ACCDE 2011

Agile Coach Camp Germany (ACCDE) 2011 17-19.6.2011

Two days of highly collaborative, self-organized Open Space for everyone involved in coaching, training, mentoring and leading Agile Organizations, Teams and Individuals.ScrumMasters, team leads, guerilla Change Agents, Product Owners, managers, other roles are all welcome. Diversity makes us smarter!

Follow event on Twitter: #accde11 or use this direct link

On the road at #accde11 by Marko Seikola (@mseikola) and Kjell Lauren (@klauren69)

Session result also found on :

Good summary also found on Sebs on Conferences.

And yet one more summary by Ralph Miarka

Summary by Wolfgang Wiedenroth.


Sun 19.6

Question of the day: Whose fire do you care about today? And how do you want to tend it?

Agenda for Sunday

Sunday continue in the same way as Saturday, Market place for Open Spaces.

Organizing ACCxxyy

Ingredients to make a successful Agile Coach Camp

  • Product vision
  • Venue*
  • Date*
  • Website
  • (Sponsors)
  • Registration (exemption handling)
  • Open space facilitator* (brings material)
  • Best open space is in a closed venue
  • How many people 12++ max 50-60
  • Organizing team: start small (decision making)
  • Don’t over organize, just let it happen
  • People from abroad?
  • Language?
  • Position papers in advance -> print them for the camp!
  • Venue only for the camp
  •   see it before, book it in advance
  • Billing: How do the bills flow?
  • Through a company or Agile community?
  • Internet connection at the venue
  • Twitter account + participant list
  • Advertising
  • Resources to help: Pierluigi, Olaf
  • Map location at/of the venue

Leading change without authority, natural talent

  • Company praises no need for change – hopeless
  • Volunteer for things/look for opportunities
  • If there is a need for change then someone will want your help
  • Don’t want too much
  • Deliver
  • Form a team with those who can help
  • Get a mandate for change
  • Be clear about what is to change
  • Why do we want to change at all?
  • Understand the resistance to change
  • Network analysis (unofficial company structure)
  •  if you can’t talk to the CEO talk to the driver
  • Pre-send to individuals before group
  • Make it happen – in a small area – helps counter “that’s not how we do it here”
  • Ask: What is good already?
  • Ask: What would it take to ruin the company more efficiently?
  • Use your momentum
  • It’s all about timing
  • Follow-up
  • Start leading to get accepted as a leader
  • Do retrospectives/open space for larger groups across organization
  • Get individual feedback
  • Create transparency
  • Don’t talk about problems too much – focus on solutions!

Coaching dojo

Form groups of five:

1 Seeker
2 Coaches
2 Observers

  • Seeker states his problem 3min
  • Coaches ask Powerful Questions 12min
  • and guide Seeker to find his solution
  • Observer give feedback 5min
  • Switch Roles and goto 1.

Visual Facilitation

  • Utilize visualization in facilitating meetings or in training sessions
  • The session was pretty much regarding drawing techniques and the means to easily put the flip charts on flames
  • Also, how to easily group discussion topics into larger items with the help of visualization
  • Some suggested reading / training:
  • Book “Bikablo”, books 1 and 2 exists
  • Book “The Big Book of Facilitation”

Slack & Innovation

  • In the session, first the phases of innovations were briefly discussed: idea generation and then selecting the proper ones (attributes, e.g., implementation possibilities and feasibility of the idea)
  • Method 6-3-5 ( was trialed by discussing how to improve the coach camp
  • There are groups of 6 persons to generate 3 ideas per person at the time. The total time for the session is 5 minutes
  • Once you have written three ideas to paper, pass the paper to next person who then will add again three items and pass the paper forward
  • At the end, do, e.g., dot voting or what ever method you prefer to select the ideas to be implemented
  • In a short time period, a huge amount of high-quality ideas were introduced
  • Perhaps this facilitation model would be one solution for enhancing the improvement process in Agile teams that easily focus only on the user stories they are performing

Logical Levels of Change, NLP

Retrospectives: how to make them more efficient?

  • Use 5 stages of Retro
  • More intense discussions
  • Take only a few items for action
  • Follow-up on actions in next Retro and during sprint
  • Ask the team why Retro is watt
  • Have Retro on SM role
  •  feedback on team
  •  every 3-4 months
  • Volunteer (one person) for every action
  • What can we do!
  •  Circle of Influence
  • How do we want to behave
  • Have ground rules for Retro
  • Prime directive for Retro
  •  trust, warmth
  •  Safe environment
  • Different roles in Retro (explorer, shopper, vacationer, prisoner, ESVP)
  • Have fun ( drawing, LEGO, game…)
  • How to gather action points?
  •  only one action
  •  dot voting make action smarter by iterating it
  • Add Retro actions to sprint backlog or on top of Scrum board
  • Have a complaint session within the team
  • Ask: Do we want to do something about it?
  • Keep the Retros variable
  •  connect the tool to Retro goal
  •  simple assignment (draw a picture of a team pushing a big ball up a hill)
  •  where is the energy of the team
  •  Herbal tea
  •  Does the SM feel comfortable with other Retro methods than the safe and familiar one?
  • What motives You?
  • Remove the table, take a walk and talk, stand-up -> change the environment
  • What do you want to change or work with during next sprint?

