Montag, 8. August 2011


Today I have realized something that seems quite important to me. Sure, I knew this before, in this unconscious, subliminal way. But now I understood it.

I have to take a 15 minutes ride with the Tram every morning. I try to go after all the pupils went to school and before all the tourists are on their way to Schloss Nymphenburg to make it a stress-free thing as I do not want to arrive totally stressed at the office.

Some days ago directly after me a family with a 3years old boy entered the Tram. The boy was just in the middle of a rage attack. He cried and shouted from the moment he entered the Tram until I left it 15 minutes later and did not stop for a single second. He was in that panic mode that little children sometimes get into when they are totally overwhelmed - parents know what I mean. He was constantly repeating one single sentence ("I want to get in" - Ich will da rein) with only slight modifications. He was deeply red in the face, tears were dropping on his already wet shirt. He was completely unable to answer his parents questions, he was not accessable with any logic approaches his parents tried or promises they made. It was clear that he had already forgotten where he wanted to get in and why he was crying. He was just reacting to his overwhelming feelings and found no way out. I was so sorry for him, if I had known how to help him I would have done this. But I didn't know.

But in this moment I understood: I am not like this little boy anymore. In 98% of all situations in my life I DO have a choice. There might be cases where I only can choose how to react to something, but I do have a choice. This is really "wow": At least to me :-)

Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2011

Google+ and me (some early hints for using it)

Somehow I got the possiblity to participate in Goole+ from the very beginning on and I am playing around with it a bit. One thing is very funny: there is no search function in Google+ so far. I guess it will come but until now you can't search on anything but persons. Strange...

I wrote some little posts with little tricks for the very beginning with Google+. Now that the traffic is getting more they all get lost in the Stream. For this reason I thought I should copy them here too (and link them) to help others who search for the same stuff I was looking for at the beginning. The Tips on Google+ are so far only available in german.

#Google+Tips1 - resharing
You can prevent your own posts from being shared by someone else (those that you restricted). Just use the drop-down menue on the right top immediately after you shared your post and select "disable reshare".

#Google+Tips2 - hide people
You can see a persons contacts when looking at their profiles. If you want to hide the people on your profile, do the following: 

a) click on your name (in the black bar on the top - right side or on your photo)
b) choose "edit profile"
c) on your profile you find your people below your own picture. Click there and then choose the settings you want

#Google+Tips3 - notifications
Too many notifications? Stop it: 

a) choose the settings icon in the black bar on the top right 
b) in the drop down menue choose "Google+ settings"
c) on the left side now click on "Google+"
d) now decide on what you would like to get notifications

#Google+Tips4 - see your own profile as others do
This Circles thing is not quite clear yet? Afraid to mix up security settings? You can have a look at your own profile as someone from the web or any of your people will see it.

a) choose your profile (in the black bar on the top)
b) in your profile, there is a bar directly below your name (Posts, About...), choose the white field on the right side "View profile as..."
c) now you can choose either "Anyone on the web" or enter single names
d) like this you can have a look at all sections on your profile (posts, About...)

#Google+Tips5 - search
You would like to search for something? Strange idea on a Google page.... this does not work right now. You can only search for people, but not for content. 

#Google+Tips6 - delete account
You don't like Google+? No problem, you can easily delete everything:

a) In the black bar on the top choose your name
b) Choose "Account settings"
c) Choose "Account overview" on the left side
d) the last two entries delete your profile and account

#Google+Tips7 - connect accounts
You can connect other accounts with Google+. Available today: Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail and Plaxo.

#Google+Tips8 - public posts
A Warning: Google+ does currently predefines the field where you choose with whom you want to share your post with the entries of your last post. This means that if you did a public post, your next post will already have the setting "public". You have to change this manually. 

#Google+Tips9 - send a post
As a user, I would like to send my posts without using the mouse. Not possible yet, unfortunately. For the comments it is already possible, use "tab" and "space". In comments on photos, use "enter".

