Happy New Year 2009 Video Card


Our Team Compensation Workshop @ XP Day London.

After doing my presentation with Jef at Devoxx earlier this week, I was really looking forward to go at XPDay London.

Especially as Vera and I planned to do a session on

Team Motivation
Individual Compensating Systems.

I’m working with both Jef & Vera at the Belgium Post.

Vera and I came up with this idea when we talked about a consultancy gig we did earlier this year.(There is  a long time between proposing a session and delivering it) In this gig we had a team that was hard to motivate. Without knowing what was their compensating structure, I mentioned to Vera that could be a limiting factor.

When I said that, Vera got a flashback about an agile coaching job she did years ago. In that company the individual compensating scheme, blocked all team work.
From that moment on we did not talk about the current client but figured out how we could turn Vera’s experience into a workshop about this problem.

I really enjoy to work with Vera. She has great idea’s and has no problem challenging my idea’s. Actually we don’t always agree with the direction to go to. For me that is one of the good things about a paircoaching a session: the spectators get to hear both idea’s.

During the publicity for the session I told a story that has the intention to think about how rewards work:

There once was an old man. The kids in his neighborhood enjoyed insulting him on a daily basis. One day he got a crazy idea. He called the kids and he offered them 1 euro if they would come back and insult him again the next day. Surely the next day the kids where back. Viciously they screamed ugly things at him again. The old man kept his promise and paid all of them 1 euro. He invited them to do the same thing again the next day, but now he would only pay them 50 cent a person. The next day the kids came back and did their job. The man paid them as he said he would. He also told them he now had a problem, as he wanted them to come back, but he could only pay them 10 euro cents. The kids where insulted and refused to come back and insult him.

This story shows how it easy it sometimes is to turn intrinsic motivation into extrinsic motivation.

The kids found 10 cents too little for something they did before for free.
This old man did this on purpose, but in corporations (Or families) we don’t always realize that we kill intrensic motivation by offering reward.

The story of Joppe losing intrest in swimming is a nice example of it.

For the preparation of this workhop I read the book “Punished by rewards”. (Actually the story comes from the book)

When I say Vera’s and my opinion differ, this book is a nice example.
The author has the idea’ that behaviorism does not work. The whole book is build on bashing Skinner and co. That style is something we both don’t like. For me that does not limit me to take some idea’s out the book. For Vera it’s not only the style of the book she does not like. Over the last weeks we had quite some discussions about this book.
As I value discussions to learn more about other people, myself and  my idea’s, I find this very interesting.

On top of that the open space “the Shrink’s coach” from Ben & Joseph also triggered some interesting idea’s. Steve Freeman dropped the idea that code and fix attitude of cowboy programmer’s reminded him a lot of the way gamblers reacted when they are at the one armed bandit. I immediately could see the link between this behavior and the unpredictable rewarding scheme I wrote about last year.

I personally believe that this rewarding scheme is the best way to reward people. (another thing where Vera and I disagree)

I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project coach and you can reach me at yves at my agile training company .net

Happy X-mas

I love this song, I love this band, I’m still looking for the DasPop all star band version. Anyway Happy X-mas to you

Poster of the Core protocols

From a core protocols user, Dave Rahardja:

I wanted an quick reference to the core commitments and protocols in a format that I can pin up on my cubicle wall, so I created a 6-page “poster” containing the Core Commitments and Draft 3.02 Core Protocols.


I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net


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Slides of our Team Compensation Session @ Xp Day London


I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net

XP Day London in Retrospect

As I wrote earlier this week I was looking forward to go to London.XPDay London was in my knowledge the first XPDay in Europe and I had good memories about it.
This year was a special year as they tried out a new format. A lot more open space and only a few programmed sessions.
I like the Belgium BarCamp’s a lot. I have been planning to go to Agile open for a long time, and I ‘m ready to participate in The Open Core somewhere in 2009.
That was also a reason for me to see how this would go for XP Days London.

I don’t know what other people felt about it, but I really enjoyed it.

As always at a conference I missed more sessions as I did follow. Luckily for me I was now able to follow the Joseph’s session about self-organisation.

Since Agile 2008 I knew he did not like the Form-Storm-Norm-Perform model.

Now I finally now why. Not only that, he had some great other models as a replacement. We did not have time to discuss Tuckman model, but I loved the new model’s Joseph gave us. I can see where I can use them to understand my current team.

It also explained very nicely why we Belgium’s agilist’s prefer to teach people by exiting games and not by boring lectures.

I already uploaded my pictures about Xpday London to Flickr

If you have been to this XPday or any other, and are a member of Linkedin feel free to join the xp day group at linkedin:


I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net










This year I did not connect so much with the English crew as what I had planned to.