If retro doesn’t work talk to people individually afterwards about it.

How do I organize an open space event

Creating the space:

  • Law
  • Principles
  • Process
  •  opening
  •  agenda
  •  recording
  •  closing
  • Time between sessions
  • Theme
  • Metaphor
  • Physical space
  • Environment
  •  spirit, atmosphere
  • Healthy food
  • Resources (post-it, flip charts)
  • Walls
  • Circle
  • Shared results


Check following book: The Tao of Holding Space

Spread sheet for: How many chairs can you get in a room?

Online Open Space tool:

Short Agile demonstrations

  • Buzzer game
  • Management benefits
  • The wisdom of the crowd “pea’s estimation”
  • WIP client-server game
  • Multi-tasking game
  • The dice ball-point game
  • Thumb wars (
  • Australian hovering game
  • Magic estimation
  • Scrum from hell
See pictures and drawings from session here.

Check book: Das australische Schwebholz, Erich Ziegler


Sat 18.6 

Question of the day: What kind of fire attracts You? Where is it today?

Agenda for Saturday

Saturday was launched with a session where each participant had a change to market her/his topic for open session and at the same time to reserve a room and a time slot for the topic. After the highly energetic marketing speeches, the open sessions got rolling.

FedEx day

  • FedEx day is a concept where a whole day is dedicated for working on whatever is of the interest of each individual (should apply both for the team members and for the managers)
  • During the day, employees from different backgrounds have a change to network and to collaborate beyond the departments
  • At the end of the day, each needs to be ready to present the done work for the whole company
  • See the pics of the flip chart used
  • Background info, the videolog:

Evil Root Causes

  • See the blog post by Marc Löffler at – Evil root causes: Ignorance, Fear, Indolence, Apathy
  • Understand the reasons behind ignorance, have your sensors tuned
  • Encourage stepping out from the comfort zone

Master & Product Owner Interface

  • The original idea was to discuss around the collaboration between SM & PO, however, the topic was widened a bit during the discussion
  • Scrum Master is the coach also for the Product Owner
  • Should Scrum Master have a technical discipline or should she/he be process-oriented?
  • Scrum Masters need to act also as an organization change coaches
  • To what extent Scrum Master &  Product Owner can collaborate efficiently and naturally?
  • Small companies are having tough time to be able to fund PO & SM roles
  • There are examples were the Scrum Master role has been rotating within the team. With this approach, the coach is most likely unable to coach the organizational change. However, she/he can coach the team members also in technical level. Also, she/he will bring the technical competence to the Scrum Master community and hence coach the SM community from the technical perspective.

Agile Coach – What is it for you?

How do you/how do the team handle your different roles?

  • Trainer say how it works, experience
  • Mentoring mix trainer and coach
  • Consultant analyses issues and implements solution
  • Facilitator
  • Coach no domain knowledge, guide for a thinking process


  • Transparency
  • ask the coach which role (s)he expects
  • design alliance
  • Ask: What do you expect from me?
  • Tell: What you can do…
  • with sponsor, management, teams…
  • every case is different
  • coaching contracts
  • Do you want my solution or do you want to find your solution?
  • give as solutions, then ask “How do you feel about that? What would you do next?”
  • Prepare selling – ask what advice would help?
  • provide options to choose from
  • client/coachee need to take ownership of solution
  • forming an attitude of not knowing
  • exploring side effects of knowing/not knowing “what would be/happen…?”
  • I advice you to try…experiment => safe-fail environment (acceptance of my fail)
  • safe-fail environment to be created by teams, coaches…
  • coaching like training
  • apply coaching practices in training
  • client need to recognize own problems and what his/her acceptance criteria are for a solution
  • suppose we are doing something useful here, what difference would we see? What would you do differently afterwards?
  • ATDC “Acceptance Test Driven Coaching”
  • demystify “coaching” – show you can make mistakes and learn
Summary by Ralph Miarka

Self organization between teams: HOW?

