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Scrum: Problem when the team members are not self-correcting ..

When you discuss about Scrum, and look for success stories, you will learn that in most cases, the success of the team in fact depends on the attitude of the team (in fact, in all cases, the success happens when you have a team that is capable, feels empowered and helps in the taking of decisions that makes the Scrum team more effective and productive). So, you have a team that really feels that they are responsible for the progress of the team, for finding out issues that could reduce their effectiveness, and so on. Well, we talked about the capability of the team members and their attitude as a success factor, but what about the reverse ?
You are a Scrum Master of the team, and even though the team plays a huge role in the success of the project, you need to be forever on the watch out for how to improve the efficiency and productivity of the team; and one of the problems that you need to be very aware of is about a situation where there is really nobody on the team who is looking out for improvements, or to catch things that are going wrong and raise this within the team so as to reverse such trends. There can be so many cases, and the problem is that if the team does not really point out issues, the Scrum Master will have to take a more and more dominant position in the team dynamics, and start driving matters. For example, the team can do so much:
– Identify reasons why the Daily Scrum meeting is longer than you would like, or when people are not making useful contributions
– A lot of improvements that a team can make is through identification of processes where the team can help reducing the issues that makes the team less effective. Every incremental step is a big deal, and over a period of time, such improvements can really make a big difference
– When teams find impediments, an effective team member will not wait for the Daily Scrum to raise such an impediment. Only those impediments make it to the Daily Scrum where the team member is not able to resolve it, or requires the involvement of more members or is outside of the team. But, if this does not happen, delay in resolving every such impediment can cause huge problems
And there are plenty more such reasons where proactive and empowered team members can make a huge difference to the progress of the team; conversely, if the team really is not inspired and acts in follow-up mode, then the Scrum effort can be said to actually stink and there needs to be a lot of effort made to resolve matters. There needs to be more training for the team members so that they understand their role more, there needs to be a lot more meetings of the team and the Scrum Master to understand as to why the team is not reacting as they should, why they are not ‘inspired’, and even organizationally, the managers of the team members also need to have discussions with them about why they are acting in this way. Many teams have had huge benefits with the presence of a Scrum coach that will help the team to resolve matters.

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