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Back To The Chalkboard: Can Classroom Practices Help Agile Businesses


It’s funny; many children in schools are encouraged to reflect upon their assessed work in written subjects with acronyms: What Went Well, and Even Better If, shortened to WWW and EBI. This can take place in peer assessment, or self-reflection after getting your work marked by a teacher, even if the ideas for what to say are very much prompted from your teacher.


WWW and EBI are acronyms that disappear from our lives after leaving the school gates; when you are no longer writing answers to exam questions, or analysing science experiments, there is no need for this kind of reflection, is there?


In some workplaces, targets are set for stores to meet; each individual member of staff being allocated a fraction of the responsibility to achieve so that the store is shown to be performing well. In others, individual members of staff may be given direct feedback on their performance on the floor for the day after their shift. This could be read as overly critical, but direct feedback allows an individual to understand how to improve upon their performance, and apply it for their next shift.


However, in my experience, I had never seen a workplace actively use the WWW or EBI acronyms to assess performance. But, this shorthand exploration of what a person is doing well versus points to improve is a fast method to improve practice.


This does not only have to refer to an individual, though: imagine a world where online product reviews all had to adhere to that formula, how many poor reviews could be resolved through simple changes: whether they be aesthetic, or functionality based. That one-star Amazon review? Worthless, because everything that Karen from Belfast has complained about has been rectified. Sure the issues she flagged were important, but a new model has been released to improve upon her feedback. It’s easier to improve on a review that says “fast and powerful, but so loud that my neighbours could hear me vacuuming” as opposed to “* too loud”. This is because, by using a user story, and assessing the direct root of the problem, ie, the fact Karen’s neighbours could hear a vacuum through the walls, you can try and improve the sound of the motors and engines, and perform auditory testing. One review, one star, one iteration, just auditory testing, and wham – problem sorted.


Direct, proactive feedback is a great method to pave the way to progress, and this piece of classroom methodology certainly lays the foundation.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.


He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.


The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.


To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com

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