Agile

Insights from Bucharest MeetUp “AgileTalks#2”

Me and a few colleagues attended yesterday the AgileTalks#2 MeetUp in Bucharest. Below are my insights from this event.

As usually the most interesting part were the free talks during the Open Space in the end.

Agile Talks 2
Photo by Vlad S.

There were 2 presentations:

Cornel Fătulescu from Pentalog talked about his experience as a self-taught manager
Reaching for excessive control as a manager was a bitterly disapointing experience for him.
Finally he ended up in the Agile way of thinking – handing over to the team a lot of responsibilities within a few accepted rules.

He did a nice parallel with his personal life experience – told us how he experimented new approaches with his kids based on Agile principles – including a Kanban board for at-home activities (!)

He noticed that there were not many differences on how to approach a kid than how to approach a member of the team.

Conclusion: Gaining control is not the point – making the team responsible for their own work is the key.

My Insight: Personal life management has similar challenges as people management at work. It’s worth trying and experimenting techniques from both worlds to obtain a desired outcome

Nice discussion during Open Space:

  • The way human mind is working usually is counter-intuitive and irational
  • The most obvious example is the decision-making under stress.
  • It came to discussion the two-systems theory of Kahnemann-Tversky
  • The conclusion was that at crucial times it would be better to control our “System 1” (the limbic system) reactions
  • There are quite a few people able to achieve such self-control – like those who practice meditation.

The second speaker was Eduard Budacu, PhD Student at ASE.

He talked about how to reach productivity using a technique called “Pomodoro”.

My Insight: the most challenging part of the technique is to get rid of the “INTERNAL (SELF) DISTRACTORS”.
How to achieve that: relaxation techniques, meditation, therapy (“Positive Psychology”)

Nice concepts discussed during Open Space were:

  • How Pomodoro technique helps you enter the “State of Flow” – ideal for best productivity
  • He does at most 4 “Tomatos” per day – that is chunks of 25 minutes focused work – and is very happy with it. (No need to overcommit yourself!)

All in all it was a nice experience hosted by Claudia from AgileWorks with quite a crowd of people (about 50 persons – one of the biggest MeetUps so far).
Looking forward to AgileTalks#3 now….

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