Community-Driven Change - Agile 2018

I had the utmost privilege and honor to be a speaker and part of Agile 2018 (the biggest of its kind). Shawn and I have presented Community-Driven Change. It was a great experience to present amongst the thought leaders of Agile and Lean world. I enjoyed sharing my learnings, thoughts, and breakthroughs via communities.

We have presented on the first day of the conference, for an enthusiastic audience. It was so surreal for me as we were standing and speaking at the same spot Jeff Sutherland was speaking a session just before us.

You can find the slides embedded below, and also on the Agile 2018 website (you need to be a member, it's free!)

Community Driven Change - Agile 2018 from Shahin Sheidaei

The Abstract:

Many organizations flatten management structure when they transform to agile. It soon becomes obvious that important activities done by managers are still needed. A community can fill these gaps. They can provide morale, governance, learning, and mentorship, recruiting and hiring, mutual support, coordination, sharing, innovation and more! Unfortunately few companies manage to create a strong community. Even fewer empower that community to fill these gaps. This means they are missing the ultimate benefit of community: a strong, empowered community can transform the organization itself! Join Shahin and Shawn in this interactive session to explore communities in organizations. Examine the benefits of building great communities. Learn how to spark the community, and how to support it as it evolves. Hear stories of communities empowered to improve the organization. Learn how to make a community into a driver of positive change.

Kanban Management Professional - KMP LeanKanban

I received KMP designation from David J Anderson, Chairman of the LeanKanban University.

I completed a training program (KMP I, and KMP II) to design, launch, and operate an improvement initiative using the Kanban Method and is accepted by Lean Kanban University as a Kanban Management Professional (KMP).

Your Inner Leader + Coaching - Agile and Beyond 2018

I presented "Your Inner Leader" at Agile and Beyond 2018; an interactive session to get the audiences' feet wet with coaching techniques and practices. This session was utilization of the Simple Coaching Model to improve you leadership style. It gives you a tool on how to make your leadership style more core to yourself.

It was delivered on the second day of the conference, and just before conference ends. It was the last session between the audience and socializing over some drinks. However, the number of people that took part in the session was so awesome that we got the room filled, only one left in the middle of the session and apologized in advance for doing that. I didn't even realize the 100 minutes passed and session ended. The conversation continued after the session over some drinks as well. It was one of the greatest sessions I had. I have to thank the AAB organizers, volunteers and most importantly the participants!

As part of this session I used the Simple Coaching Observation Notebook. This is something I came up with after receiving feedback for the newbies being introduced to the concept of coaching triads. And how to best use their time observing. It gives observers specific guidelines on how to observe, and what to observe.

Community-Driven Change - Agile and Beyond 2018

This year, I was part of and spoke at Agile & Beyond 2018. Shawn and I delivered a talk on Community-Driven Change. It was a great experience to go back after a long time this time as a presenter. A&B is one of the must-go conferences in North America is you are in it!

We presented to a wide range of audience. We learned from them as well. I, for one, learned that the concept of a community is very different in Germany. From one of our participants, I learned that there are some communities that you are part of and you don't have a choice not to be, and there are some that you can volunteer yourself to be part of. Although this view does not represent all of the people's view living there, it is definitely a very interesting take on community.

You can find the slides embedded below, and also on the Agile & Beyond 2018 website.

Agile Transformational Leader - Integral Agile Transformation Framework

I took part in a three-day course, Agile Transformational Leader with Michael K Spayd and Michele Madore in April 2018. As a result of that, I have acquired "Integral Agile Transformation Framework" certificate. This indicates the level of knowledge I acquired and presented about Integral Framework and Mastering Leadership Circle.

I wrote a blog post about my experience in the course, Speak Up! which I suggest you read. I shared more about my journey through and within these three days.

ICAgile Certified Professional - Agility in the Enterprise (ICP-ENT)

I took part in a three-day course, Agile Transformational Leader with Michael K Spayd and Michele Madore in April 2018. As a result of that, I have acquired "ICAgile Certified Professional - Agility in the Enterprise (ICP-ENT)" certificate from IC-Agile. This indicates the level of knowledge I acquired and presented about Agility at the Enterprise level.

