Johanna Rothman to Stockholm, May 30, 2012

Author, consultant and teacher Johanna Rothman is coming to Stockholm on May 30, this year. She will be leading a one-day workshop about the agile project portfolio. The course will be in English, and I highly recommend you check it out if you need some inspiration on how to manage in a situation where you have multiple projects going on.

Here is the course page (in Swedish, but remember, the course itself is in English):

If you haven’t heard Johanna talk before, there’s an interview with her on InfoQ. Watching it is time well spent.

Systems Thinking Applied to Management with Russell Ackoff

If you’re a student of Russell Ackoff’s teachings, you should rapidly click yourself over to the Ackoff Center blog, where you will find a link to a rich set of video lectures with Ackoff himself:

“When the course was announced the registration requests were so high that a lottery with random drawing had to be established to admit the 25 graduate students who could attend.  The course ran for 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.  Russ was 84 years old.”

Sketchnoting the Concept of Flow

I like to take stuff and try to express it in as simple language as possible. That’s my way of checking my own understanding of a concept. One concept that comes up often when we talk about lean software development, kanban and agile is that of “flow”. A couple of days ago, I decided to process that a bit.

One technique I use to process stuff is to sketchnote in Brushes on the iPad. Here’s the video output from my sketchnoting a basic explanation of the concept of flow in development.

What techniques do you employ to process stuff you want to learn well?

Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms

My friend from the AYE conference, John, just reminded me about the clip below. It has an important message, but there’s another reason to watch it too: the presentation is stunning.

In the clip, Ken Robinson argues that our schools are using methods designed for a different age. Those methods are no longer helpful. We live in different times.

If you want to learn more about the history of our schooling system, and how it could evolve, I recommend Russell Ackoff’s “Turning Learning Right Side Up”.

Sketchnoting a Russell Ackoff talk

Listening to Russell Ackoff speaking, I “sketchnoted” this in Brushes on my iPad. I’m a very visual thinker, so this is a way for me to make things stick a little better in my brain, plus it’s very fun and relaxing to do.

I don’t worry to much about my handwriting and general drawing skills. I just draw. It will be interesting for me to see how my drawings change over time, because my guess is I’ll be doing a lot of this, just for the fun of it.

If you’re interested in the topic of systems thinking, go ahead a watch Ackoff’s talk. I’m afraid my sketchnotes may not be very intelligible for anyone else but me, but I highly recommend the method as a way of taking notes and processing new information.

Big thanks to Esther Derby for telling me about sketchnoting!

Att lära sig tillsammans – Agila Sverige 2009

På konferensen Agila Sverige 2009 gjorde jag ett blixttal på temat lättrörlighet och lärande, med titeln “Att lära sig tillsammans”. Konferensarrangörerna filmade alla tal, och mitt har nyligen blivit publicerat. Bäddar in det här nedan.

Lära sig tillsammans – Tobias Fors from agilasverige on Vimeo.

Kent Beck on Accountability and Trust

The first time I heard Kent Beck’s voice for real was in a podcast interview. I remember that he spoke with passion about concepts that were, as I listened, obviously connected with the practices of XP: trust and accountability. Still, I hadn’t made the connection that clearly up until then, so that interview stood out for me. In this video on InfoQ, Kent Beck talks more about accountability, trust, why they are so important for effectiveness – and how this relates to agile software development.

Jeff Sutherland at Öredev 2008

Here’s a video of a talk by Jeff Sutherland at Öredev 2008. Although I still find all his numbers suspect, because I don’t understand what he does to actually measure productivity of the teams he works with – I still like to listen to him speak. His ambition to push the envelope and find new ways to look at the things we work with is what manages to inspire me, not all his numbers.