This particular problem manifests when a company desires the potential benefits of Scrum without really understanding Scrum. Without a good understanding, people attempt to map their existing roles with those of Scrum. Let me make one thing perfectly clear. The role of Scrum Master is unique to Scrum and any attempt to map it to existing roles will only result in confusion, frustration and less than optimal outcomes.
One of the things I have noticed during this time is, as Agile (and especially Scrum) have become more mainstream, the quality of individuals calling themselves scrum masters and agile coaches has become more variable.
Like any professional should I spend a great deal of my time attending user’s groups, reading professional articles, speaking with leaders in my field, etc in an attempt to find ways to do my job better. This morning I stumbled upon a couple of interesting articles, The Unintended Consequences Of A Leader’s Lack Of Trust (whose link has gone inactive) and Employees leave managers, not companies. While not exactly writing about the love, these got me to thinking about love and its place fostering Agility.
It is the nature of my job to bond tightly with the teams that I work with and also to have to leave these teams frequently, as they achieve a high level of self organization, to pursue opportunities to help other teams. I am currently faced with one of these moments and the feeling, as always, is bittersweet. I am excited about my new opportunity but will genuinely miss the teams I have worked with over the past few months.
Continue reading Looking for Agile Success – All You Need is Love
When I tell people I am an Agile Coach, unless they are in IT, I tend to get a lot of strange looks. Most of the time they will say something like, “I get the coaching part, but what the heck is Agile?” It is at this part of the conversation that they experience immediate regret as I launch into an endless barrage of commentary on Agile development.
Lately, however, I have begun to re-examine my own assumptions about what it the Coaching aspect of an Agile Coach is, especially now that there are so many professional coaches looking for work after the end of the regular NFL season.
Continue reading Thoughts on Agile Coaching
I gave the Larry’s Top Ten Agile and Scrum Myths talk to the Java Users’ Group in Phoenix recently and … More Larry's Top Ten Agile and Scrum Myths
In Daniel Pink’s bestseller Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the author persuasively argues that what motivates people in the knowledge economy (of which software development is squarely seated) “is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. ”
People are no longer motivated by the carrot and stick approach of past Tayloristic, manufacturing, assembly line business. What motivates new workers, and what has been supported by a wide range of scientific studies, can be summarized by the acronym AMP which stands for Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
As an Agilist, I am always curious why in one company an Agile implementation succeeds and in another it does not. While there are many reasons for Agile implementations to fail, one thing that many have in common is that they fail to take into account the three factors Pink describes in his book.
Continue reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and Why Agile Works
I have recently been reading Jurgen Appelo’s book Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders. For those wondering what management’s role in an Agile organization should be then this is a good read.
In my current consulting gig I am coaching someone to replace me as a scrum master so we spend a great deal of time talking about Agile, Scrum and what it means to be a scrum master.
One of the things I have always used as a metaphor is the concept of Scrum Master (and managers) as gardeners. Though I may have heard it somewhere and forgot it or it may have reached my subconscious somehow, I came up with the metaphor of gardener because my in-laws live with me and are retired. They spend a great deal of time gardening. It is from their work bringing forth trees, flowers and mountains of vegetables that I took my cue.
Continue reading Are You a Scrum Master? Be a Gardener.
I have become what I cannot stand a Scrum Master. Not that I believe that what I do for a … More Can We Call it Something Other Than Scrum Master?