User Stories by Collaboration - Agile Games 2018, Boston, MA

I presented "User Stories by Collaboration" at the Agile Games 2018, a very interactive session. It was delivered the first session after the Keynote; I am truly humbled by the audience and their level of energy and enthusiasm that they brought.
What’s most important about a user story? Collaboration! How many times have you heard about INVESTing in user stories, making them SMARTer, breaking them into SPIDRs, or biting the whole HAMBURGER? All great! Let me take you through an interactive game for the most important aspect: collaboration!
How would you go about teaching your team members about user stories? You have seen people talking about INVEST and/or 3Cs a lot. How many of those talks could be having longlasting effects? How can you make sure that the most important part of writing a user story, the conversation, to happen? How can you make that conversation in a truly collaborative environment for your teams to thrive? In this workshop you will learn how to write user stories by collaborating with others, we are going to divide into groups and work on user stories. No real experience is needed with writing user stories, understanding of them, or even have heard them before. Then we evolve the game into the next phase, user stories and teams. In this phase, we are going to work as a team on user stories, with again focusing on what’s most important. This is an interactive simulation that you can run with your teams. You can use this exercise to emphasize the value of collaboration in writing user stories. In the last phase, we touch on self-organization and leadership aspects of the team. Once you learned this game, you can shape it into what you really want. There are many aspects of an Agile organization or a team is heavily related to how close and collaborative they are, and this is a perfect foundation to build upon.
It was a great session, with a great audience. I really enjoyed the discussion as well as the discussion with the audience. Although there were many challenges, such as not moving the tables around and not sticking papers to the wall.

Figure 1 - The Awesome Feedback from the Session
Although I was crunched in time, we were able to run the 3rd iteration; which was about delivering the user story as a team. There was one team that was able to split the stories and deliver. This great achievement happened with no guidance from me. I just asked them to deliver the product, get them into the team, set the ground rules and let them roam free! This was amazing to see how they self-organize and were able to break user stories without no fancy techniques, but by just collaborating.

Figure 2 - The Original in the 3rd Iteration

Figure 3 - The Developed Product
You can take a look at the presentation below. There are more slides in the deck below than presented in Agile Games 2018. There are skipped slides (hidden slides) that can immensely help you facilitate the session of your own. It is embedded in SlideShares and Google Slides.

You can also use the Google Slides to view the presentation or even present it!

The following are the pictures from the session:

Figure 4 - Pictures of the Session
Disclaimer: User Stories by Collaboration is based on User Stories vs Requirements. I learned it from Jason Little, which he learned it from Sarah Klarich, which is not known where she learned it from.

Modern XP Game, Agile Games 2018, Boston, MA

Carlos and I presented "Modern XP Game" at the Agile Games 2018. As we mentioned in one of the opening slides, we took the original XP Game and added more concepts to it. In this specific instance, we added experimentation and modern collaborations to the original gameplay. The following from  Alistair Cockburn resonated with us and we applied it to the XP Game.
It was a great experience, with a great audience of course. We really enjoyed the talk. It was great to have people with experience or running this game prior being part of our talk. It was a true pleasure to learn all enjoyed the session, were engaged. We had people even were engaging with us after the session.
Figure 1 - Feedback from the session
This is one of the feedbacks that I am really excited about. It says "Carlos + Shahin are excellent presenters at one excellent game". Thanks! It really made my day. 

