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  • Vikram Dhiman
    Hi Rahul: The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also,
    Message 1 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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      Hi Rahul:

      The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

      You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

      Thanks
      Vikrama Dhiman
      Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
      
      Phone: 91-172-4630550
      Extension: 113
      Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
      MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
      Skype: vickidhiman


      Rahul Puri wrote:

      Vikram:


      According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits). 

      Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

      Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

      Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself). 

      In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

      Happy Agile'ing
      Rahul Puri

      On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:

      An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
      at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
      system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
      they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
      join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
      The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
      in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
      rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
      company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
      will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
      serious human capital loss.

      I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
      slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
      issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
      something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
      years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
      "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
      just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
      all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
      Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
      experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
      people too?"
      I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
      I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
      [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
      process driven companies with titles and authority.

      I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
      are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
      other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
      team debate has an interesting angle.

      I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
      are welcome.

      --
      Vikrama Dhiman
      Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

      Phone: 91-172-4630550
      Extension: 113
      Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
      MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
      Skype: vickidhiman


    • Rahul Puri
      Vikram: I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren t enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a
      Message 2 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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        Vikram:

        I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

        In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

        It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

        As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.

        Happy Agile'ing
        Rahul Puri

        On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
        Hi Rahul:

        The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

        You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

        Thanks
        Vikrama Dhiman
        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

        Phone: 91-172-4630550
        Extension: 113
        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
        MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
        Skype: vickidhiman


        Rahul Puri wrote:
        Vikram:

        According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

        Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

        Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

        Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

        In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

        Happy Agile'ing
        Rahul Puri

        On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
        An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
        at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
        system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
        they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
        join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
        The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
        in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
        rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
        company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
        will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
        serious human capital loss.

        I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
        slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
        issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
        something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
        years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
        "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
        just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
        all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
        Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
        experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
        people too?"
        I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
        I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
        [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
        process driven companies with titles and authority.

        I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
        are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
        other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
        team debate has an interesting angle.

        I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
        are welcome.

        --
        Vikrama Dhiman
        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

        Phone: 91-172-4630550
        Extension: 113
        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
        MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
        Skype: vickidhiman
      • Rashina Hoda
        Hi Vikram/Rahul, This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I m exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular the
        Message 3 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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          Hi Vikram/Rahul,
           
          This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
           
          I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
           
          Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
           
          regards,
          Rashina
          --
          PhD Student
          Victoria University of Wellington
          New Zealand
          rashina@...
           
          On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...> wrote:

          Vikram:

          I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

          In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

          It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

          As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



          Happy Agile'ing
          Rahul Puri

          On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
          Hi Rahul:

          The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

          You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

          Thanks
          Vikrama Dhiman
          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

          Phone: 91-172-4630550
          Extension: 113
          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
          MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
          Skype: vickidhiman

          Rahul Puri wrote:
          Vikram:

          According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

          Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

          Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

          Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

          In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

          Happy Agile'ing
          Rahul Puri

          On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
          An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
          at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
          system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
          they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
          join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
          The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
          in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
          rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
          company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
          will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
          serious human capital loss.

          I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
          slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
          issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
          something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
          years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
          "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
          just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
          all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
          Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
          experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
          people too?"
          I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
          I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
          [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
          process driven companies with titles and authority.

          I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
          are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
          other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
          team debate has an interesting angle.

          I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
          are welcome.

          --
          Vikrama Dhiman
          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

          Phone: 91-172-4630550
          Extension: 113
          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
          MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
          Skype: vickidhiman




        • Ajay Danait
          Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of Servant Leadership -- Robert Greenleaf. Being a senior does not mean slight authority or command. Seniority is earned
          Message 4 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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            Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
            Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
             
            Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
             
            Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
             
            I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


             
            On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@...> wrote:

            Hi Vikram/Rahul,
             
            This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
             
            I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
             
            Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
             
            regards,
            Rashina
             
            --
            PhD Student
            Victoria University of Wellington
            New Zealand
            rashina@...
             
            On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...> wrote:

            Vikram:

            I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

            In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

            It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

            As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



            Happy Agile'ing
            Rahul Puri

             
            On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
            Hi Rahul:

            The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

            You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

            Thanks
            Vikrama Dhiman
            Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

            Phone: 91-172-4630550
            Extension: 113
            Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
            MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
            Skype: vickidhiman

            Rahul Puri wrote:
            Vikram:

            According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

            Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

            Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

            Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

            In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

            Happy Agile'ing
            Rahul Puri

            On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
            An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
            at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
            system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
            they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
            join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
            The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
            in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
            rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
            company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
            will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
            serious human capital loss.

            I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
            slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
            issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
            something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
            years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
            "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
            just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
            all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
            Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
            experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
            people too?"
            I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
            I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
            [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
            process driven companies with titles and authority.

            I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
            are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
            other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
            team debate has an interesting angle.

            I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
            are welcome.

            --
            Vikrama Dhiman
            Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

            Phone: 91-172-4630550
            Extension: 113
            Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
            MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
            Skype: vickidhiman

             







          • Ravichandran J.V.
            Vikram, From what I can understand from this post, i m giving you some inputs. The selection of a company to join, i think, rests, if that company is well
            Message 5 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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              Vikram,
               
              From what I can understand from this post, i m giving you some inputs. The selection of a company to join, i think, rests, if that company is well versed with its HRM, on the person soliciting your employment. May be it is different for less experienced ppl; i m recounting my perspective.
               
              The recruiter, who calls you with a job offer is actually the first "real" window of the company and if the recruiter is able to portray the right kinda image (value system, employee orientation, discipline, organizational structure etc) of the company to the prospective employee then the prospective employee joins in the right frame of mind, well-tuned to the company's needs, no matter if it is Agile based or "fragile"-based, as Rahul says.
               
              I m losing the thread and have to catch up on something...shall get back on this thread when there is more clarity in my thoughts!
               
              Regards,
               
              Ravichandran Jv

              Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
              An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
              at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
              system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
              they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
              join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
              The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
              in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
              rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
              company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
              will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
              serious human capital loss.

              I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
              slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
              issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
              something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
              years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
              "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
              just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
              all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
              Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
              experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
              people too?"
              I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
              I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
              [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
              process driven companies with titles and authority.

              I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
              are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
              other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
              team debate has an interesting angle.

              I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
              are welcome.

              --
              Vikrama Dhiman
              Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

              Phone: 91-172-4630550
              Extension: 113
              Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
              MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
              Skype: vickidhiman




              Regards,
               
              Ravichandran J.V.
              Read on "Agile for Services" at


              Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

            • Vikram Dhiman
              Hi Ajay and Rahul: Thank you for your responses. I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership, management, team work and what an ideal
              Message 6 of 24 , May 6, 2008
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                Hi Ajay and Rahul:

                Thank you for your responses.

                I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership, management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical people thats a problem.
                What I am asking is within the "self organizing team" where do people who have significantly more experience and knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.

                Thanks
                Vikrama Dhiman
                Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                
                Phone: 91-172-4630550
                Extension: 113
                Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                Skype: vickidhiman


                Ajay Danait wrote:
                Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
                Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                 
                Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
                 
                Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.
                 
                I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


                 
                On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:

                Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                 
                This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                 
                I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                 
                Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                 
                regards,
                Rashina
                 
                --
                PhD Student
                Victoria University of Wellington
                New Zealand
                rashina@gmail. com
                 
                On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:

                Vikram:

                I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                Happy Agile'ing
                Rahul Puri

                 
                On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                Hi Rahul:

                The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                Thanks
                Vikrama Dhiman
                Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                Phone: 91-172-4630550
                Extension: 113
                Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                Skype: vickidhiman

                Rahul Puri wrote:
                Vikram:

                According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                Happy Agile'ing
                Rahul Puri

                On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                serious human capital loss.

                I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                people too?"
                I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                process driven companies with titles and authority.

                I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                team debate has an interesting angle.

                I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                are welcome.

