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Agile Chennai 2022 - Subrahmaniam SRV | Getting Better at Remote Facilitation

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Agile Chennai 2022 - Subrahmaniam SRV | Getting Better at Remote Facilitation

  1. 1. GETTING BETTER AT FACILITATION S R V Subrahmaniam AgileChennai Driving Agility in a Hybrid World
  2. 2. SPEAKER’S PROFILE  S R V Subrahmaniam – Subbu has led and has been a part of large Enterprise level Agile transformation engagements in Ford IT, Edgeverve (Infosys Finacle), Bank of New York Mellon, Royal Bank of Scotland & Fed Ex. One of the early adopters of SAFe, he has been a SAFe Program Consultant from March 2015.  He has a strong background in software development and delivery in Siemens.  Apart from Agile coaching and training, he is into OKR consulting as well. Objectives and Key results is a goal setting framework promoting focus, alignment and tracking within organizations.
  3. 3. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ONLINE MEETINGS
  4. 4. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? You are facilitating a Sprint Planning meeting 1. Most of the participants are with Videos off 2. Very little feedback / participation 3. You are talking all the time
  5. 5. WHY IS THIS? Online meetings makes participants feel Vulnerable What does it mean? exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. This emotional background provokes a defensive reaction from the participants and a grossly sub-optimal participation and outcome thereon.
  6. 6. SCARF MODEL SCARF stands for the five key "domains" that influence our behavior in social situations. This was developed by David Rock in 2008 1. Status: How important or valued do you feel? 2. Certainty : How much clarity is there in a given situation? 3. Autonomy: How much control you have in a particular situation? 4. Relatedness: How connected and close do you feel to people around you? 5. Fairness: How balanced and equal does a given situation feel?
  7. 7. CAN WE SEE HOW THESE CAN BE IMPROVED BY THE FACILITATOR else… There is going to be withdrawal, boredom or frustration affecting the participants
  8. 8. GETTING BETTER AT 1. STATUS Status: How important or valued do you feel? In other words “our relative importance to others” How does the facilitator enable that -Getting everyone to share their inputs….that’s easy. -Key is: Impact of virtual meetings on psychological safety — people feeling they can raise questions, concerns, and ideas without fear of personal repercussion. -How do you create this online?
  9. 9. WHICH ONE IS BETTER, IN A RETROSPECTIVE MEETING? Facilitator goes round the table asking for their thoughts / feedback OR
  10. 10. DOING IT IN AN ONLINE TOOL
  11. 11. WHY IS THE STICKY OPTION BETTER (ONLINE OR OFFLINE) It is anonymous. Gives a safety shield to express contrarian opinion Introverts may also feel easy to contribute Gives a level playing field to express views immaterial of seniority / verbal strength
  12. 12. OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE • Using hand raise function for feedback •Anonymous online polls •Yes/No feedback for each participant •Having deep discussions in a breakout room as against in a large room
  13. 13. GETTING BETTER AT 2. CERTAINTY Certainty: our ability to control / predict the future Is the meeting going on track? Or is it going around in circles? Participants feel tired / distracted / frustrated How does the facilitator moderates to -Respect timebox -Moderate discussions going out of hand -Use breaks -Have a visual summary at all times -Use energizers as needed
  14. 14. YOU HAVE A MEETING WHERE YOU EXPECT BAD NEWS. HOW DO YOU MAKE IT SAFE? On track Under Control Need support •[Text] •[Text] Create a visual board for participants to add entries early in the meeting / or ahead of the meeting
  15. 15. VISUAL SUMMARY FOR A BACKLOG REFINEMENT SESSION Questions Disagree / Concerns Further discussion needed Not sure
  16. 16. USE VISUAL TEMPLATES AND TOOLS EFFECTIVELY 1. Use Visual templates for say, road mapping or product visioning or retrospectives. 2. Miro /Mural / Sessionlabs has variety of templates 3. Use Slack / Trello / Teams on purpose
  17. 17. PREPARING FOR MEETINGS 1. Circulate agenda in advance 2. Circulate pre-reads 3. Get one participant to prepare discussion notes (to be shared in the beginning of the meeting) as everyone might not be fully on board 4. Move on when discussions go on and on 5. Record and replay the key agreements at all times 6. Publish decisions immediately.
  18. 18. KNOW WHAT KIND OF MEETING YOU ARE FACILITATING
  19. 19. GETTING BETTER AT 3. AUTONOMY Autonomy: our sense of control over events? How does the facilitator enable that -Do not micro-manage -Get different members to volunteer to prepare discussion notes prior to the meeting -Create working agreements for team discussions. People can drop off meetings if they do not see it as valuable -How is decision making happening in the team?
  20. 20. TEAM DECISION MAKING MODELS 1. Team leader decides and informs the team  Product Manager choosing a Business context speaker in PI Planning meeting 2. Team leader gathers input from team then decides  PM / PO prioritizing the backlog 3. Consensus decisions  PI objectives / Sprint goals 4. Consensus with a fallback  PI objectives – few move into uncommitted if there is uncertainty 5. Team leader sets constraints and delegates decisions to team members  Choosing design options 6. Majority decision https://hr.mit.edu/learning-
  21. 21. GETTING BETTER AT 4. RELATEDNESS Relatedness: connected and close do you feel to people around you? How does the facilitator enable that -Set-up warm-up games / exercises for the participants to know each other well. -Use check-in questions (open ended / light weight questions to initiate meetings) -Take care to “integrate” new-comers within the team. Pairing / Mentoring -For large groups like SAFe ART - create events prior to PI
  22. 22. GETTING BETTER AT 5. FAIRNESS Fairness: how fair we perceive the exchanges between people to be.? Take this context: You are facilitating a meeting where a few are present in a physical room and few have joined remotely. How do you ensure that members who have joined remotely are not left out
  23. 23. HOW DO WE TRANSPARENTLY COLLECT AND EVALUATE IDEAS - Like collecting retrospective feedback and say prioritizing features 1. Make it visual – use templates for the purpose, with Mural or Miro or Sessionlabs 2. Use lightweight mechanisms to display opinion 3. Use dot voting to get feedback on ideas 4. Make it anonymous 5. Have a mechanism to evaluate. For instance WSJF is a transparent prioritisation process, bringing in objectivity while giving importance to structured discussion
  24. 24. PRE- POPULATE NAMES TO GET FEEDBACK
  25. 25. WHAT KIND OF MEETINGS ENHANCE THE VULNERABILITIES 1. Large group meetings 2. Roving agenda with lots of scope for surprises 3. Long meetings enhance distractions 4. Lack of familiarity between participants 5. Inviting everyone for the meeting. Getting unrelated people make genuine participants go mute. Non serious participants also come in with “finding faults” 6. Meetings which have history of derailed agenda will have lesser participation 7. A few powerful people talking all the time, taking decisions, shooting off ideas
  26. 26. USE OPEN ENDED / ACTION ORIENTED PHRASES - Do you see any potential issues with Shyam’s suggestion? - What comes to your mind when you think of this? Or when crafting the meeting invite - Root cause analysis for the server failure issue - Evaluate next best steps for the server failure issue
  27. 27. LIGHTEN THE ATMOSPHERE - Like while participants wait for others to join – Can we play some funny videos which make us smile? - Can someone display their skills – like singing, ventriloquism etc.,? - Or solve today’s wordle
  28. 28. DISCUSSIONS & Thank You!

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