andrea-provaglio

Coaching with Andrea Provaglio

This week we brought in the Agile Coach Andrea Provaglio and our company coach Mauro Cuomo for a two-day session oriented to improve the way we work in the team, and the management of external urgencies and blocks. In the first day, we held one of the periodical Retrospective meeting, time that is specifically allocated to reflect on the last weeks of development and to produce a list of actions to strengthen successes and resolve problems. For example, one of the successes in this retrospective was the creation of end-to-end tests for our subscriptions service in a new country, Mexico; one of the problems to improve upon was the setup of all our projects for integration on a development machine, which should take less time and energy than what it currently does. The retrospective was elaborated upon by Andrea as an excuse to give us tips for an efficient meeting: we plan to cut down on the time required for a restrospective by 30%. The end of the first day and the start of the second were focused on a large concern of Agile processes: the negotiation of scope, time and cost. We explored many ways of measure our work, from story points to Pomodoros, but the most important is to begin with a goal in mind: the efficient way to introduce metrics is to only start measuring the ones that support a goal of the team such as being able to estimate the time to release a feature; not to track them “just in case” for future usage. In the end of the second day, we took advantage of Andrea to work a bit on our soft skills, in particular on pair programming. Everything in a pairing session – from the use of language to the position of the keyboard – influences the result. In our case, the goal of pairing is to transfer knowledge from one person to another in order to increase our bus factor. So while teaching during a pair session the navigator has to balance between giving a solution and asking the right questions, in order to develop problem solving in the driver instead of just making him better at typing with the keyboard. All in all, these days of coaching has increased the morale of the team and give us many improvement tips. Now is the time to act and make sure we apply what we have learned during the workday. — Giorgio

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