                --
                Vikrama Dhiman
                Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                Phone: 91-172-4630550
                Extension: 113
                Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                Skype: vickidhiman

                 






              • Rahul Puri
                Rashina: In some ways, I believe a Scrum Master s role could be looked at as the PM s role. Really, a Project Manager s job is to manage a project, which also
                Message 7 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                  Rashina:

                  In some ways, I believe a Scrum Master's role could be looked at as
                  the PM's role. Really, a Project Manager's job is to manage a project,
                  which also implicitly implies laying down the process that needs to be
                  followed during the course/lifetime of the project. In some ways, you
                  could also say that a PO really has the vision of the product and it
                  is the Product owner who should lay down the path to realise the
                  product (as in lay down the rules for the Product to finally start
                  breathing). Now,
                  Scrum is smart. It has changed the way roles are looked at and
                  challenged the conventional wisdom. It has introduced some roles and
                  removed some roles. I think the role of the Project Manager has been
                  divided into the role of Scrum Master and Product Owner. Now, the
                  Scrum Master would really make sure process is happening in the right
                  manner. And, the product owner would be interested in the outcome of
                  the iterations. As in slowly and steadily, infusing life into the
                  product. Also, a Product
                  Owner is answer to higher management about the progress and other
                  factors (non-technical). So, in my personal opinion Project Manager's
                  role has been divided and into different roles and I think it has been
                  done for the better (I mean I agree with the advantages achieved out
                  of this setting).

                  Vikram:

                  In my honest opinion, I believe if someone is strong technically and
                  lacks the managerial intellectual quotient, then he should probably
                  remain as a developer. If you notice, in North America, there are
                  developers with 20 years of experience, because they can identify
                  themselves doing that for years. Now things are different in India, an
                  individual might not be all that comfortable being a developer for so
                  long. But, if he/she intends to be in touch with technology then I
                  believe they should become architects or evangelists or become
                  consultants etc. I mean there are so many avenues where they could
                  capitalise on their technical acumen. But yeah if you are asking how
                  they can grow within an Agile setting, they have no option but to
                  remain developers or team leads that have a say on also the architect
                  of the solution. Keep in mind, Jeff Sutherland wasn't thinking of the
                  Indian context, he is based in North America and his thinking is
                  influenced by what he notices there (ie, developers remaining
                  developers for even 20 years).

                  Happy Agile'ing
                  Rahul Puri

                  On 5/7/08, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                  > Hi Ajay and Rahul:
                  >
                  > Thank you for your responses.
                  >
                  > I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership,
                  > management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first
                  > thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming
                  > from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's
                  > and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical
                  > people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing
                  > team" where do people who have significantly more experience and
                  > knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and
                  > understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for
                  > managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and
                  > growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If
                  > anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a
                  > particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.
                  >
                  > Thanks
                  >
                  > Vikrama Dhiman
                  > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                  >
                  > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                  > Extension: 113
                  > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                  > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                  > Skype: vickidhiman
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Ajay Danait wrote:
                  > > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert
                  > > Greenleaf.
                  > > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                  > >
                  > > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4
                  > > "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I
                  > > would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM
                  > > (or coach).
                  > >
                  > > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority",
                  > > leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and
                  > > true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less
                  > > (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
                  > >
                  > > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
                  > > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of
                  > > being a "servant leader".
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > On 5/7/08, *Rashina Hoda* <rashina@...
                  > > <mailto:rashina@...>> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                  > >
                  > > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of
                  > > my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in
                  > > particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as
                  > > a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                  > >
                  > > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and
                  > > Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in
                  > > managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with
                  > > their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working
                  > > for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who
                  > > had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                  > >
                  > > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a
                  > > non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with
                  > > the way Agile was being followed at their organisation,
                  > > particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But
                  > > do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the
                  > > fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be
                  > > it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                  > >
                  > > regards,
                  > > Rashina
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > PhD Student
                  > > Victoria University of Wellington
                  > > New Zealand
                  > > rashina@... <mailto:rashina@...>
                  > >
                  > > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri
                  > > <rahulpuri1984@... <mailto:rahulpuri1984@...>> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Vikram:
                  > >
                  > > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't
                  > > enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a
                  > > WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT,
                  > > at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is
                  > > STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was
                  > > their concern they could read books and what not to gain
                  > > knowledge.
                  > >
                  > > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to
                  > > take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when
                  > > experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the
                  > > company that it won't be let down by individuals it has
                  > > invested in).
                  > >
                  > > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should
                  > > be played by a person who understands people and their
                  > > needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of
                  > > a "well designed" software system that solves a
                  > > "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief
                  > > stating a person reaches that maturity level only with
                  > > experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).
                  > >
                  > > As for your concern about the career transition, I think the
                  > > organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which
                  > > includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong
                  > > possibility of not having such a scenario.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Happy Agile'ing
                  > > Rahul Puri
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                  > > <vikram@...
                  > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                  > > Hi Rahul:
                  > >
                  > > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product
                  > > Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these
                  > > went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some
                  > > people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not
                  > > because of process, but because there are not enough
                  > > experienced people on board].
                  > >
                  > > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO
                  > > and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really
                  > > skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these
                  > > are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is
                  > > rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among
                  > > senior technical people in the "technical team". In older
                  > > hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech
                  > > architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we
                  > > show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not
                  > > end up loosing good and experienced people?
                  > >
                  > > Thanks
                  > > Vikrama Dhiman
                  > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                  > >
                  > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                  > > Extension: 113
                  > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                  > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                  > > Skype: vickidhiman
                  > >
                  > > Rahul Puri wrote:
                  > > Vikram:
                  > >
                  > > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well
                  > > enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at
                  > > Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing
                  > > a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In
                  > > theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for
                  > > Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be
                  > > different as his personality traits would come into play. But
                  > > "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business
                  > > oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a
                  > > Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application
                  > > doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ...
                  > > there could be exceptions based on personality traits).
                  > >
                  > > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he
                  > > has to be management person as that person really is making
                  > > sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking
                  > > care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I
                  > > quote "by default" because every organisation is not the
                  > > same). So, I think the person in question here should think
                  > > about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project
                  > > Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he
                  > > believes the process should be to roll out an application.
                  > >
                  > > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an
                  > > individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would
                  > > suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the
                  > > norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong
                  > > leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and
                  > > have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be
                  > > a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind
                  > > of an impact)).
                  > >
                  > > Respect and authority any individual can command through their
                  > > work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the
                  > > captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not
                  > > having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack
                  > > Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the
                  > > Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get
                  > > respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).
                  > >
                  > > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it
                  > > really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an
                  > > impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole
                  > > situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There
                  > > are way too many variables involved to just give "one right
                  > > answer" to this issue.
                  > >
                  > > Happy Agile'ing
                  > > Rahul Puri
                  > >
                  > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                  > > <vikram@...
                  > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                  > > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are
                  > > really good
                  > > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from
                  > > the value
                  > > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior
                  > > people whom
                  > > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people]
                  > > refused to
                  > > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/
                  > > authority".
                  > > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival
                  > > company and
                  > > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever]
                  > > has made
                  > > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people
                  > > from this
                  > > company have also joined the competing company citing what
                  > > they call "we
                  > > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there
                  > > has been a
                  > > serious human capital loss.
                  > >
                  > > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I
                  > > have
                  > > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't
                  > > have an
                  > > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                  > > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit
                  > > all my 06
                  > > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the
                  > > time its just
                  > > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the
                  > > team - I
                  > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to
                  > > add - "After
                  > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum
                  > > Master,
                  > > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02
                  > > years
                  > > experience? Why not have something similar for technically
                  > > experienced
                  > > people too?"
                  > > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with
                  > > an answer.
                  > > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                  > > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies
                  > > or more
                  > > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                  > >
                  > > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be
                  > > things which
                  > > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from
                  > > some
                  > > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people
                  > > vs the
                  > > team debate has an interesting angle.
                  > >
                  > > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and
                  > > thoughts
                  > > are welcome.
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > Vikrama Dhiman
                  > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                  > >
                  > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                  > > Extension: 113
                  > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                  > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                  > > Skype: vickidhiman
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Rashina Hoda
                  Hi Rahul, Thanks for your response. Yes, the PM role has been revamped into SM or PO in Scrum and Agile coach or trainer in XP. But as you pointed out, the way
                  Message 8 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                    Hi Rahul,

                    Thanks for your response. Yes, the PM role has been revamped into SM or PO in Scrum and Agile coach or trainer in XP. But as you pointed out, the way this is perceived varies across cultures. In India, roles and responsibilities are defined very differently and the traditional hierarchical system may be a little hard to shrug off...this case serves as a classic example.

