYi-oqa96H-bvgXuq-9PBH3p-aYFfb-6PEX7g-5YpgQU-4rReS-6PF2BR-bTQwfx-oDUmkG-6s43ej-4Dstpc-o5wKMV-7dYWr2-qyvtPJ-6R5BGh-QgGo-wTgzo-56eXRT-cRKMn5-5YhgUK-bG7taZ-6CrL7s-67maGa-7zQzac-bTQwf4-9wFp99-4S8uZe-9wGEPJ-7atKQ4-5DeuzB-a5oqBm-nk92Zb-MGqW-9wTEoc-bZz62Y-nh9E1M

The outcome was very interesting. Some of the feedback I received was useful, some were not at all. What has happened there? What could I have done differently? Why did I receive productive feedback in one situation and not in the other one? I was open to receive feedback, I was asking for feedback and eager to hear. I have called this situation "Feedback Failure Modes". Let's together explore them.

Feedback Failure Modes

There are many failure modes when asking for feedback. I categorized them into five.

Figure 1 - Feedback Failure Modes

18 January 2017

My Learnings from a Session I Taught, Myself (XP, Feedback + Notes)

I facilitated a session to simulate planning, development, feedback and iteration in an Agile fashion. I used a simulation called XP Game. This game originated based on the concepts introduced in eXtreme Programming book by Kent Beck. It provides a visual and interactive way to understand the values of XP, and to a wider extent Agile.

I am not going to elaborate on how I did run the session and what I learned. It is a very lengthy process to talk about. I want to talk about my observation facilitating the session.

I am very eager to receive feedbacks from the audience at the end of my sessions. Every time I am running a session, I am asking for feedback. I learned and improved myself a lot based on them. I strongly suggest you give it a try.

Let me give you a little background. I ran the XP Game session as a substitute for another facilitator that usually runs them. Let's call him Chocolate King, as he loves chocolate a lot. Some of the participants in my session had taken part in the same session ran by Chocolate King earlier.

At the end of the session, I asked everyone to rate the session they've been part of from 1 to 5, with 5 the highest and write a comment if they want. The session got an average of 4.5 out of 5. There is still room for improvement. I would consider this as a session that provided value for the attendees.

Feedback Wall

6 January 2017

A More Effective Decision-Making Framework: Cynefin, A Domain Driven One!

Let me introduce you to the Cynefin framework. If you are having a hard time pronouncing it, you are not alone. It is Welsh and is pronounced as /kun-ev-in/. It is a decision-making framework. Cynefin helps you to make better decisions based on the domain you are in.

Cynefin Decision Making Framework

Let me start by talking about four major categories, one minor common area and one dangerous edge in Cynefin framework. The Cynefin framework categorizes domains into Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic and Disorder ones.

Figure 1 - Cynefin Framework