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Appreciative Inquiry - An Overview

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As we all know, Agile, at it’s core, emphasizes on team work. And, if you look at any successful Agile story, the key to it’s success would be a self-oragnized, cohesive team and other factors only add to this.

More often than not, Retrospectives are probably the only forum where the entire team comes together as a single unit and these meetings usually end up being crib (and ranting) sessions. And, because of that, teams are not very enthusiastic about retrospectives and these meetings become more of a ritual than being productive and useful.
As the name ‘Appreciative Enquiry’ suggests, the focus of this meeting was on things that created a positive impact on the team and the project. Sridhar shared few real life examples from his projects, the effective of doing regular Appreciative Enquiries and also guided the participants how they can successfully adopt this technique in their team.

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Appreciative Inquiry - An Overview

  1. 1. The Power of Appreciative Inquiry Sridharan Vembu This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  2. 2. To a hammer everything looks like a nail... This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  3. 3. The creators This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  4. 4. Co creator and Influencer This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  5. 5. About “What is leadership” Peter Druker  Leadership is about creation of alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weakness irrelevant This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  6. 6. Appreciative Inquiry is… David Cooperrider  Cooperative co-evolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, communities and the world around them. It involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to an organization or community when it’s most effective, and most capable in economics, ecological and human terms This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  7. 7. Provides theories and tools for Appreciative Enquiry*  Elevation of system strengths  Unification and configuration of system strengths  Magnification of system strengths outward into society * - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cooperrider#Appreciative_Inquiry This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  8. 8. Appreciate – to value, to recognize with gratitude, to increase in value Inquiry – to seek to understand through the asking of questions Appreciative Enquiry is.. https://www.scrumalliance.org/system/slides/92/original/Michael%20Fortunato_Appreciative%20Agile.pdf This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  9. 9. 5 Principles of Appreciative Inquiry Constructionist Principle Simultaneity Principle Poetic Principle Anticipatory Principle Positive Principle This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  10. 10. The 4 D Cycle Discover Dream Design Destiny Affirmative Topic Choice This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  11. 11. In the very first question we ask!! Seeds of change are… This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  12. 12. Let’s get into our territory The Agile World… This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  13. 13.  What went well / What did not go well / Puzzles / Possibly, few action Items!!  Or Start / Stop / Continue  How much time you usually spend on each category?  We usually give it a quick pass to “What Went Well” and focus more on “What didn’t go well” – right?  Why? Retrospective – a standard format This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  14. 14.  Let’s cancel this iteration’s retrospective, as there are no issues to discuss  Only couple points on what went well, but 20 points on what didn’t go well  Team members harping on a specific problem more than needed  Maximum presence in a retrospective after an “unsuccessful” iteration Symptoms This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  15. 15. Questions are never neutral.. Problem Solving Mindset  Why are you always late for Stand-ups  How come you missed such a critical acceptance criteria (AC) in your test scenario/plan?  Why are you estimates always off? Appreciative Mindset  Would you like to come up with a better time that works for you as well as the team?  How do we collaborate better to improve the effectiveness of the test plan  What additional help / information do you need to come up with better estimates? This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  16. 16. Write down one critical issue that you and your team discussed in the most recent retrospective Exercise This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  17. 17. Scenario 1: In a distributed, multi vendor agile program - lack of capabilities and commitment from one of the teams Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  18. 18. Scenario 2: In a program transition, lack of motivation from both incoming and outgoing teams Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  19. 19. Scenario 3: Distributed Agile – quarterly prioritization workshops – Team met the target in terms of total Story points, but way too many scope changes – unhappy PMO lead Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  20. 20. Scenario 4: Project started in capped T&M Mode with 2 vendors (UX/UI, backend development) UX/UI vendor too costly, client asked other vendor to take over UX/UI. 200% scope creep No additional budget from client Together with Business and PO, team did functional and technical redesign, scope negotiations throughout execution phase Delivered successfully on time, with ~10% extra budget Extremely stressful execution phase Conducted end-of-project Appreciative Inquiry. Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  21. 21. Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  22. 22. Scenario 5: Team was not motivated – did not find the project interesting – no learning opportunities – customer interactions were reluctant and looking for excuses Absence of Product Owner from customer side – chaotic environment – ever changing requirements – loss of trust from both sides Few Scenarios This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  23. 23. Using the 4 D Processes cycle, restate the same problem statement in a way to create possibilities Can you visualize a different outcome? Exercise This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  24. 24.  Not a replacement for Retrospective  Appreciative Inquiry - It’s a journey, not a destination  Works effectively when you do it in an “inside-out” fashion  Need for incentivizing individuals would slowly fade away and become irrelevant  Anyone in the team can initiate, doesn’t necessarily have to wait for SM or PM or some lead  Don’t need to use the carrot and stick approach, ever  Do not make it ceremonial – It has to be a behavioral change  More religiously you practice in your project / at workplace, you would see a positive change extending into your personal life as well Thoughts… This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission
  25. 25. Thank You Questions? This presentation is copyrighted to Sridharan Vembu of ThoughtWorks Technologies Pvt. Ltd. No copy or use of this presentation should occur without prior permission

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