                    I believe the role of the PM (whatever the title may be...SM, PO, or Coach) is very crucial and needs further exploration. In my experience so far, its the SM or Coach that often helps propagate the Agile wave within companies, if not initiate it. The success of agile adoption also partly rests on their shoulders.

                    I've been talking to practitioners, mostly managers, to learn from their experience of agile adoption and practice...and its obvious that the role and responsibility varies largely across organizations and even locations (and cultures). Its worth while understanding these people's (the 4 senior managers) perspectives on the issue if we want to be open to criticism, recognize and eliminate issues within agile project management.

                    regards,
                    Rashina




                    On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 7:26 PM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...> wrote:

                    Rashina:

                    In some ways, I believe a Scrum Master's role could be looked at as
                    the PM's role. Really, a Project Manager's job is to manage a project,
                    which also implicitly implies laying down the process that needs to be
                    followed during the course/lifetime of the project. In some ways, you
                    could also say that a PO really has the vision of the product and it
                    is the Product owner who should lay down the path to realise the
                    product (as in lay down the rules for the Product to finally start
                    breathing). Now,
                    Scrum is smart. It has changed the way roles are looked at and
                    challenged the conventional wisdom. It has introduced some roles and
                    removed some roles. I think the role of the Project Manager has been
                    divided into the role of Scrum Master and Product Owner. Now, the
                    Scrum Master would really make sure process is happening in the right
                    manner. And, the product owner would be interested in the outcome of
                    the iterations. As in slowly and steadily, infusing life into the
                    product. Also, a Product
                    Owner is answer to higher management about the progress and other
                    factors (non-technical). So, in my personal opinion Project Manager's
                    role has been divided and into different roles and I think it has been
                    done for the better (I mean I agree with the advantages achieved out
                    of this setting).

                    Vikram:

                    In my honest opinion, I believe if someone is strong technically and
                    lacks the managerial intellectual quotient, then he should probably
                    remain as a developer. If you notice, in North America, there are
                    developers with 20 years of experience, because they can identify
                    themselves doing that for years. Now things are different in India, an
                    individual might not be all that comfortable being a developer for so
                    long. But, if he/she intends to be in touch with technology then I
                    believe they should become architects or evangelists or become
                    consultants etc. I mean there are so many avenues where they could
                    capitalise on their technical acumen. But yeah if you are asking how
                    they can grow within an Agile setting, they have no option but to
                    remain developers or team leads that have a say on also the architect
                    of the solution. Keep in mind, Jeff Sutherland wasn't thinking of the
                    Indian context, he is based in North America and his thinking is
                    influenced by what he notices there (ie, developers remaining
                    developers for even 20 years).



                    Happy Agile'ing
                    Rahul Puri

                    On 5/7/08, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                    > Hi Ajay and Rahul:
                    >
                    > Thank you for your responses.
                    >
                    > I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership,
                    > management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first
                    > thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming
                    > from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's
                    > and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical
                    > people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing
                    > team" where do people who have significantly more experience and
                    > knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and
                    > understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for
                    > managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and
                    > growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If
                    > anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a
                    > particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.
                    >
                    > Thanks
                    >
                    > Vikrama Dhiman
                    > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                    >
                    > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                    > Extension: 113
                    > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                    > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                    > Skype: vickidhiman
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Ajay Danait wrote:
                    > > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert
                    > > Greenleaf.
                    > > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                    > >
                    > > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4
                    > > "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I
                    > > would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM
                    > > (or coach).
                    > >
                    > > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority",
                    > > leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and
                    > > true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less
                    > > (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
                    > >
                    > > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
                    > > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of
                    > > being a "servant leader".
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On 5/7/08, *Rashina Hoda* <rashina@...
                    > > <mailto:rashina@...>> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                    > >
                    > > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of
                    > > my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in
                    > > particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as
                    > > a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                    > >
                    > > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and
                    > > Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in
                    > > managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with
                    > > their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working
                    > > for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who
                    > > had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                    > >
                    > > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a
                    > > non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with
                    > > the way Agile was being followed at their organisation,
                    > > particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But
                    > > do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the
                    > > fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be
                    > > it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                    > >
                    > > regards,
                    > > Rashina
                    > >
                    > > --
                    > > PhD Student
                    > > Victoria University of Wellington
                    > > New Zealand
                    > > rashina@... <mailto:rashina@...>

                    > >
                    > > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri
                    > > <rahulpuri1984@... <mailto:rahulpuri1984@...>> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Vikram:
                    > >
                    > > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't
                    > > enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a
                    > > WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT,
                    > > at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is
                    > > STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was
                    > > their concern they could read books and what not to gain
                    > > knowledge.
                    > >
                    > > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to
                    > > take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when
                    > > experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the
                    > > company that it won't be let down by individuals it has
                    > > invested in).
                    > >
                    > > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should
                    > > be played by a person who understands people and their
                    > > needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of
                    > > a "well designed" software system that solves a
                    > > "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief
                    > > stating a person reaches that maturity level only with
                    > > experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).
                    > >
                    > > As for your concern about the career transition, I think the
                    > > organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which
                    > > includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong
                    > > possibility of not having such a scenario.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Happy Agile'ing
                    > > Rahul Puri
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                    > > <vikram@...
                    > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                    > > Hi Rahul:
                    > >
                    > > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product
                    > > Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these
                    > > went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some
                    > > people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not
                    > > because of process, but because there are not enough
                    > > experienced people on board].
                    > >
                    > > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO
                    > > and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really
                    > > skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these
                    > > are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is
                    > > rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among
                    > > senior technical people in the "technical team". In older
                    > > hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech
                    > > architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we
                    > > show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not
                    > > end up loosing good and experienced people?
                    > >
                    > > Thanks
                    > > Vikrama Dhiman
                    > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                    > >
                    > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                    > > Extension: 113
                    > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                    > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>

                    > > Skype: vickidhiman
                    > >
                    > > Rahul Puri wrote:
                    > > Vikram:
                    > >
                    > > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well
                    > > enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at
                    > > Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing
                    > > a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In
                    > > theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for
                    > > Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be
                    > > different as his personality traits would come into play. But
                    > > "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business
                    > > oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a
                    > > Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application
                    > > doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ...
                    > > there could be exceptions based on personality traits).
                    > >
                    > > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he
                    > > has to be management person as that person really is making
                    > > sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking
                    > > care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I
                    > > quote "by default" because every organisation is not the
                    > > same). So, I think the person in question here should think
                    > > about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project
                    > > Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he
                    > > believes the process should be to roll out an application.
                    > >
                    > > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an
                    > > individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would
                    > > suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the
                    > > norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong
                    > > leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and
                    > > have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be
                    > > a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind
                    > > of an impact)).
                    > >
                    > > Respect and authority any individual can command through their
                    > > work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the
                    > > captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not
                    > > having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack
                    > > Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the
                    > > Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get
                    > > respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).
                    > >
                    > > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it
                    > > really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an
                    > > impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole
                    > > situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There
                    > > are way too many variables involved to just give "one right
                    > > answer" to this issue.
                    > >
                    > > Happy Agile'ing
                    > > Rahul Puri
                    > >
                    > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                    > > <vikram@...
                    > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                    > > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are
                    > > really good
                    > > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from
                    > > the value
                    > > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior
                    > > people whom
                    > > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people]
                    > > refused to
                    > > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/
                    > > authority".
                    > > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival
                    > > company and
                    > > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever]
                    > > has made
                    > > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people
                    > > from this
                    > > company have also joined the competing company citing what
                    > > they call "we
                    > > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there
                    > > has been a
                    > > serious human capital loss.
                    > >
                    > > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I
                    > > have
                    > > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't
                    > > have an
                    > > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                    > > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit
                    > > all my 06
                    > > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the
                    > > time its just
                    > > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the
                    > > team - I
                    > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to
                    > > add - "After
                    > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum
                    > > Master,
                    > > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02
                    > > years
                    > > experience? Why not have something similar for technically
                    > > experienced
                    > > people too?"
                    > > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with
                    > > an answer.
                    > > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                    > > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies
                    > > or more
                    > > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                    > >
                    > > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be
                    > > things which
                    > > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from
                    > > some
                    > > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people
                    > > vs the
                    > > team debate has an interesting angle.
                    > >
                    > > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and
                    > > thoughts
                    > > are welcome.
                    > >
                    > > --
                    > > Vikrama Dhiman
                    > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                    > >
                    > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                    > > Extension: 113
                    > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                    > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                    > > Skype: vickidhiman
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >



