Joseph Pelrine

C*O at MetaProg GmbH at MetaProg GmbH


Psychological Aspects of Estimating
Friday 09:00 - 10:00

Stumped by story points? Paralysed by planning poker? How about trying something new? Estimation is a necessary but often unenjoyable part of software development. Although much has been written about methods and heuristics for estimating, there is very little information available about what happens psychologically when we estimate.

This talk examines the cognitive and social psychological and aspects of estimation, and discusses some theories (such as Baumeister’s Ego Depletion Theory), which explain why, despite the best of intentions, our estimates are often not correct, and what we can do about it. We will also look at a number of new approaches, based on modern research in cognitive psychology and chronobiology, and tested with world-class agile teams, aimed at addressing the age-old problems of estimating and prioritizing work. From quatro stagioni to speed poker, you're sure to find new ideas to take back to your team.


Authority, power, and motivation
Friday 11:05 - 11:50

One of the canons (or koans) of Scrum is that the ScrumMaster has no authority. He can not tell others to do things. Although this is a good idea from the point of view of getting others to take responsibility for their actions (i.e. “self-organise”), the lack of authority often makes it difficult to move or motivate others effectively.

Having no authority does not mean that a person has no power. This talk discusses the psychological concept of power, its various types, as well as personal rank and skills, and provides tools and techniques to help you move and motivate others, even when you’re not in control. It will also help you understand when others are moving, motivating, and possibly manipulating you.


Dealing with 'self-organisation'
Wednesday 9:00 - 17:00

Self-organisation is one of the most misunderstood concepts used in agile practice. If people really understood the dynamics of self-organising systems, they most probably would avoid trying to use it. Instead, they (mis-)apply some ideas, close their eyes, wish real hard, hope that magic happens, and then use the term “unintended consequences” to describe the result.

In spite of this fact, the ideal of the “self-organising team” is fundamental to Agile methods. Agile coaches are constantly challenged with how to motivate / persuade / trick their teams into self-organising and doing things, without telling them what to do, but there is very little information or training on this topic. Allowing a team to self-organise along the lines of \"oh well, they're all adults, they'll figure it out\" is just as irresponsible as reverting to the command-and control school of management. So, how should one go about it?

The goal of this workshop is to provide you with both the answers to that question, and with the tools you need to do the job. In this workshop, we’ll explore what self-organisation actually is and why teams don’t self-organise, and we’ll discuss what self-organisation will do to and for your teams. You’ll then learn practical techniques from social complexity science and social psychology that will help you achieve the benefits of self-organisation without suffering the unintended consequences of it.


As Kent Beck’s assistant, Joseph Pelrine was one of the first in the world who worked with eXtreme Programming. As Europe’s first certified ScrumMaster and Trainer, he was largely responsible for introducing Scrum to the german-speaking part of Europe. For almost 20 years, Joseph Pelrine has been helping some of the world’s most important companies improve their software development process and successfully transition to Agile. A noted international speaker, he conducts research in the field of social complexity theory and its application to Agile processes, and is currently pursuing a PhD in psychology.


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