Shared Understanding

This is truly the underpinning of an agile team. Having the same understanding, in everyone's minds, of the words and concepts you discuss, is critical to keeping your project on the rails.

Doing this in person is hard enough, but what to do when your regular communication channels are low-fidelity - telephone, skype, slack, screenhero, trello, pivotal tracker, these are all just technological stand-ins for commonly understood in-person techniques like having a conversation. A regular hand-wavy, look at the intensity in my eyes, see how I'm disengaged, I don't quite think you're getting me conversations.

And technology, don't get me started. So often you end up with a single "champion" who understands how to use trello or whatever and the supposed "shared wall" becomes a broadcast of a single person's voice and no assurances that anyone even agrees with it let alone understands it.

As this page takes shape, I'm hoping we can put together some patterns and anti-patterns that we've experienced. There are some people patterns here, and some facilitation tips that we can share. --svetzal

  • Making Space (svetzal)
  • Start at arm's length, then gradually move towards the personal. When we play "What's Not To Like About This Code", we don't run the first session with code that people in the group have written, even if they seem to be OK with that idea. (jbrains)

who wrote this? (please don't tell me how to research the info. I'm on a phone.) -- Alex

Here's how to research the info on your phone: install a git client, generate an SSH keypair, get an operation to sharpen your thumbs, wait a couple weeks while the swelling goes down, then type some git commands.

Here's how to prevent readers from getting unnecessary thumb surgery: sign your writing with a link to your user page, like so: --[[your-username-here]]. I sometimes forget, so as this wiki grows you can expect to see a lot of "sign previous edit" from me in RecentChanges. ;-) --schmonz