                    --
                    PhD Student
                    Victoria University of Wellington
                    New Zealand
                  • Guido Schoonheim
                    Hi Vikram, Very interesting topic indeed. I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors / architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a
                    Message 9 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                      Hi Vikram,

                       

                      Very interesting topic indeed.

                       

                      I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors / architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal image.

                       

                      When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!

                       

                      Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.

                       

                      At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the people involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they could not take this hurdle.

                       

                      The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru developers feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the Agile company objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be taken away if you help them rebuild their position in an Agile environment!

                       

                      Things that can help:

                      -          Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms and values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that they can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on definition of done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most importantly agree how to make decisions on different topics as a team. Teams will almost never choose the democratic way by voting btw.

                      -          Make one senior developer responsible for the project quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the required Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is required to take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he is required to escalate to management. If issues remain in the software that are not signaled then he is firstly responsible (and secondly the whole team of course)

                      -          Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to lead the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through this project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then make him Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).

                       

                      I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about how he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there, at the root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for technical quality of teams. Single wringable necks.

                       

                      If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am in favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.

                       

                      I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable seniors a fitting place in your organizations.

                       

                      From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised the team principle as ‘everyone is the same’. This is something that seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The right phrasing is that formally ‘everyone is equal’ and that the team has to find its own dynamic.

                       

                      We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most effective. No rules means enormous space!

                       

                      Sorry for the long reply, as I said it’s a very interesting topic ;-)

                       

                      Cheers,

                      Guido

                       

                       

                      Kind regards,

                       

                      Guido Schoonheim

                      Chief Technology Officer

                       

                      Xebia Blog !   http://blog.xebia.com/   

                      Xebia Podcast!   http://podcast.xebia.com/

                       

                       

                      Van: agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com] Namens Vikram Dhiman
                      Verzonden: Wednesday
                      , May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
                      Aan: agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                      Onderwerp: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                       

                      Hi Ajay and Rahul:

                      Thank you for your responses.

                      I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership, management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing team" where do people who have significantly more experience and knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.

                      Thanks

                      Vikrama Dhiman
                      Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                        
                      Phone: 91-172-4630550
                      Extension: 113
                      Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                      MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                      Skype: vickidhiman



                      Ajay Danait wrote:

                      Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.

                      Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.

                       

                      Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).

                       

                      Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.

                       

                      I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".



                       

                      On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@...> wrote:

                      Hi Vikram/Rahul,

                       

                      This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.

                       

                      I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.

                       

                      Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?

                       

                      regards,

                      Rashina
                       

                      --

                      PhD Student
                      Victoria University of Wellington
                      New Zealand
                      rashina@...

                       

                      On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...> wrote:

                      Vikram:

                      I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                      In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                      It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                      As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                      Happy Agile'ing
                      Rahul Puri

                       

                      On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                      Hi Rahul:

                      The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                      You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                      Thanks
                      Vikrama Dhiman
                      Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                      Phone: 91-172-4630550
                      Extension: 113
                      Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                      MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                      Skype: vickidhiman

                      Rahul Puri wrote:
                      Vikram:

                      According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                      Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                      Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                      Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                      In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                      Happy Agile'ing
                      Rahul Puri

                      On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                      An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                      at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                      system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                      they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                      join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                      The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                      in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                      rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                      company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                      will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                      serious human capital loss.

                      I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                      slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                      issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                      something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                      years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                      "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                      just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                      all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                      Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                      experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                      people too?"
                      I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                      I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                      [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                      process driven companies with titles and authority.

                      I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                      are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                      other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                      team debate has an interesting angle.

                      I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                      are welcome.

                      --
                      Vikrama Dhiman
                      Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                      Phone: 91-172-4630550
                      Extension: 113
                      Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                      MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                      Skype: vickidhiman

                       







                    • Vikram Dhiman
                      Thanks Guido. Indeed a very interesting topic and very well thought out answer. I guess your experience in consulting helps understand and articulate the
                      Message 10 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                        Thanks Guido.

                        Indeed a very interesting topic and very well thought out answer. I guess your experience in consulting helps understand and articulate the nuances.

                        Yes, indeed - there is a All are Equal situation. I understand "informal" and "earned" authority are key principles here and like everything else in Agile - coercion and authority are ruled out.

                        As I said, really well answered. I have some ideas already [see below] and I will bounce them off to the company and let you know what comes out of it:
                        • Making people with more than XX years of experience a part of "core group" that within the team has accountability for architecture and mentoring other team members especially freshers [they can be however voted out of it by the team at each retrospective/ secret ballot]
                        • Trainings organized as per their choice of specialization [this is just a reiteration of what they are doing anyways for everyone]
                        • Some other benefits from what they can choose as per their need which are only given to people in the core group/ seniority
                          • I think this should be ok as long as these are benefits that typically only someone above a certain age would enjoy. They can trade it off with something else though.
                        • Even work on the titles [they currently only have Associate title - maybe expand it to Senior Associate, Lead Associate]
                        What I would like to know if if any of these are "highly" anti-Agile and how best can I work on this. If anyone has any idea on any other measures/ practices - please do share.

                        Thanks
                        Vikrama Dhiman
                        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                        
                        Phone: 91-172-4630550
                        Extension: 113
                        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                        MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                        Skype: vickidhiman


                        Guido Schoonheim wrote:

                        Hi Vikram,

                         

                        Very interesting topic indeed.

                         

                        I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors / architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal image.

                         

                        When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!

                         

                        Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.

                         

                        At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the people involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they could not take this hurdle.

                         

                        The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru developers feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the Agile company objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be taken away if you help them rebuild their position in an Agile environment!

                         

                        Things that can help:

                        -          Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms and values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that they can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on definition of done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most importantly agree how to make decisions on different topics as a team. Teams will almost never choose the democratic way by voting btw.

                        -          Make one senior developer responsible for the project quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the required Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is required to take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he is required to escalate to management. If issues remain in the software that are not signaled then he is firstly responsible (and secondly the whole team of course)

                        -          Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to lead the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through this project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then make him Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).

                         

                        I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about how he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there, at the root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for technical quality of teams. Single wringable necks.

                         

                        If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am in favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.

                         

                        I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable seniors a fitting place in your organizations.

                         

                        From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised the team principle as ‘everyone is the same’. This is something that seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The right phrasing is that formally ‘everyone is equal’ and that the team has to find its own dynamic.

                         

                        We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most effective. No rules means enormous space!

                         

                        Sorry for the long reply, as I said it’s a very interesting topic ;-)

                         

                        Cheers,

                        Guido

                         

                         

                        Kind regards,

                         

                        Guido Schoonheim

                        Chief Technology Officer

                         

                        Xebia Blog !   http://blog. xebia.com/   

                        Xebia Podcast!   http://podcast. xebia.com/

                         

                         

                        Van: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:agileindia@ yahoogroups. com] Namens Vikram Dhiman
                        Verzonden: Wednesday
                        , May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
                        Aan: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com
                        Onderwerp: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                         

                        Hi Ajay and Rahul:

                        Thank you for your responses.

