Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Source of resistance

Last week we discussed interesting topic in the team: how long does it take to start live the real scrum. At least inside the team.
The result of discussion was few interesting points, perhaps you have similar experience from your company:

* Bonus system: The whole bonus system is strongly oriented to individuals. Personal success is promoted by money - team success is promoted by email. This way team members will not per default try to reach common success, but they want to be better than others in the team.

* Lost of power: With introduction of scrum, the transparency is so significantly improved. Thus, sooner or later teams will be empowered and able to decide how to fulfill product owner's wishes. This brings the change from serious position in society to situation similar to playground: "let's play some roles at work". Some people can cope with it some not.

* Company training aka propaganda: There are plenty of different communication ways. Starting by emails from CEO, corporate magazines, all stuff meetings or standard process training - if the environment follows old practices, your scrum team will face pressure every day from different corner.

* Experience from the past: Every team willing to change basic principles and values of the development is surrounded with people already having great experience. Starting by HR, boss, other teams, experiences architects, etc. And this is another strong source of resistance where young team has to bear a test. Every person leveling himself as experienced is willing to give advice. If principles and values are different such advice will never go same direction as team transforming its work art.

* Domain specifics: In come cases it is even the domain what is used as argument in order not to change status quo. However, this is nothing else as point discussed before - however presented in a different way.

* Risk: Big companies certainly have strong controlled and structured environment (exception proves the rule: there are always crucial and structurally bad handled areas in big companies => that's why small companies still have a chance on the market).
To trigger change typically means to convince first of all the team itself, and then step-by-step get either GO or approval or at least inform all the other stakeholders. This of course costs a lot of energy and cannot be done within few hours. So as a consequence certain step needs to be taken even before you get GO from all stakeholders. Your boss perhaps does not know that you are going to organize HOW planning meeting. Will you take the risk?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


10 years ago I had excellent possibility to express all my observations and ideas how to improve the world. All my friends had regularly received written letters: the content had typically nothing to do with our relationship or event's from last weekend. It was just my dream that was written down, or idea, or "interesting observation". Motivation was selfish and irrational:
  • [Selfish] If I do not write them down I'll forget all my great ideas;
  • [Irational] all these ideas were sent to different parts of World - without possibility to get them back. aka /dev/null

Exactly as some people hobby is to collect money, visited places, postcards, books, movies, friends - I am collecting my own ideas. It make me pleasure if I know that it is written down - even I'll will not be able to recall it later or get back to it.

Unfortunately situation has changed to the one 10 years ago: friends are not willing to receive my ideas anymore. So here I am - starting topic is SCRUM and lean development.