Keep learning even when pressed for time

There are two ways to learn. From books and trainers; and by experiencing life. Life is a great teacher.

We are always pressed for time; that is a reality. But we can’t do anything till we have enough time; that is a myth. Because we can.

For learning skills and acquiring knowledge we need time. We can beg borrow or steal. Beg & borrow doesn’t work. Learn interesting ways to steal time.

Once we take care of time for skills & knowledge, we are ready to handle learning by experiencing. That doesn’t need extra time; if we know how. Through discussions and exercises, master innovative ways like maneuvering attention, watching exceptions and seeking interactions.

Being at conferences is fine, but we need something while at work where we belong. Use a few simple yet powerful tips to keep learning.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Two types of learning and approach suitable for each – 10 minute

Get over the myth and practice reducing cycles – 20 minutes

(Look at some common situations and look at questions to see how you would react to them)

Do team exercises for the possibilities to learn from experience – 45 minutes

(In each exercise, answer questions to record what you currently do / see new possibilities / discuss what you would like to change from your current way of working)

Understand how to use checklist provided by the speaker to keep learning in daily work – 15 minutes 

Learning Outcome

Get over the inhibitions that stop us learning from experience

Experience new ways to see ourselves and world around us

Learn how to practice the new ways without giving up

Target Audience

Senior developer or tester, team lead, Scrum master and agile coach

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

Public Feedback

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  • Ted Tencza
    By Ted Tencza  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    I think that the proposal is interesting, but I am not quite sure what
    this talk will be about. The learning outcomes, abstract and plans all
    seem to say something slightly different. Is it about overcoming
    inhibitions, or is it strategies for learning through experience. You
    state there are four ways to learn from experience, but then go on to
    outline five (if being a "ready reckoner" is another way to learn. I
    also wonder if "having an agile mind through experience" is just a
    summary of the your thesis, rather than learning technique.

    • Jerry Rajamoney
      By Jerry Rajamoney  ~  6 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Prabhakar,

      Interesting topic. After looking at the presentation from slide-share I am interested in knowing how are you going to relate this with examples? For example in your presentation from Slide #25 you are giving tips. Most of them are known to many as theory :). As you mentioned many are struggling how to really adapt them in practical life.

      Since you have classified this proposal as a 90 minutes workshop I am interested in knowing whether you are going to take specific example / exercise / case study for each of those tips to explain in detail?



      • pradeep panda
        By pradeep panda  ~  6 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Prabhakar,

             Can you please tell us in brief how can you relate it with any of the Agile flavours and why do you think it should fall under beyond agile ?


        • Prabhakar Karve
          By Prabhakar Karve  ~  6 years ago
          reply Reply

          The individual strategies like saving time consuming cycles, maneuvering attention, watching exceptions and seeking interactions are useful not only in agile software development but also in all walks of life. That is the reason we feel it is fit for the theme “Beyond agile”.

          But we were also able to weave these individual strategies into a complete learning cycle for our Scrum teams. Let me explain in some detail.

          In Scrum we have our daily standups or huddles. Each person shares what he did, will do and what is stopping him from doing more. While the information sharing is quite useful, after some time it becomes a little monotonous and boring. However when we in put in practice some of these strategies, they have some interesting observations and useful learning to share.  

          When one person is speaking, it is interesting to watch what others are doing. When new to the practice, each person is completely focused on what he has to speak next. After some time when it becomes a routine, he is half asleep and barely catching only the information that is of his immediate interest. But when the teams are exposed to and start practicing these strategies, the whole atmosphere changes. The person who speaks is more excited and the other listeners are active and alert.

          Initially this tends to increase the duration of the stand-up and it is okay because of the additional value. But then the teams come up with ways to share the learning and still remain within the time-box. An interesting outcome is they start examining how much of the information being shared about the past & coming day really mattered to the others and learn to trim it down to the bare essentials. They also realize the need to come prepared what each person would share, rather than think about it in the standup itself. With these few changes, the standups become really useful while being tight enough to complete within allotted time.

          The next problem is while some of the learning shared is quite simple to put in practice immediately; in most cases it required further discussion. In the absence of a good capture mechanism, much of it is lost. But there is no need to add any extra overhead or cost. They can use their existing issue tracking mechanism. By proper categorization and filtering, the teams are able to schedule specific meetings for specific aspects; the rest goes into the retrospective meeting. The added benefit is that the retrospective meetings also become lot more interesting and useful. Same issue tracking tools can be used to capture and track the action items that come out of these discussion meetings and from the retrospectives till they are completed. 

          We hope the above answers your questions.


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