Our Presentation at Devoxx: XP Loops (Scrum in practise)

Sometime ago I received an forwarded e-mail from one of my new team members (Thanks Filip). Devoxx was looking for people to hold 2 talks about scrum.
Being a new agile project manager of a large team at the Belgium post, I kept postponing to do a real proposition. (Not really GTD)

Luckily for me Stephan and his team got back to me, asking me if I was still interested. By that time Sylvain had proposed to do an introductionary talk of scrum. Combining a talk with someone I did not know was a big risk to have overlapping content. Especially when one session was scheduled immediately after another.

Then I had the idea why not propose to deliver the XP loops from Pascal & Vera? I have been given this presentation a few times this year, I know the subject by heart, the slides are done and no risk in overlap with Sylvain’s session. On top of that I can do a pair-presentation, which are my favorite presentations anyway.
Stephan immediately replied to my proposition, that was ok for him. Sylvain also wrote it was a good idea. Great.

After doing my workshops at the different european XP days, agile 2008 etc, I really want to do more talks like these. Looks like I started myself doing this.

Only later I realized that both Vera and Pascal were not in Belgium during the conference. When I mention this at the Belgium Post to Jef Cumps, he proposed to help me out. Although I told him I wanted to see if I could find someone at XP days benelux that had delivered this presentation before, I instinctively felt it was a good mach. So at Xp days benelux I did not actively look for another person.

During the preparation Jef perfected the slides and kept asking questions to understand the complete picture.
As with all presentations and workshops, the preparation is the hard work. The presentation itself is much relaxing and trying to enjoy. (When I’m presenting all fucked up from stress, it never is good.)

Before we started, the video guy ask us not to move so that we would stay into the picture all the time. That felt strange as that is the opposite of what I’m trying to do to keep my presentations fluent.
His remark kept spinning in my head, so during the presentation I felt like I was some kind of statue.

Halfway in the presentation I realized I was also avoiding to look at the camera, which made me avoid like half of the public.
(Not sure if people notice that when you are in the room, but  I always try to look at every part of the room, no matter how many people I speak to.)
Officially it is a room of 400 people, I have no idea how many people came to have a look at us.

As usual the slides of the XP Loops are not distributed to the public ( a decision made by Pascal & Vera) , I will post the accompanying notes later this week.  Update: you can download the notes here

I had a small but interesting talk with Dave about collaborations between different agile communities I will post some about that in the next days.

Both Jef and I had a great feeling after the presentation and from the feedback I heared and read I think people are happy about it.

At my last slide I made publicity for more agile session at Devoxx.

By popular request here are they again:

Test Driven Development : 13:30 (R7) If you missed this session read all about it here

•Agile Testing 17:25 (R8)

Effective code reviews in agile teams 9/12 20:00 (R2)

a Finger in the air: gentle introduction to software estimation 10/12 12:00 (R4)
Giovanni is a guy I ran into XP Day London a few years back. That workshop was not so good, but it did learn e a few things and got to know Giovanni as a nice guy. (And the second time I saw him his presentation was way better…)

Effective Pairing: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly 10/12 14:00 (R5)
Dave is going to agile conferences around the world, I don’t know how he does it, but every time I see it, he has another presentation. And always top class.

•  Behavior driven development in Java with easyb 10/12 15:10 (R8)
Some call BDD the future of TDD.
Implementing agile at enterprise level 12/12 9:30 (R9) 
Jef will be talking here about the work we are doing at the Belgium Post (I’m doubting to say we, as I’m only there for a few months)

I did not put this on our slides, but this session breathes agile as well:
Meeting-avoidance for self-managing developers

I mentioned a few of books during the presentation.

The New upcoming book from Jutta Eckstein 
I don’t find it back on amazon yet. Her old book is here:
Agile Developing in the large

Crystal Clear is the agile methodology I mentioned that has some good tips for all kinds of different scaling software  projects. Like I said I no nobody that uses crystal, but a lot of people steal idea’s from this book.

I actually use a mix of XP, Scrum,  Lean, Crystal, The core protocols in my projects.

(See Librarything for my whole booklist)

Update I also talked about a documenting team (Non Software team) that used scrum for organizing their work. Eva informed me that they have a wiki about their work
They even link to the perfection game on my blog.
Check it out if you want to optimize your sex-life. 😉

I also would like to thank Jan Tielens, who made me realize up front that I would not be able to see my audience in such a room. I guess he know how much I like to interact with my audience. 😉

Attending this devoxx made me I’m looking forward to go to XP Days London later this week.

Update: I also received a few questions about the post I mentioned on self-organizing teams. 
You can also have a look at my slides about my talk about the myth of a self-organising team on slideshare.net


I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net