#Google+Tips10 - Text shortcuts
There are some shortcuts to edit your text:

a) *Text* is Text
b) -Text- is Text
c) _Text_  is Text

#Google+Tips11 - Navigation shortcuts
You can use "j" to navigate from post to post down the stream and "k" to go up. Please do not ask me why.

Please note: I expect things on Google+ to change fast in the coming weeks as it is still a beta version. Do not expect that I will change stuff here in the same speed so maybe things here are already diffrent when you try them - sorry then, but that's life :-)

PS: this is the translation of the german version I blogged this morning.

Google+ und ich (ein paar kleine Tricks für den Anfang)

Irgendwie bin ich an Google+ gekommen und spiele seit gestern nun etwas damit rum. Ob sich meine Meinung zu derartigen Netzwerken damit ändert, weiss ich noch nicht. Aber bei ausprobieren habe ich diverse Dinge erst rausfinden müssen, und die möchte ich nun teilen - vielleicht hilft es dem einen oder anderen. Auf Google+ habe ich sie als Posts veröffentlicht. Da es aber lustigerweise auf Google+ (noch?) keine Suche gibt (man kann nur nach Personen suchen, nicht nach Inhalten), habe ich die Tips hier nochmal zusammengefasst.

#Google+Tips1 - Schutz vor re-sharing
Man kann Statusmeldungen, die man auf bestimmte Circles beschraenkt hat, vor re-sharing (teilen) schuetzen. Einfach direkt nach dem Posten auf das drop-down Icon rechts oben im Post klicken und "Erneutes Teilen deaktivieren" wählen.

#Google+Tips2 - Kontakte verbergen
Wenn man jemanden anklickt, sieht man alle Kontakte desjenigen.Dementsprechend kann jeder andere durch anklicken auch die eigenen Kontakte sehen. Will man das nicht, dann muss man bei sich selbst im Profil auf "Bearbeiten" klicken, dort kann man die Kontakte unsichtbar machen:

a) Klickt auf Euren Namen (oben in der schwarzen Leiste oder links oben das Profilbild)
b) Wählt "Profil bearbeiten"
c) Klickt auf die Kontaktübersicht links unter Eurem Foto

#Google+Tips3 - Benachrichtigungen
Zuviele Benachrichtigungsmails? Das kann man abstellen:

a) oben rechts im schwarzen Balken auf das Zahnrad klicken.
b) dort im Dropdownmenue Google+ Einstellungen wählen
c) dort auf der linken Seite Google+ wählen
d) jetzt nach Wunsch die Häkchen wegnehmen.

Das hier kann alles ab- und wieder bestellt werden: 

Ich möchte eine Benachrichtigung per E-Mail oder SMS erhalten, wenn jemand...
- Beiträge und Erwähnungen meines Namens E-Mail
- Mich in einem Beitrag erwähnt
- Einen Beitrag direkt mit mir teilt
- Einen Beitrag kommentiert, den ich erstellt habe
- Einen Beitrag kommentiert, nachdem ich ihn kommentiert habe

- Mich zu einem Kreis hinzufügt

Fotos von mir
- Mich auf einem Foto taggen möchte
- Mich auf einem Foto taggt
- Ein Foto kommentiert, nachdem ich es kommentiert habe
- Ein Foto kommentiert, auf dem ich getaggt bin
- Ein Foto kommentiert, das ich getaggt habe

- Beginnt eine Huddle-Unterhaltung mit mir

- Standortinformationen von Fotos in neu hochgeladenen Alben anzeigen
- Personen, deren Foto-Tags für Ihren Namen automatisch als Links zu Ihrem Profil zugelassen werden:

#Google+Tips4 - Ansicht für andere
Das Konzept mit den Kreisen ist noch nicht ganz klar? Wer sieht was? Hab ich jetzt was falsch gepostet? Muss ich rot werden? Man kann sich in Google+ ansehen, wie das eigene Profil aus dem Web oder für einzelne Kontakte aussieht:

a) Klickt auf Euren Namen (oben in der schwarzen Leiste oder links oben das Profilbild)
b) Jetzt seid ihr in eurem eigenen Profil
c) unterhalb eures Namens in der abgesetzten Leiste (Beiträge, Über Mich, Fotos...) könnt ihr rechts in ein weisses Feld klicken, in dem steht "Profil ansehen als"
d) hier entweder "alle im Web anwählen" oder einzelne Namen angeben
e) so kann man auch durch alle Rubriken gehen (also sehen, welche Beiträge von mir sieht die Person, welche Profileinträge etc.)

