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Making you wonder and think 🤔


  • 🧢 Agile Coach
  • 🎓 Professional Scrum Trainer
  • 💻 Software developer
  • 💡 Entrepreneur

Creativity: best done alone?

Common knowledge these days seems to be that creativity is best achieved in groups. We organize brainstorms, workshops and week long design sprints. But is this the most effective way to create creative solutions?

Introverts and extroverts: meeting each other in conflict

Introverts and extroverts in conflict, a flammable recipe. Are you considering how introverted or extroverted people are when you're trying to resolve a conflict? Those two ends of the spectrum have very different needs, especially in a conflict. Here's a great tip to help resolve a conflict between an introvert and an extrovert.

Why do devs still make less than managers?

Many developers moved to a non-development position because it pays more and gives them more freedom. Even though they love being a developer more. Time to turn this around!

There’s no one right way

When answering the question "what is the right way?" I often refer to the Cynefin framework. Does it relate to the obvious quadrant (simple, straightforward work)? If so, there is a best practice, a right way to go. Does it relate to one of the other quadrants? Then the answer is: there is no one right way. Though I can give you some advice, practices that worked in my experience and some useful hints to pursue. Take that and discover a way that works for you.

Are Agile tools your GPS?

Agile tools that help you with visualising your work, with capturing your users' needs and with your retrospective are great. Just not an excuse to not have to think anymore.

Tips for digital tools

Don't know which tools to use to optimally communicate and collaborate? Here are my favourites!

Crazy 8s FTW!

Do you also struggle to come up with novel ideas and solutions? Try this crazy method!

The Productivity Trap

Time spent diverging and exploring seems not productive and a waste? Why do we try to efficiently build the wrong thing?

Nice team? Overrated!

How often as a coach do you see a team that looks like all is well from the outside, but you know could be doing so much better? And how many times do the team members not recognise this potential, or do not want to put energy into reaching it, and how many times does their manager think: "They're okay, don't rock the boat."? And maybe they are right. What is wrong with getting along nicely and getting some work done? More than you might think. I'll explore two dysfunctions that I often see in these teams: conformance and over-collaboration.

Measuring Psychological Safety

A while ago I wrote a post about psychological safety. My fellow Scrum Master Aernout van den Burg was inspired by it and came up with the idea of creating a way of measuring it in a Scrum team. We put our heads together and each started experimenting. In this post I will explain how I measured psychological safety in one of the teams I help

Scrum Teams are like Special Forces

A while ago I held a talk at the Dutch Railways (NS) in which I compared Scrum Teams to Special Forces. Scrum Teams share a lot of the characteristics of Navy SEALs teams or Delta Force teams. They are small, self-organising teams, with a clear mission and guiding values. I think people in Scrum Teams - and their leaders! - can learn from the way these specialised military teams operate and are led.

Meet with Lean Coffee

You want to have structured meetings. You also want meetings to be effective and to fulfil the needs of the attendants. And last, but not least, you do not want them to drag on. But how do you do this? Simple: use the Lean Coffee format.

Tuckman Game

A simulation I regularly do in my Scrum trainings is, what I know as, the Tuckman game. The game tries to simulate the different stages a team can go through, from formation to dissolution. This model was developed by dr. Bruce Tuckman, an American psychologist, and is widely used. I learned of it during my time at Prowareness, and by no means have I developed it myself. But recently somebody asked about it (Thanks Ralph ;), and I couldn't find any description of the full game online (update: I learned it is invented and created by Agile42, who released it under the Creative Commons 4.0 by-nc-sa licence). Therefore here goes, for posterity ;). Oh, this blog post by no means tries to give an elaborate description of the different stages from the model. It just outlines the game.

Psychological Safe Teams

Last week I went to ride my mountainbike with some friends. It had been dry for some time, and the sand was loose, which made it heavy to get through. After my friends wore me out on the track, we talked about our gear and I mentioned I want to upgrade my wheels for some stiffer ones, so I could go faster through turns. It's quite easy to upgrade your bike and make it perform better. You just swap some part for a superior one and most of the time you get a better performing bike. Goal achieved :).

Quick Journaling

You know those people who have a diary and write in it every day? I wasn't one of them. First, I did not see the benefit of recording my day in a journal that I would never read again. So I never tried. But that has changed...

Podcast Mania Continued

Earlier I wrote about the five podcasts about business or lifestyle I like best. Since I also enjoy listening to podcasts about science or entertainment I would like to share those as well.

When focus is bad

I am writing this article sitting on a bench in a lovely park in Marrakech, Morocco, away from the busyness of the Medina, the inner city. Though I am socially secluded (headphones and sunglasses on ;), I am constantly interrupted by movement around me. And I like it. I watch the dad arguing with his little kid to come along, I see the birds fly by and young couple in front of me is having some kind of drama (she's crying and he's comforting her). I'm sitting in the shade of what looks like an olive tree and am surrounded by palms, cacti and bushes. A little breeze cools the air. Progress on this little piece of writing is slow at best ;).

How to get into Flow

Do you recognize this? You're working for a while on something you like working on. It's challenging work, but you know you can do it. You have lost track of time. Weren't you supposed to eat 2 hours ago? And now that you mention it, you really need to go to the bathroom. You look at the clock and four hours have past since the last time you consciously noticed the time. You have been in flow.

Hear this! Podcast mania

or about a year now I got really into listening podcasts. I sit about 2 to 3 hours in my car everyday, for my commute. Podcasts are an ideal way for me to spend that time in a valuable way. In this post I will list the business/lifestyle podcasts I like the best. They are all interview based; for some reason I like these more than just one guy or girl at the mike. Topics range from starting a side business to morning and sleep routines to healthy food. I look for inspiration, ideas and helpful resources, like (audio)books or articles. Also, good audio quality is a key criterion for me to like a podcast.

Eat shit

"Eat shit. Ten billion flies cant be wrong."

How Scrum motivates people

In a lot of my Scrum trainings I show this great looking video of a talk by Daniel Pink, the author of Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates people. Pink explains there are three intrinsic drivers for motivation: autonomy, mastery and purpose. I think the roles in Scrum all nicely help in stimulating these drivers.

From sheep to wolves

What to do when a team keeps searching for more information and doesn't dare to make a decision based on imperfect information.