Showing posts from January, 2018

Mob Programming Retrospectives

One nice thing with mobbing is that it’s easy to have meetings. The team wanted a retrospective yesterday, so we all moved to a room and had a quick meeting.

We used a Lean Coffee format last time. This time we tried a Sail-Anchor format (what blows us forwards, what drags us back). 
There were two main groups for each. 
What pushes us forwards: Behaviour in the mob.Good coding practices.Socialising more has increased morale. The mob in general seems more cohesive. Dropping in and out has become more normal. 
For coding practices, we’ve been focussing on small well-defined tasks, small simple functions, and writing good Scenarios. 
What drags us back: Behaviour in the mob.The codebase and tools. The unhelpful behaviour was a mix of not following good mob practices, criticising code written by others, and meandering off course down rabbit holes in the code. 
To help, we agreed that we’d check if a rabbit hole was worth following at the end of each turn driving. And anyone can raise their h…

Mob Programming and Slack

While mobbing can be great for progressing relentlessly through tasks, it can be quite intense. 
And we found that we weren’t taking breaks, or checking our email, or doing anything other than mobbing. 
So we made two changes. 
The first was to take tea-breaks. At first, we tried adding in a tea-break to our rotation timer, but it came round too quickly, so we ignored it... So I bought an hour-glass. When we start, we set it off. And when the sands run out, it’s time for tea :-)
And the second idea was to stop early. Rather than keep going till lunch, we stop half an hour early, to give everyone a chance to catch up with anything that needs doing. 
It seems to be working so far!

Mob Programming and Intent

We’ve sometimes had problems on our Mob where the driver just starts doing things that they weren’t asked to do.

I think that this happens for a few reasons. 
The driver just reverts to habit, and just writes code because that’s what they’re used to. We’re doing something fairly repetitive, and the driver just carries on with the task. The team are stuck, and no-one has any ideas, so the driver uses the computer to try and find a solution.  In both cases, it can be frustrating for the rest of the Mob. 
Now, I recently read the excellent book “Turn The Ship Around”, and I loved the idea of stating intent, rather than asking for permission. 
We discussed it in our mob, and it seemed like a good idea. 
So now, the driver is allowed to act in their own, as long as they state their intent. “I intend to look on Stack Overflow for something similar”, or “I intend to carry on tidying up the other functions while we’re here”. 
The mob can then allow this, or propose a different task instead, a…