Figure 2 - One of the feedbacks
This is the abstract we shared with the audience and the conference:
Take part in Modern XP game, a new twist and refined version of “XP Game”, to get a strong understanding of the principles and practices of “agile,” and a robust toolbox. We incorporated feedback after many iterations of facilitating it to make it fun, exciting and thought-provoking for everyone.
Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters are change agents in their organizations. To be successful, they need a strong understanding of the principles and practices of “agile,” and a robust toolbox to help teams onboard and move through their agile journey.
In this session, participants will experience a modern twist on the “XP Game” – a simulation for agile teams first outlined in Extreme Programming Explained (1999). Using the foundational principles of the original XP Game, Modern XP opens the simulation so participants, including non-technical leaders and team members, can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a high-performing team in a variety of frameworks and orientations, and what to expect (and measure) along the agile learning curve. Through hands-on learning, participants will learn how to build agile capabilities and some tangible tips on how to move through barriers and challenges along the agile learning curve.
After many iterations to many different groups, Shahin and Carlos have refined the exercise, ensuring its accessibility and use for experienced agilists and those new to the field alike. The activity not only provides a necessary educational frame, but participants are encouraged to draw from their experience, and implement the simulation (or elements of it) within their own training program, team lift-off or retrospective activity. 
You can use the following material for facilitating a session on Modern XP Game. Please take a look at the presentation below. It is both embedded from SlideShares and Google Slides.

The following are the pictures from the session:

Figure 3 - Pictures from the Modern XP Game session

KMP II: Kanban Management Professional - LeanKanban

I attended "KMP II: Kanban Management Professional" course in November 2018. I received "KMP" designation from LeanKanban University as a result of attending and successfully finishing the training.

LeanKanban is introducing their approach as the alternative path to agility.

If you are interested, this is how LeanKanban defines Kanban
Kanban is a method of organizing and managing professional services work.  It uses Lean concepts such as limiting work in progress to improve results. ...

Coaching, Coach & You Talk; A Shorter Version of Effective Yet Effortless Coaching

I talked on one of my favorite topics, Coaching for the Torontonians in an event organized by Envision Agile. The audience was a group of Agile enthusiasts. The organizers were present at one of my prior coaching talks, reached out and asked me to give a talk at their event, and I gladly accepted it.

This time, I changed my typical routine of coaching talk (The Effective Yet Effortless Coaching). I presented the audience with two sets of questions to go over the Simple Coaching Model. One was aimed at getting the coaches to get deeper into their coachees thoughts and lead them through their underlying layers. The second set was more about getting them focus on what's closest and had a biased to action. I also shortened the time for the activity to less than 45 minutes. 

Both sets of questions are following the Simple Coaching Model. It showed an example of how it is diverse and can be used in different circumstances, with diverse or even unpredicted outcomes and/or goals in mind. 

As it is obvious in the pictures, this time I asked people to self-arrange into groups of three instead of two. I introduced the role of an observer to be able to give the coach and coachee feedback based on the two sets of questions. Also, the session was way shorter in time and debriefing. 

I am glad that with all these changes, people found it very useful. If felt like a completely new session to me. By the end of the session, I have passed on sheets of paper to gather feedback. And I am very glad that I have received great positive feedback. I didn't ask permission to share the audience's feedback. However, Yen posted some of the picture above on the LinkedIn and stating it was a great event. It is great to see such promoters after a session, it is the best feedback for itself. 

You can find the presentation embedded below; also at

Simple Coaching Program At Points

I ran a coaching program at Points. This mini-coaching program, which I called it Simple Coaching Program was mainly designed for Scrum Masters. However, Scrum Master Managers, Development Leads, and Project Managers joined the program as well.

The Simple Coaching Program consisted of the following topics:
  • Coaching (Simple Coaching Model)
  • Conflict and how we deal with it
  • Active Listening
  • Powerful Questions  
  • Feedback
I chose above topics as I believe they are the top differentiator between a being good Scum Master and a great one. 

The Coaching Session - At Points
Would you be interested in a similar program to elevate you, your colleagues, or your employees? Do you want to learn more about it? Please let me know and I'll be happy to answer your questions or discuss details with you.

Problem Solving Leadership (PSL)

I took part in a week-long course, Problem Solving Leadership (i.e. PSL) with Esther Derby and Don Gray in November 2017. As a result, I have acquired "THEMSELVES LEADERSHIP" award upon successful completion of the course for being courageous to stand up to my values, self-awareness of my disrupting & humorous nature, & adapt to others' leadership style. I was fortunate enough to meet from one of the originators of PSL, Gerald (Jerry) Weinberg as well. The rumors are that the PSL course is going on for almost 40 years.

I wrote a blog post about my experience in the course, Ask Questions, Please! which I suggest you read. I shared more about my journey through and within the whole week.