This Cognitive Bias kills our ability to thrive in complexity

Does this sound familiar?

I was a Program Manager for over a decade, during which time I must have facilitated dozens of “project post-mortems”, a term that always bothered me, since in none of those projects had anyone died. One of the key “Lessons Learned” from nearly every post-mortem I facilitated was some variation on this: “We Should Have Planned Better”.

Of course, we always did the best planning we could, given what we knew at the time. Software development, like many types of work, is inherently unpredictable. We always learned quite a bit more as we went along building things, testing them, and reviewing them with customers and stakeholders. In all of those post-mortems, we learned the wrong lesson. We fell prey to a cognitive bias known as Hindsight Bias.

Read More


Proposing Open Space Technology Sessions

When I am at conferences or events being run using Open Space Technology (learn more about attendee driven conferences), people often ask me “should I propose a open space session?” As we get into the discussion I tend to ask the same core questions:

  • Are you passionate about the topic?
  • Are you clear enough on what the topic is?
  • What would your 30-second pitch and summary of the topic to propose at the marketplace?
  • Are you comfortable hosting the session or, if not, is there 1 or 2 more that might help you?

Read More


Open Space Conferences – Attendee Created Conferences!

Open Space is one of my favorite types of conferences. I was under the impression that most people in the agile, coaching, and leadership communities knew what Open Space was. I was wrong. Many have never experienced it.I_heart_openspace That is sad, to an extent, but that also means there are many people who will experience it for the first time this year (I hope!).

I am co-facilitating, with Allison Pollard, Open Space on Day 2 of the Scrum Gathering San Diego this year.  This will be a very large event, we are guessing 1000-1200 people will participate! Super excited to be co-facilitating with Allison, since she is an amazing coach and facilitator, funny, and intuitive – someone who can observe a group interacting and engage with them in just the right way!   Read More

Tricia Broderick teaching at Humanizing Work 2016

Getting to Know A4A: Tricia Broderick

Today, we’re getting to know Tricia Broderick, trainer, coach, and Agile For All’s resident conference junkie. You can find Tricia participating in and organizing Agile conferences throughout the year, including Agile2017, where she’s the conference chair. Read More

Two ways of approaching a sprint. Click to see a larger version.

Ask A4A: Long-running Stories

Hi Richard,

My Scrum team has been working on a particular service for over a year. It’s been 20+ Sprints. I’m concerned about the deliverables and the rate at which we deliver. I have just put together some material for my stakeholders. I am pasting those slides here for your review. Do you mind reviewing them and letting me know what you think? That would be very helpful. Read More

Bob Hartman Teaching

Getting to Know A4A: Bob Hartman

Continuing our Getting to Know A4A series, we’re talking with “Agile Bob” Hartman, trainer, coach, and the venerable founder of Agile For All. Read More

Richard Lawrence Teaching

Getting to Know A4A: Richard Lawrence

Today, our Getting to Know A4A series focuses on Richard Lawrence, agile trainer and coach and co-owner of Agile For All. Read More

Peter on trumpet at Humanizing Work 2014, showing how good Scrum is like improvosational jazz

Getting to Know A4A: Peter Green

Our Getting to Know Agile For All series continues. This time, we talk with Peter Green. Read More