Hm, wie würdet ihr die SMARTen Ziele übersetzen? Für den deutschen Retromaten (um den sich ansonsten Patrick Zeisig hochverdient gemacht hat) habe ich es gerade folgendermaßen eingedeutscht:
- specific = spezifisch
- measurable = messbar
- attainable = ausführbar
- relevant = relevant
- timely = mit Termin
3 davon sind ja sehr naheliegend. Auch “ausführbar” finde ich nah dran. Einzig “timely” finde ich kniffelig. “terminiert” und “Termin gebunden” fand ich beides weniger gut als “mit Termin” aber so ganz trifft es “timely” im Sinne von “zeitnah” nicht. Was meint ihr?
New 1-pagers on Wall-Skills.com during February 2015:
Are you sometimes stuck as a PO or Scrum master? Geoff Watts created Coaching Cards with questions meant to “unstuck” you. Get a feeling for them here:
But that’s not all, here’s more:
Disclaimer: Lately I’m getting into Tiny Houses and Minimalism. I’ll write about these topics at wenigerballast.tumblr.com/ in German and reserve finding-marbles.com for work related musings. As I had already started the following post, I’ll publish it here anyway, just this one article.
To make space for the baby, my husband and I defragmented our flat prior to the birth. We’ve thrown away what feels like half our furniture (probably was about 1/6th). We could easily have outfitted at least one other household with all the stuff we got rid of. I was afraid the living room would look cold with so little furniture, but instead we love the new spacious feeling. Somehow, tidying up and getting rid of stuff is good for the mind and soul, too. At least my mind and soul
This clean out gave way to an intense interest into Tiny Houses. This movement’s central question of “What do you really need?” ultimately led us to Dusseldorf’s 1st minimalism meetup. There we got introduced to the “Month of Decluttering” challenge: On the 1st day of the month throw away 1 thing. On the 2nd day 2 things, until on the 30th it’s Bye-bye for 30 things. We decided to start right away in February so that we only have to go up to 28 things.
In a way I have come full circle: I started as a web developer in 1999 and I returned to being a web developer in January 2014. Intermediate steps: Studying Computer Science, creating e-learning content, usability & UX, scrum master, mashup of project manager & agile coach & product owner, and at good long last a Sabbatical.
During my Sabbatical in 2013, I figured out that supporting roles such as Scrum Master and Product Manager are not as satisfying to me as developing had been. I would have liked to thrive on serving others, but I don’t. Not yet anyway. I hope to get there one day. I’m good at it (better than I am as a dev) but not happy. Consequently I took a deep breath and switched back to being a web developer. The change of role brought along some funny changes in perspective:
I love retros. To me, they’re the most important of the agile rituals. When I was a scrum master I didn’t really get why developers were so often reluctant to attend. Now I totally get it: As a scrum master it is my job make sure retrospectives happen and result in change. When a retro tanked (no clear actions to take; talking about side issues, not the elephant in the room; …) I would look forward to the next one and plotting how to improve.
As a developer I’m a much harsher judge of whether it was a good use of my time. My main job is to create something useful for our customers, not meetings. So, I want each retro to improve us as a team and when the last one was meh, I now drag my heels as well. I could be coding in that time!
On a more abstract level, I still consider the retro incredibly important.
Obsessing over problems
There are a couple of new 1-pagers I created for Wall-Skills.com:
A Mini Design Studio is a short workshop to design single elements such as a graphical interface, short text, etc. It’s useful for product teams that jointly want to shape their product’s face.
Simplicity is 1 of 5 core values in eXtreme Programming, but what does “simple” mean exactly? Check out rules for simple code.
A good user story fulfills the INVEST criteria
A Sprint Goal allows the dev team to make good tradeoffs even if they can’t check back with the PO.
My Kanban board on the outside (!) of the bedroom door
One of the joys (?) of adulthood is seeing the world through the lens of your job. Like my friend who used to be a dentist’s assistant and still scans the teeth of everyone she meets. Or me who turned her bedroom door into a huge personal kanban board and does quasi retros with her husband. And started to value streamline daily routines…
Bread spreads in the vegetable drawer
You see, in Germany the usual breakfast is sliced bread topped with something – cold meat, cheese, jam, Nutella , … You name it. Dinner is often the same.
Every single day you spend a few minutes going back and forth between your table and your fridge getting (or storing away) various bread spreads. That’s what I’ve done and seen others do all my life. Until one fateful (Exaggerating? Me? Never!) day a few years back: My in-laws where storing all the spreads in the fridge drawer. That drawer is intended for vegetables, but hey, if you store your bread spreads in there, you can get them in or out in one go instead of many! Mind blown! We’ve never looked back. What a time and stoop saver. I really should have called this post “Save 2h per month with this one weird trick” (Assuming 2 minutes saved per meal. 2 meals per day, 30 days per month = 30×4 = 120 minutes)
Everything on the table
Lately our lean mindset zoned in on other things as well. Once you start thinking about it, our kitchen layout really doesn’t make sense: Continue reading
Last week I looked at this site and the logo jumped out at me. My side projects Wall-Skills and Mail-Skills have carefully crafted logos and my own blog was stuck with something I cobbled together one evening. :/
Worse, I (co-)maintain 4 sites with 3 different logo styles. To my mind the sites are a family and the logo should reflect that. So here’s the new logo:
Shiny new logo
The colors of the 3 marbles in the brain reference Mail-Skills, Wall-Skills and Retr-O-Mat respectively. The latter one will keep its different style for the time being, but 3 out of 4 projects now show that they have something in common:This is important to me because I’ve started to work on a book project that is kind of the love child of Mail-Skills and Wall-Skills. So far it’s great fun and I’ll be ready to share details soon
2015 is upon us, so I’ve decided to use this cutting edge new technology called “email” to spread a so-called “newsletter” to everyone who wants to stay in the loop about my projects. Some of them (Retr-O-Mat, Wall-Skills, Mail-Skills, …) are pretty useful, if I do say so myself.
You’ll get at least 1 mail per month and at most 1 per week containing:
Convinced? Subscribe to the fabulous Finding Marbles newsletter now!
If you ever come to Aix la chapelle (Aachen) and walk through the charming old town centre you’ll see very slim houses. When you enter them you’ll find that they are deep, tube-like.
For a long time I thought that that’s just how they build in medieval times and maybe that’s a factor, but a metric was important as well: Turns out that taxes were paid based on how wide the front of your house is. This metric drove people to build slim houses to minimize costs.
Once I was in an older building in Spain. Curiously the floor labeled “1″ was already the 3rd floor. Strange, huh? Not if you know that houses used to be taxed by number of levels. That’s why people invented names like “entrepiso” for the 1st floor and sometimes even 2nd floor and henceforth did not count them as levels. Now you’ve got 8 level buildings, posing as 6 level ones.
Photo by Marina Micheli
In Sweden many people have a summer house on one of the islands. These summer houses may not exceed a certain size. This is verified via helicopters checking roof sizes. But they don’t check the number of houses. In effect, where in other countries you’d build an additional room, swedes build a new tiny summer house, dedicated to a single purpose. Just like a room Continue reading
Taking notes during presentations helps me stay focused and to remember the content. Visual notetaking aka sketchnoting is more fun and the result is more interesting to others.
If you’ve never tried sketchnoting, check out “the sketchnote handbook” for a head start.
The book practises what it preaches and is very visually engaging. I especially enjoyed the guest sketchnotes at the end of each chapter. They introduce you to a range of styles and elements. Very interesting!