                        I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership, management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing team" where do people who have significantly more experience and knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.

                        Thanks

                        Vikrama Dhiman
                        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                          
                        Phone: 91-172-4630550
                        Extension: 113
                        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                        MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                        Skype: vickidhiman



                        Ajay Danait wrote:

                        Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.

                        Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.

                         

                        Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).

                         

                        Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.

                         

                        I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".



                         

                        On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:

                        Hi Vikram/Rahul,

                         

                        This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.

                         

                        I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.

                         

                        Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?

                         

                        regards,

                        Rashina
                         

                        --

                        PhD Student
                        Victoria University of Wellington
                        New Zealand
                        rashina@gmail. com

                         

                        On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:

                        Vikram:

                        I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                        In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                        It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                        As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                        Happy Agile'ing
                        Rahul Puri

                         

                        On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                        Hi Rahul:

                        The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                        You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                        Thanks
                        Vikrama Dhiman
                        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                        Phone: 91-172-4630550
                        Extension: 113
                        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                        MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                        Skype: vickidhiman

                        Rahul Puri wrote:
                        Vikram:

                        According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                        Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                        Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                        Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                        In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                        Happy Agile'ing
                        Rahul Puri

                        On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                        An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                        at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                        system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                        they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                        join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                        The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                        in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                        rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                        company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                        will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                        serious human capital loss.

                        I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                        slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                        issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                        something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                        years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                        "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                        just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                        all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                        Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                        experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                        people too?"
                        I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                        I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                        [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                        process driven companies with titles and authority.

                        I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                        are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                        other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                        team debate has an interesting angle.

                        I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                        are welcome.

                        --
                        Vikrama Dhiman
                        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                        Phone: 91-172-4630550
                        Extension: 113
                        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                        MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                        Skype: vickidhiman

                         







                      • Ravichandran J.V.
                        Hi, just wanted to put in a few of my thoughts... Leadership is all influential (just one definition of leadership, i m sure) whereas, managers have to be
                        Message 11 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi,
                           
                          just wanted to put in a few of my thoughts...
                           
                          Leadership is all influential (just one definition of leadership, i m sure) whereas, managers have to be bookish and need to follow and abide by policies.
                           
                          Leadership is just one quality of a manager and i guess, this is where an Agile manager gets into trouble because the Agile manager needs to be so many things together (at times, abiding by the instructions that "he cannot impose his will" (here is the manager doing what he is being told); at times, having to lead the team (the leader) and at times, being a situational manager )  and before long, due to such enormous pressure on his or her personal skills and ability to adapt and the pressure of "time to market" (so to speak), you find such managers leaving in a huff or adopting (falling back would be the better word) the old measures as in a waterfall or other non-agile model.
                           
                          Observation contributes a lot to learning and if these managers had been attending the hordes of seminars, conferences and webinars, which are necessary ingredients for any personnel's development (training is one of the most important components of personal development) that have been happening around them, they must have observed how other managers are orienting themselves and changing and what are the views, globally, as expressed by experts like Guido on management and ideally, should have oriented, (if not changed their attitude) themselves, accordingly.
                           
                          I believe that one has to be personally agile to be able to adapt in an Agile environment and survive. Because, Agile is all about agility and adaptability, the more agile a person, the faster his or her reaction time to change and conseqently, better the velocity for the project.
                           
                           
                          Regards,
                           
                          Ravichandran Jv

                          Guido Schoonheim <gschoonheim@...> wrote:
                          Hi Vikram,
                          Very interesting topic indeed.
                          I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors / architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal image.
                          When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!
                          Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.
                          At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the people involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they could not take this hurdle.
                          The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru developers feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the Agile company objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be taken away if you help them rebuild their position in an Agile environment!
                          Things that can help:
                          -          Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms and values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that they can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on definition of done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most importantly agree how to make decisions on different topics as a team. Teams will almost never choose the democratic way by voting btw.
                          -          Make one senior developer responsible for the project quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the required Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is required to take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he is required to escalate to management. If issues remain in the software that are not signaled then he is firstly responsible (and secondly the whole team of course)
                          -          Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to lead the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through this project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then make him Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).
                          I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about how he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there, at the root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for technical quality of teams. Single wringable necks.
                          If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am in favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.
                          I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable seniors a fitting place in your organizations.
                          From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised the team principle as ‘everyone is the same’. This is something that seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The right phrasing is that formally ‘everyone is equal’ and that the team has to find its own dynamic.
                          We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most effective. No rules means enormous space!
                          Sorry for the long reply, as I said it’s a very interesting topic ;-)
                          Cheers,
                          Guido
                          Kind regards,
                          Guido Schoonheim
                          Chief Technology Officer
                          Xebia Blog !   http://blog. xebia.com/   
                          Xebia Podcast!   http://podcast. xebia.com/
                          Van: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:agileindia@ yahoogroups. com] Namens Vikram Dhiman
                          Verzonden: Wednesday
                          , May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
                          Aan: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com
                          Onderwerp: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...
                          Hi Ajay and Rahul:

                          Thank you for your responses.

                          I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership, management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing team" where do people who have significantly more experience and knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.

                          Thanks
                          Vikrama Dhiman
                          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                            
                          Phone: 91-172-4630550
                          Extension: 113
                          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                          MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                          Skype: vickidhiman


                          Ajay Danait wrote:
                          Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
                          Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                          Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
                          Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.
                          I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


                           
                          On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:
                          Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                          This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                          I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                          Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                          regards,
                          Rashina
                           
                          --
                          PhD Student
                          Victoria University of Wellington
                          New Zealand
                          rashina@gmail. com
                          On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:
                          Vikram:

                          I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                          In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                          It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                          As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.


                          Happy Agile'ing
                          Rahul Puri

                           
                          On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                          Hi Rahul:

                          The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                          You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                          Thanks
                          Vikrama Dhiman
                          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                          Phone: 91-172-4630550
                          Extension: 113
                          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                          MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                          Skype: vickidhiman

                          Rahul Puri wrote:
                          Vikram:

                          According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                          Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                          Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                          Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                          In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                          Happy Agile'ing
                          Rahul Puri

                          On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                          An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                          at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                          system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                          they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                          join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                          The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                          in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                          rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                          company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                          will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                          serious human capital loss.

                          I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                          slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                          issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                          something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                          years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                          "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                          just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                          all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                          Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                          experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                          people too?"
                          I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                          I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                          [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                          process driven companies with titles and authority.

                          I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                          are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                          other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                          team debate has an interesting angle.

                          I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                          are welcome.

                          --
                          Vikrama Dhiman
                          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                          Phone: 91-172-4630550
                          Extension: 113
                          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                          MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                          Skype: vickidhiman

                           









                          Regards,
                           
                          Ravichandran J.V.
                          Read on "Agile for Services" at


                          Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                        • Rahul Puri
                          Guido: Quite an insightful response. Thanks Rahul Puri
                          Message 12 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                            Guido:

                            Quite an insightful response.