#Google+Tips5 - Suche
Du willst hier was suchen? Tja, seltsame Erwartungshaltung.... geht nämlich nicht. Noch nicht (Stand 30.06.2011). Man kann nur nach Personen suchen. Das geht oben.

#Google+Tips6 - Account löschen
Keine Lust mehr auf google+? Konto löschen geht hier ausnahmsweise mal ganz einfach: 

a) Klickt auf Euren Namen (oben in der schwarzen Leiste)
b) Wählt Kontoeinstellungen
c) Ganz unten kann das Profil gelöscht werden und das Konto geschlossen werden.

#Google+Tips7 - Konten einbinden
Man kann weitere Konten einbinden, aktuell (30.6.2011) stehen Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail und Plaxo zur Verfügung.

a) oben rechts im schwarzen Balken auf das Zahnrad klicken.
b) dort im Dropdownmenue Google+ Einstellungen wählen
c) dort auf der linken Seite "Verbundene Konten" wählen
d) Dort werden Konten vorgeschlagen, die man dann verbinden kann.

#Google+Tips8 - öffentliche Posts
Eine kleine Warnung: Google+ belegt die Auswahl der Personen, mit denen eine Nachricht geteilt wird, derzeit mit der zuletzt verwendeten vor. Wenn dies z.B. "öffentlich" war, wird der nächste Post auch mit "öffentlich" vorbelegt. Wollte ich nur mal so erwähnt haben.

#Google+Tips9 - posts abschicken
Wunschtraum wäre, posts auch per Tastenkombination absenden zu können. Geht derzeit mit Posts noch nicht, da muss man zur Maus greifen und auf "Teilen" klicken.Aber in den Kommentaren geht es mit Tab+Space, in den Kommentaren bei Fotos mit Enter.

#Google+Tips10 - Schrift bearbeiten
Es gibt ein paar einfache schnelle Tastatur-shortcuts um Text darzustellen. 
a) *Text* wird zu Text
b) -Text- wird zu Text
c) _Text_ wird zu Text

#Google+Tips11 - Navigieren im Stream
Man kann im Stream von Post zu Post navigieren, indem man "j" für weiter runter gehen oder "k" für weiter hoch navigieren drückt. Bitte fragt mich nicht, warum.

Hinweis: Ich vermute, dass sich die Dinge auf Google+ sehr schnell ändern werden in den kommenden Wochen, immerhin sind wir in einer Betaphase. Ich werde hier wohl kaum dazu kommen, alles nachzuhalten und alle Änderungen nachzutragen - wenn also etwas hier nicht mehr so funktioniert, wie von mir beschrieben, tut mir das leid. Aber damit ist nun mal zu rechnen.

Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2011

Proudly presenting: the Agile Oops! printed version

As I already announced, I will bring a printed version of Agile Oops! to the Agile Coach Camp 2011. For a first try I printed the cards on my own. It is a lot to do to put all the words into a printable presentation, find a paper that is thick enough (finally I took the one used for business cards) and a printer that can handle this paper. Printing front and back. Then cutting them into the cards. But it works.

I was ok with those cards, but I really wanted to have a professional version, something that really looks great. I did some research on the web, and i finally found a german online shop where I could not only order those gaming cards where you can put your company logo on the back or the faces of your family into the figures on the front but also design cards completely on your own. Unfortunately so far they offer their services only in german. After @IlIlIIlIlIlIlII had written a small program to convert the terms directly from the spreadsheet into .jepg files, uploading them to the shop was easy and went very smoothly. The back side needed to be uploaded only once, which also helped to reduce the time effort.

By the way, you can also order your self designed planning poker cards in that shop. The front of the cards is fixed and you can design the back as you wish.

