A tale of two sprint teams

That title is appropo for the first quarter of this year, for me.

I think I will start using this blog as a place to post my thoughts on this whole, darned process.

First, being a scrum master is why I was originally hired to the job I currently have a number of years ago.  I finally have an opportunity to do that job and couldn’t be happier!

When I am asked ‘why did you stick around?’ I thoughtfully respond:

 I have ‘skills that pay the bills’, so the company who has coughed up for my service has the right to ask me to perform other tasks.  Having been unemployed during the last major economic downturn almost immediately before accepting this assignment, I didn’t mind doing other tasks that I am qualified to perform.  I have stuck around because I like the people, I believe in what we are doing, and I kind of like a steady paycheck.

It is never easy to change process.  Period.  But we are doing it.  Decisions have been made and we have been given our marching orders.

As part of the agile-ifying our team, we have been marching down the path provided by our leadership.  Decisions have been made.  We are in the middle of our first full iteration.  Guess what?  It isn’t going so well.

We are making progress, but we are nowhere near ready to be attempting to deliver something for acceptance by someone, but we are getting there.

I have been challenged by leadership to perform my ordinary duties and act as the scrum master for 2 design teams.  Cool!  I am up to a challenge, but probably been more effective if I had been included in the conversations that led up to this position.  No worries.  I get it.

News from the front – this is essentially setting the teams up for failure.  It is not fair to me and it is not fair to the team themselves!!

Guess what?!  People don’t automagically self-manage after spending years of ‘working for the man’.  The only way any of this agility is ever going to take is if we change our stinkin’ thinkin’

So I have given it a shot.  I have attempted to learn how to do all of the Rally work while helping team members use the tool.  Not a problem, I like doing it, but if I do too much of it, well, I don’t have time to do anything else!

Today was a full day of planning with one of the newly identified teams.  It was awesome.  Everyone knew the game-plan and we did a lot.  To be honest, retrospectives are my favorite part of the whole process.

Tomorrow is a similar set of planning meetings with the other team.  In preparation for tomorrow, aware of the team dynamics, I took a few things from the retrospective today.  I needed to be better prepared.  I went to the office supply store and picked up some flipcharts, post-it notes, markers.  Wish me luck!






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