                            Thanks
                            Rahul Puri

                            On 5/7/08, Guido Schoonheim <gschoonheim@...> wrote:
                            > Hi Vikram,
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Very interesting topic indeed.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors /
                            > architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very
                            > senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at
                            > the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical
                            > projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that
                            > they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal
                            > image.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have
                            > such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely
                            > they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and
                            > assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the
                            > surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to
                            > create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with
                            > the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical
                            > projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the people
                            > involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they could not
                            > take this hurdle.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru developers
                            > feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the Agile company
                            > objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be taken away if you
                            > help them rebuild their position in an Agile environment!
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Things that can help:
                            >
                            > - Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms and
                            > values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that they
                            > can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on definition of
                            > done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most importantly agree
                            > how to make decisions on different topics as a team. Teams will almost
                            > never choose the democratic way by voting btw.
                            >
                            > - Make one senior developer responsible for the project
                            > quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him
                            > accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to
                            > signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the required
                            > Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is required to
                            > take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he is required
                            > to escalate to management. If issues remain in the software that are not
                            > signaled then he is firstly responsible (and secondly the whole team of
                            > course)
                            >
                            > - Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him
                            > find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to lead
                            > the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through this
                            > project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then make him
                            > Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about how
                            > he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there, at the
                            > root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for technical
                            > quality of teams. Single wringable necks.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert
                            > themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes
                            > naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still
                            > always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am in
                            > favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable
                            > seniors a fitting place in your organizations.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised
                            > the team principle as 'everyone is the same'. This is something that
                            > seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The right
                            > phrasing is that formally 'everyone is equal' and that the team has to
                            > find its own dynamic.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most
                            > effective. No rules means enormous space!
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Sorry for the long reply, as I said it's a very interesting topic ;-)
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Cheers,
                            >
                            > Guido
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Kind regards,
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Guido Schoonheim
                            >
                            > Chief Technology Officer
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Xebia Blog ! http://blog.xebia.com/ <http://blog.xebia.com/>
                            >
                            > Xebia Podcast! http://podcast.xebia.com/ <http://podcast.xebia.com/>
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Van: agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com]
                            > Namens Vikram Dhiman
                            > Verzonden: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
                            > Aan: agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                            > Onderwerp: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Hi Ajay and Rahul:
                            >
                            > Thank you for your responses.
                            >
                            > I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership,
                            > management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first
                            > thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming
                            > from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's
                            > and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical
                            > people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing
                            > team" where do people who have significantly more experience and
                            > knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and
                            > understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for
                            > managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and
                            > growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If
                            > anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a
                            > particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.
                            >
                            > Thanks
                            >
                            > Vikrama Dhiman
                            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                            >
                            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                            > Extension: 113
                            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                            > Skype: vickidhiman
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Ajay Danait wrote:
                            >
                            > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert
                            > Greenleaf.
                            >
                            > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4
                            > "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I
                            > would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM
                            > (or coach).
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority",
                            > leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and
                            > true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less
                            > (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
                            > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of being
                            > a "servant leader".
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my
                            > research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the
                            > role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd
                            > research, here in New Zealand.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai
                            > and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial
                            > positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in
                            > general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be
                            > interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in
                            > an agile setting.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile
                            > framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile
                            > was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how
                            > they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue
                            > in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the
                            > role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > regards,
                            >
                            > Rashina
                            >
                            >
                            > --
                            >
                            > PhD Student
                            > Victoria University of Wellington
                            > New Zealand
                            > rashina@...
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...>
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            > Vikram:
                            >
                            > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough
                            > senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow
                            > as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't
                            > believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced
                            > people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not
                            > to gain knowledge.
                            >
                            > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take
                            > initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people
                            > aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down
                            > by individuals it has invested in).
                            >
                            > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played
                            > by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum
                            > is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that
                            > solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating
                            > a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true,
                            > but there could be exceptions).
                            >
                            > As for your concern about the career transition, I think the
                            > organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the
                            > HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a
                            > scenario.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Happy Agile'ing
                            > Rahul Puri
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                            > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com> >
                            > wrote:
                            > Hi Rahul:
                            >
                            > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also,
                            > there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company.
                            > Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company
                            > to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not
                            > enough experienced people on board].
                            >
                            > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM
                            > are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are
                            > generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles
                            > rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for
                            > the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In
                            > older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech
                            > architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this
                            > to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good
                            > and experienced people?
                            >
                            > Thanks
                            > Vikrama Dhiman
                            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                            >
                            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                            > Extension: 113
                            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                            > Skype: vickidhiman
                            >
                            > Rahul Puri wrote:
                            > Vikram:
                            >
                            > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I
                            > believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it
                            > hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his
                            > expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good
                            > fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be
                            > different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by
                            > default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented
                            > person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who
                            > can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using
                            > it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on
                            > personality traits).
                            >
                            > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be
                            > management person as that person really is making sure if the process is
                            > done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management
                            > thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is
                            > not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think
                            > about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project
                            > Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes
                            > the process should be to roll out an application.
                            >
                            > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual.
                            > If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into
                            > a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he
                            > can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that
                            > company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a
                            > be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an
                            > impact)).
                            >
                            > Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I
                            > find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship
                            > and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the
                            > crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in
                            > Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to
                            > get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).
                            >
                            > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils
                            > down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have,
                            > it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or
                            > (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to
                            > just give "one right answer" to this issue.
                            >
                            > Happy Agile'ing
                            > Rahul Puri
                            >
                            > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                            > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com> >
                            > wrote:
                            > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                            >
                            > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                            >
                            > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                            > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                            > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                            > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                            > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                            > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                            > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                            >
                            > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                            >
                            > serious human capital loss.
                            >
                            > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                            > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                            > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                            > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                            >
                            > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                            >
                            > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                            > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                            >
                            > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                            > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                            > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                            > people too?"
                            > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                            > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                            > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                            > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                            >
                            > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                            > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                            > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                            > team debate has an interesting angle.
                            >
                            > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                            > are welcome.
                            >
                            > --
                            > Vikrama Dhiman
                            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                            >
                            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                            > Extension: 113
                            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                            > Skype: vickidhiman
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Pankaj Chawla
                            Hi Ajay, Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only based on the logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many CEOs
                            Message 13 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                              Hi Ajay,
                               
                              Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only based on the
                              logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many CEOs have
                              you seen who have the guts to take a cut on their bonuses and instead allow
                              a pay hike for the people way down there in the hierarchy (I havent seen any,
                              infact going by the recent turmoils in US for past 8 years, it has brought
                              forward leaders who will fight with the board of directors because their wife's
                              travel expense was not approved or their compensation was 10% lower than
                              their peers in similar fields). You can trickle down the hierarchical chain
                              and will find similar behaviour at all levels. Authority and power by nature
                              is the differentiator of who perish and who survive (look at NatGeo
                              and every single program from the animal kingdom has one message,
                              if you arent at the top of the power hierarchy you dont get the female,
                              chances are you will die much early fighting the supremacy battle).
                               
                              The other part of the problem is that leaders cannot be created but
                              managers are and most of the people who think they are leaders are
                              actually managers. Leadership is a very human quality and not everyone
                              can have it. Having said that the core premise on which management
                              is based on is "managing something" and that itself means authority
                              and power and hence the need for every manager to have it as part of
                              their job description.
                               
                              Finally coming to this specific situation, the problem I see is that all four
                              were actually techincal guys and not managers. The problem with Agile
                              is that it puts all the technical guys in the same bucket, where as the
                              managers (SM, PO, coach etc etc) still are all distinct and have a specific
                              job description. The way techincal guys create a differentiatial in non-Agile
                              setups is as one grows in experience one gets more into understanding
                              customer situations, problem analysis, formulating solutions,architecting
                              and designing. The problem in Agile is that all this is not specific to a
                              person but a team ownership and whatever be your experience you will all
                              be doing it together and generally in equal distribution which can be very
                              threatening to a senior guy as he is getting paid 4 times the money to do
                              almost the same type of work and eventually the management can wake up
                              to this fact and say - "hey why dont we get rid of some of the expensive 'senior'
                              guys as they are doing the same work that a guy with 1/4 the salary is doing".
                              The fact is that businesses work on the notion of increasing value differentiation
                              as one grows in experience but some how Agile dilutes it all but putting all
                              people in the same bucket. I would say that since Agile is only about 6-8 years
                              old (has really become mainstream in last 3-4 years) we havent had these situations
                              too often till now but as technical guys grow in experience within the Agile teams
                              this situation is going to come all too often.
                               
                              Cheers
                              Pankaj    


                              From: agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ajay Danait
                              Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:16 AM
                              To: agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                              Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
                              Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                               
                              Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
                               
                              Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.
                               