As I wanted to have my cards before the ACCDE11 I asked the people at the shop whether they will make it until then because of all those public holidays in june. And they did, they were even so kind to start printing before they received my money! Only five days after my order my cards arrived and I was finally able to hold them in my hands. What a moment ;-) This is how Agile Oops! looks like now (after some small modifications done by me):

I noticed an interesting mind shift when I was looking at this printed version: before I was a bit unsure about some of the terms, I felt they were not well chosen or even wrong. Seeing them printed they suddenly looked more trustable, I felt more secure with them. Another lesson about the impact of professional appearance - although I did not change anything ;-)

PS: Still working on a possibility to share a version that is easily printable on your own and/or at a shop. Stay tuned!
PPS: this time my special thanks go to the people from for making it possible that I can take my cards with me to ACCDE11 and for trusting me without knowing me :-) The cards look and feel great!

Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2011

Oops? Agile Oops!

When I was a teenager we used to play a lot of board games. One of them was "Taboo", where you describe verbally a well known Term without using some defined keywords. Sounds easy? Just try to describe the word "humor" without using the words "lough", "fun" "black", "joke" and "comedian". In a competetive situation. Under time pressure. Not that easy, isn't it? But as soon as you are used to the rules the game tends to become loud, intensive and funny.  This is a game that is a lot of fun with bigger groups and we used to entertain a whole pub while playing it (well, I am not sure about the last part of the sentence - it might also be the case that the rest of the pub felt more irritated than entertained :-)).

Recently I attended some Open Space Unconferences where people used to meet at the bar in the evening and - yes, play. Sometimes I played with the others, sometimes I just observed them playing or just had nice discussions with people. But at a certain point of time it got hard to have any other discussions because what the gamers did got very loud, intensive and seemed to be a lot of fun. This reminded me to me in ancient times playing at the pub - and i thought it could be nice to have an agile game to play that can be both used for fun as well as for training. So I took some time to brainstorm terms from the agile world, define the no-go words and finally I took the prototype of Agile Oops! to the Agile Coach Camp Italy 2011 where I found some great people to playtest together with me. This is the result of those tests.

Playtesting Agile Oops! at ACCIT11

What do you need?
  • a group of people that know all those buzzwords that are used within the agile world (at least 4, best 8-10, up to 20)
  • a buzzer (something loud, e.g. a bell)
  • a timer
  • the Agile Oops! cards, or a subset of them

How to play? (Here is more detailed info and the exact rules)

The fun version of playing is quite easy, it is played with two teams against each other and against the timer.

  • Build two teams, choose a start player from the first team
  • The Second team gets timer and buzzer
  • Start the timer and the start player draws the first card: he now has to explain the term on the card without using the words below. No mimic. No gestures. The second team controls this and uses the buzzer, if something forbidden is used or done (be sure, they will do it with enthusiasm ;-)).
  • Each card that the starting team guesses correctly within the 2 minutes is one point  for them. All cards that had to be discarded or where the player did not know how to describe it are one point for the second team each.
  • The winner is the team which reaches first 55 Points.

Where to use it?

You can use it as a fun game for any occasion in the above described competitive way. You can also use it in a simpler way e.g. to deepen the learning and understanding after a Scrum workhop. Then you might just pass around some cards and let one person explain and the rest guess. This can make visible for the people how good their understanding is - you can only describe something with your own words that you understood well.

There are variations in the rules document and I hope that many people will add more ideas! For example you can use the cards with the terms also to play Charade or let the people paint the terms without talking (everyone in Germany will remember "Die Montagsmaler").

Available Material?

I have published the Agile Oops! under the licence of Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0  to be used for everyone. The following files are available:

You can contact me to be added to the google docs documents if you would like to contribute either with words, translations or variations. Of course you also might just leave a comment with your suggestions here. I try to find a way to offer a easy printable version soon.

PS: I will have a version ready to play for ACCDE11 - I hope that some of you guys will find some time to play there with me!

PPS: with special thanks for playtesting, ideas and help to @IlIlIIlIlIlIlII, @tonyxzt@fabioarmani@ojuncu@wasitova, @carloz - hope I forgot noone