  • In addition to the Scrum roles (team, SM and PO) some additional roles have been taken into use: UI, DBA, CIA (Continuous Integration Agent), test, architect, document responsible…
  • These additional roles need to be fully VOLUNTARY and doesn’t need to exist in all teams. People that feel real passion for some area suites extremely well for the role.
  • The teams need to have apurpose and even more important the team needs to be EMPOWERED!
  • If the team is not empowered there will not be self-organization!
  • Who sets the boundaries in Your organization?
  • What is the purpose and vision of the SM team?
  • If you have problems with e.g. SoS (Scrum of Scrums): Take this to the teams!
  • Leave the world in better shape when you leave!
  • Remember to slow down to be faster!

Overcoming the 5 dysfunctions of TEAM

  • Be aware of the BOHICA phenomena (Bend Over Here It Comes Again)
  • After loosing trust, are you willing to build up new trust?
  • Give trust first – make yourself vulnerable.
  • If there is no trust, there will be no real conflict.
  • Create a safety zone.
  • Define rules for conflict
  • Conflict to position yourself.
  • The one who never mistakes is the one that never does anything!

How to run a 1-day retrospective with many participants (>10) incl managers?

1. Introduction
2. What happened – timeline
3. What was good
4. What could be better

  • find solutions for the topics
  • take the topics to either world cafe or open space

5. Flip charts with actions – outcome is actions or goals

Book on Project Retrospectives by Norman Kerth and Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby

Scrum masters apprenticeship

  • In the time frame of 6-12 months
  • Coaching circles
  • Have on outside coach
  • Co-scrum mastering/peers
  • Am I able to recognize a situation?

  • Things to cover:
  • How to get team members to take responsibility
  • Group dynamics, collaboration, communication
  • influence w/o (formal) authority
  • Scrum spirit and values
  • Agile mindset + principles
  • Lean mindset + principles
  • Software Craftsmanship
  • Perseverance
  • Facilitation
  • Retrospective facilitation
  • Other Scrum meetings

Post-it workshop planning

Causal Loop Diagrams (session by Olaf Bublitz) can be utilized as a framwork for discussion

  • Draw the items related to each other (input & output) on a whiteboard/flip chart/etc.
  • Visualizing concepts and relations
  • Simplifying complex issues

Team Success & Individual Success

  • How to reward? Should incentives be based on team or individual performance?
  • Will the incentives lead to unhealthy competition within a team or between teams?
  • Will the incentives have affect on the Agile transition path?
  • Consider also non-financial rewards and career paths
  • Could 360-degree evaluation support team work?

Graffic Jam

  • It’s all about visualizing things
  • This session was actually a workshop, the idea was that after writing down words, we spent 2 min per word to draw it. Each participant draw his/hers own drawing.
  • After ten words (= ten pictures = 20 minutes), we had a brief walk through of the pictures
  • The most important learning, at least for me, from the session was that by visualizing, you can make issues to live and easily memorable.

Wrap-Up of Saturday

After the open space sessions, the day was concluded by gathering to gether into one room. There each participant stated two words that describes their day. For Kjell, the words were ‘self-organizing’ and ‘good discussions’. For Marko, ‘fresh ideas’ and ‘inspiration’. Next, we’ll participate the dinner. Looking forward for discussion full of energy!


Fri 17.6 – The Inner Fire

Question of the day: How do you refuel your inner fire?

Instructions in case of a fire: evacuate & shut the fire down? No, just stick with the fire. This was how the day was kicked off after a get-together in the restaurant. After the introductory words, a talking stick circulated in the room. The idea with the stick was that once you receive it, tell others who you are and one word that comes to your mind of fire.

To set the expectations for the weekend, we spent a couple of minutes to discuss with as many as possible regarding “what will make this weekend awesome for you?”. After the self-organized exercise, the main points were collected by the participants to paper slips (see pic below).

As the atmosphere was heating up, it was the time for the lightning talks. Highlights from lightning talks:

  • Tear down the barriers and walls – Sven Röpstorff
  • Re-discover the slowness (stop and have a look around to discover what’s happening in the surroundings) – Marc Löffler
  • Coaching=Connecting – Klaus Schenck
  • Have focus and the goals defined to be able to define what to do and what to skip – Deb Hartmann Preuss
  • Focus on similarities ans resonances in the discussions and acts of team members – Olaf Bublitz

The energetic discussions continues with a beer in the bar. The question that remains to be addressed is: What is Your passion?


2 Responses to ACCDE 2011

  1. Thanks indeed for sharing this valuable notes!!
    Somehow to me this is not only information but also carries the motivation / spirit.

    Generally this kind of sharing is one of my big expectations towards the ALE-network on a pan-European level.

    cheers, Mike

  2. Kjell Lauren says:

    Thanks for the feedback 🙂

    Fully agree that this kind of sharing should be done in a much larger extent to carry on the spirit and motivation after the events and conferences. It is definitely needed!


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