Agile Problem Analysis


The Wheel of Life, the ancient Tibetan Dharmacakra symbol, represents dharma, the Buddha‘s teaching of the path to enlightenment.

Tibetan Dharmacakra Symbol

Dharmacakra: Tibetan Wheel of Life

Here is the NextWave Retrospective wheel we’ve created as a discussion tool.  We use it during #Retrospectives for sprint post-mortem discussions.

NextWave Retrospective Tool for Agile Analysis

NextWave Retrospective Tool for Agile Problem Analysis

As a mirrored variation of dharmachakra, it appeals to us and evokes the iterative cycle of waves… and the #Agile cycle.

We’ve found it to be useful to help us structure our thinking about any problem we’re analyzing.

Question #1:  We’ve defined a problem.
What’s its real source?

People?  (You?  Me?  Us?)

Process?  (How, who, when, what, where, why…?)

Or Product (Our understanding of the requirements?  The code itself?  Our approach?)

Once we’ve identified potential source(s), we ask: ‘Is the root of the problem at its source a Knowledge, Skills, or Attitude issue?’

Reflection and discussion often yield interesting insights.

Triangle of Success

Cool.  So now we think we understand the sources of the problem (there’s usually more than one).

Question #2:  What can I/we do about it?

Back to the NextWave Retrospective wheel.  Where, when and how can I/we impact change involving PeopleProcessProduct?  What will it take to bring about the change?  Who’s involved?  How?  Who’s taking responsibility to follow up with action?

And so the cycles and discussions continue…

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