Michael de la Maza presented “Learning Agile via Agile Games” at Wednesday night’s Agile Boston meeting. We played some fun games that would have been impossible to win if they weren’t fun and if we didn’t communicate with each other face to face.

One of the games was a brief Planning Poker exercise. Michael’s point was that one of the valuable outcomes of Planning Poker is the discussion among team members, surfacing previously unknown requirements, enabling team members to understand and agree on product goals and requirements.

One of Michael’s themes is that delivering a successful software product is 80% about the people and only 20% about the technology. He referenced some interesting sources, including The Psychology of Emotions, Fellings, and Thoughts, by Mark Pettinelli (affiliate link), and Paul Ekman’s work on microexpressions. Michael mentioned the field of positive psychology and the Zappos core values as a way to inject positive psychology into a business:

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble