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One expert in the Scrum team – Part 2

This is a continuation of the Part 1 of this article (Expert in the Scrum team – Part 1); the topic of this series of articles is interesting and different from some of the other articles that have appeared here. When you have such a skilled expert within the team that he / she tends to over-awe every other member of the team, and this can lead to some problems in terms of stifling the enterprise and initiative of the rest of the team members. The previous post went through some of the problems that this can lead to, as well making such a person as the singular leader of the team to the detriment of the other team members.
In this post, one shall take the problem and try to resolve it in another way. One way is to talk to the person and explain the entire situation, and the problems that this can cause to the rest of the team. This may be surprising for the person or the rest of the team, since they would look at the positive aspects of the support provided by the expert, and trying to look at the problems in terms of reduced initiative by the rest of the team is not something that would be easily apparent to the team. These kind of problems are more easily discerned by somebody external to the team who can look at how the team operates, its dynamics, and look at some of the problems present in the team.
Speaking to the expert on this topic can be a difficult tactic. Many people cannot understand something like this so easily, since such a discussion would entail their attaching some amount of negative results to their work; and it would take a sensitive discussion with the expert to make them understand such a problem. However, using the amount of tact for this discussion depends on situation to situation, but the net result needs to be that the discussion of this problem needs to happen with the expert, and explanation given about how this kind of hand-holding for the rest of the team stifles their initiative, and they would not even make the errors that would happen naturally; this in turn reduces the amount of learning for the rest of the team. If all goes well, the expert would have understand the problems and the needs this places on his/her operations.
How this would work is something that again needs to vary from team dynamics to team dynamics; but the net operation is that the expert would push back against team members coming to verify something, and would push them more and more to explore problems by themselves and do some kind of initial design before coming to the expert for help. Such an approach would help to ensure that the team would also get the message and start to act more and more like an empowered Scrum team rather than going to the expert for guidance. They might make some errors during this course of action, but lessons are learned through errors (just as those are not massive errors).

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