                              I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


                               
                              On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:

                              Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                               
                              This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                               
                              I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                               
                              Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                               
                              regards,
                              Rashina
                               
                              --
                              PhD Student
                              Victoria University of Wellington
                              New Zealand
                              rashina@gmail. com
                               
                              On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:

                              Vikram:

                              I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                              In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                              It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                              As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                              Happy Agile'ing
                              Rahul Puri

                               
                              On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                              Hi Rahul:

                              The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                              You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                              Thanks
                              Vikrama Dhiman
                              Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                              Phone: 91-172-4630550
                              Extension: 113
                              Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                              MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                              Skype: vickidhiman

                              Rahul Puri wrote:
                              Vikram:

                              According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                              Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                              Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                              Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                              In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                              Happy Agile'ing
                              Rahul Puri

                              On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                              An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                              at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                              system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                              they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                              join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                              The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                              in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                              rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                              company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                              will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                              serious human capital loss.

                              I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                              slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                              issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                              something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                              years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                              "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                              just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                              all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                              Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                              experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                              people too?"
                              I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                              I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                              [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                              process driven companies with titles and authority.

                              I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                              are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                              other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                              team debate has an interesting angle.

                              I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                              are welcome.

                              --
                              Vikrama Dhiman
                              Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                              Phone: 91-172-4630550
                              Extension: 113
                              Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                              MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                              Skype: vickidhiman

                               







                            • Rahul Puri
                              Vikram: I agree with you on the first 3 points, but not the 4th. Having titles I don t think would help. The whole point of Servant leadership is not being
                              Message 14 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                Vikram:

                                I agree with you on the first 3 points, but not the 4th. Having titles
                                I don't think would help. The whole point of Servant leadership is not
                                being authortative, instead let your work do the talking. By having
                                titles I think more or less, you wouldn't be practicing Agile in the
                                truest sense. Assign roles to play, not titles.

                                Just my 0.2 cents.

                                Happy Agile'ing
                                Rahul Puri

                                On 5/7/08, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                > Thanks Guido.
                                >
                                > Indeed a very interesting topic and very well thought out answer. I
                                > guess your experience in consulting helps understand and articulate the
                                > nuances.
                                >
                                > Yes, indeed - there is a All are Equal situation. I understand
                                > "informal" and "earned" authority are key principles here and like
                                > everything else in Agile - coercion and authority are ruled out.
                                >
                                > As I said, really well answered. I have some ideas already [see below]
                                > and I will bounce them off to the company and let you know what comes
                                > out of it:
                                >
                                > * Making people with more than XX years of experience a part of
                                > "core group" that within the team has accountability for
                                > architecture and mentoring other team members especially freshers
                                > [they can be however voted out of it by the team at each
                                > retrospective/ secret ballot]
                                > * Trainings organized as per their choice of specialization [this is
                                > just a reiteration of what they are doing anyways for everyone]
                                > * Some other benefits from what they can choose as per their need
                                > which are only given to people in the core group/ seniority
                                > o I think this should be ok as long as these are benefits that
                                > typically only someone above a certain age would enjoy. They
                                > can trade it off with something else though.
                                > * Even work on the titles [they currently only have Associate title
                                > - maybe expand it to Senior Associate, Lead Associate]
                                >
                                > What I would like to know if if any of these are "highly" anti-Agile and
                                > how best can I work on this. If anyone has any idea on any other
                                > measures/ practices - please do share.
                                >
                                > Thanks
                                >
                                > Vikrama Dhiman
                                > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                >
                                > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                > Extension: 113
                                > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                > Skype: vickidhiman
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Guido Schoonheim wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Hi Vikram,
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Very interesting topic indeed.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors /
                                > > architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very
                                > > senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at
                                > > the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical
                                > > projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that
                                > > they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal image.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have
                                > > such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely
                                > > they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and
                                > > assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the
                                > > surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to
                                > > create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with
                                > > the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical
                                > > projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the
                                > > people involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they
                                > > could not take this hurdle.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru
                                > > developers feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the
                                > > Agile company objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be
                                > > taken away if you help them rebuild their position in an Agile
                                > > environment!
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Things that can help:
                                > >
                                > > - Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms
                                > > and values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that
                                > > they can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on
                                > > definition of done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most
                                > > importantly agree how to make decisions on different topics as a team.
                                > > Teams will almost never choose the democratic way by voting btw.
                                > >
                                > > - Make one senior developer responsible for the project
                                > > quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him
                                > > accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to
                                > > signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the
                                > > required Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is
                                > > required to take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he
                                > > is required to escalate to management. If issues remain in the
                                > > software that are not signaled then he is firstly responsible (and
                                > > secondly the whole team of course)
                                > >
                                > > - Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him
                                > > find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to
                                > > lead the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through
                                > > this project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then
                                > > make him Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about
                                > > how he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there,
                                > > at the root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for
                                > > technical quality of teams. Single wringable necks.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert
                                > > themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes
                                > > naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still
                                > > always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am
                                > > in favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable
                                > > seniors a fitting place in your organizations.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised
                                > > the team principle as 'everyone is the same'. This is something that
                                > > seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The
                                > > right phrasing is that formally 'everyone is equal' and that the team
                                > > has to find its own dynamic.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most
                                > > effective. No rules means enormous space!
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Sorry for the long reply, as I said it's a very interesting topic ;-)
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Cheers,
                                > >
                                > > Guido
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Kind regards,
                                > >
                                > > * *
                                > >
                                > > *Guido Schoonheim***
                                > >
                                > > Chief Technology Officer
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > *Xebia Blog !* http://blog.xebia.com/ <http://blog.xebia.com/>
                                > >
                                > > *Xebia Podcast!* http://podcast.xebia.com/ <http://podcast.xebia.com/>
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > *Van:* agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com]
                                > > *Namens *Vikram Dhiman
                                > > *Verzonden:* Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
                                > > *Aan:* agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                                > > *Onderwerp:* Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Hi Ajay and Rahul:
                                > >
                                > > Thank you for your responses.
                                > >
                                > > I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership,
                                > > management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first
                                > > thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are
                                > > coming from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem
                                > > hiring PO's and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior
                                > > technical people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self
                                > > organizing team" where do people who have significantly more
                                > > experience and knowledge fit in. I think they are important components
                                > > of the team, and understanding their concerns and aspirations is an
                                > > important subject for managers. Simply telling these people there
                                > > whole idea of seniority and growth is freaky does nothing to solve the
                                > > problem in my opinion. If anything, I might have lost them forever and
                                > > would have done a particularly bad job as a manager - with or without
                                > > agile.
                                > >
                                > > Thanks
                                > >
                                > > Vikrama Dhiman
                                > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                > >
                                > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                > > Extension: 113
                                > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman@...>
                                > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman@...>
                                > > Skype: vickidhiman
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Ajay Danait wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert
                                > > Greenleaf.
                                > >
                                > > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4
                                > > "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I
                                > > would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM
                                > > (or coach).
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority",
                                > > leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and
                                > > true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less
                                > > (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
                                > > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of
                                > > being a "servant leader".
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > On 5/7/08, *Rashina Hoda* <rashina@...
                                > > <mailto:rashina@...>> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my
                                > > research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in
                                > > particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a
                                > > part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and
                                > > Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in
                                > > managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their
                                > > roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them.
                                > > It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with
                                > > their roles in an agile setting.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a
                                > > non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the
                                > > way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in
                                > > terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an
                                > > inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles
                                > > don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > regards,
                                > >
                                > > Rashina
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --
                                > >
                                > > PhD Student
                                > > Victoria University of Wellington
                                > > New Zealand
                                > > rashina@... <mailto:rashina@...>
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...
                                > > <mailto:rahulpuri1984@...>> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Vikram:
                                > >
                                > > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough
                                > > senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to
                                > > grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I
                                > > don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the
                                > > experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books
                                > > and what not to gain knowledge.
                                > >
                                > > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take
                                > > initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people
                                > > aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let
                                > > down by individuals it has invested in).
                                > >
                                > > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played
                                > > by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a
                                > > vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software
                                > > system that solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my
                                > > belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with
                                > > experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).
                                > >
                                > > As for your concern about the career transition, I think the
                                > > organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes
                                > > the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having
                                > > such a scenario.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Happy Agile'ing
                                > > Rahul Puri
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                                > > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>>
                                > > wrote:
                                > > Hi Rahul:
                                > >
                                > > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also,
                                > > there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company.
                                > > Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile
                                > > company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there
                                > > are not enough experienced people on board].
                                > >
                                > > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM
                                > > are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are
                                > > generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles
                                > > rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for
                                > > the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team".
                                > > In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech
                                > > architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show
                                > > this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up
                                > > loosing good and experienced people?
                                > >
                                > > Thanks
                                > > Vikrama Dhiman
                                > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                > >
                                > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                > > Extension: 113
                                > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                                > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                                > > Skype: vickidhiman
                                > >
                                > > Rahul Puri wrote:
                                > > Vikram:
                                > >
                                > > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I
                                > > believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find
                                > > it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do
                                > > where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he
                                > > would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice
                                > > things might be different as his personality traits would come into
                                > > play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a
                                > > business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a
                                > > Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't
                                > > have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be
                                > > exceptions based on personality traits).
                                > >
                                > > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be
                                > > management person as that person really is making sure if the process
                                > > is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a
                                > > management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every
                                > > organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here
                                > > should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into
                                > > PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on
                                > > how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.
                                > >
                                > > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an
                                > > individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he
                                > > should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well,
                                > > because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the
                                > > personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said,
                                > > the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to
                                > > have that kind of an impact)).
                                > >
                                > > Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I
                                > > find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship
                                > > and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the
                                > > crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect
                                > > in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company
                                > > to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).
                                > >
                                > > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils
                                > > down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have,
                                > > it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile
                                > > or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved
                                > > to just give "one right answer" to this issue.
                                > >
                                > > Happy Agile'ing
                                > > Rahul Puri
                                > >
                                > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                                > > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>>
                                > > wrote:
                                > > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                                > > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                                > > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                > > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                > > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                > > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                > > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                > > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                > > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                                > > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                                > > serious human capital loss.
                                > >
                                > > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                > > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                > > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                > > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                                > > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                                > > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                                > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                > > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                > > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                > > people too?"
                                > > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                > > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                > > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                > > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                > >
                                > > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                > > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                > > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                > > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                > >
                                > > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                > > are welcome.
                                > >
                                > > --
                                > > Vikrama Dhiman
                                > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                > >
                                > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                > > Extension: 113
                                > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                                > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                                > > Skype: vickidhiman
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • Vikram Dhiman
                                Pankaj: Super response! I think the answer here is to understand if you need senior people and if you need them then what is it that you would provide them
                                Message 15 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                  Pankaj:

                                  Super response!

                                  I think the answer here is to understand if you need senior people and if you need them then what is it that you would provide them before asking them to provide you something. Also, the cultural shift for these people can be significant, so what you are asking them to do is significantly high and if you can not match it with what is in it for them - at least at the interview stage, you are not going to start any discussion at all.

                                  I might be interested to hear about how different people create the space/ conditions for the senior people. Simply leaving them to fend for themselves or orient as per our divine leaders are born not created idea, is one strategy - not sure if a very bright one though.

                                  Thanks
                                  Vikrama Dhiman
                                  Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                                  
                                  Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                  Extension: 113
                                  Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                  MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                  Skype: vickidhiman


                                  Pankaj Chawla wrote:

                                  Hi Ajay,
                                   
                                  Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only based on the
                                  logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many CEOs have
                                  you seen who have the guts to take a cut on their bonuses and instead allow
                                  a pay hike for the people way down there in the hierarchy (I havent seen any,
                                  infact going by the recent turmoils in US for past 8 years, it has brought
                                  forward leaders who will fight with the board of directors because their wife's
                                  travel expense was not approved or their compensation was 10% lower than
                                  their peers in similar fields). You can trickle down the hierarchical chain
                                  and will find similar behaviour at all levels. Authority and power by nature
                                  is the differentiator of who perish and who survive (look at NatGeo
                                  and every single program from the animal kingdom has one message,
                                  if you arent at the top of the power hierarchy you dont get the female,
                                  chances are you will die much early fighting the supremacy battle).
                                   
                                  The other part of the problem is that leaders cannot be created but
                                  managers are and most of the people who think they are leaders are
                                  actually managers. Leadership is a very human quality and not everyone
                                  can have it. Having said that the core premise on which management
                                  is based on is "managing something" and that itself means authority
                                  and power and hence the need for every manager to have it as part of
                                  their job description.
                                   
                                  Finally coming to this specific situation, the problem I see is that all four
                                  were actually techincal guys and not managers. The problem with Agile
                                  is that it puts all the technical guys in the same bucket, where as the
                                  managers (SM, PO, coach etc etc) still are all distinct and have a specific
                                  job description. The way techincal guys create a differentiatial in non-Agile
                                  setups is as one grows in experience one gets more into understanding
                                  customer situations, problem analysis, formulating solutions,architect ing
                                  and designing. The problem in Agile is that all this is not specific to a
                                  person but a team ownership and whatever be your experience you will all
                                  be doing it together and generally in equal distribution which can be very
                                  threatening to a senior guy as he is getting paid 4 times the money to do
                                  almost the same type of work and eventually the management can wake up
                                  to this fact and say - "hey why dont we get rid of some of the expensive 'senior'
                                  guys as they are doing the same work that a guy with 1/4 the salary is doing".
                                  The fact is that businesses work on the notion of increasing value differentiation
                                  as one grows in experience but some how Agile dilutes it all but putting all
                                  people in the same bucket. I would say that since Agile is only about 6-8 years
                                  old (has really become mainstream in last 3-4 years) we havent had these situations
                                  too often till now but as technical guys grow in experience within the Agile teams
                                  this situation is going to come all too often.
                                   
                                  Cheers
                                  Pankaj    


                                  From: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:agileindia@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ajay Danait
                                  Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:16 AM
                                  To: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                                  Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
                                  Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                                   
                                  Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
                                   
                                  Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.
                                   
                                  I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


                                   
                                  On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:

                                  Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                                   
                                  This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                                   
                                  I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                                   
                                  Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                                   
                                  regards,
                                  Rashina
                                   
                                  --
                                  PhD Student
                                  Victoria University of Wellington
                                  New Zealand
                                  rashina@gmail. com
                                   
                                  On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:

                                  Vikram:

                                  I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                                  In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                                  It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem" ). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                                  As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                                  Happy Agile'ing
                                  Rahul Puri

                                   
                                  On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                                  Hi Rahul:

                                  The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                                  You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                                  Thanks
                                  Vikrama Dhiman
                                  Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                  Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                  Extension: 113
                                  Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                  MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                  Skype: vickidhiman

                                  Rahul Puri wrote:
                                  Vikram:

                                  According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                                  Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                                  Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                                  Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                                  In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                                  Happy Agile'ing
                                  Rahul Puri

                                  On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                                  An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                                  at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                                  system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                  they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                  join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                  The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                  in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                  rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                  company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                                  will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                                  serious human capital loss.

                                  I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                  slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                  issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                  something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                                  years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                                  "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                  just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                                  all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                  Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                  experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                  people too?"
                                  I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                  I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                  [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                  process driven companies with titles and authority.

                                  I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                  are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                  other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                  team debate has an interesting angle.

                                  I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                  are welcome.

                                  --
                                  Vikrama Dhiman
                                  Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                  Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                  Extension: 113
                                  Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                  MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                  Skype: vickidhiman

                                   






                                • Pankaj Chawla
                                  Hi Vikram, I totally agree with you and its imperative that technical seniors especially who were not raised in a Agile culture from infancy but got into it
                                  Message 16 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                    Hi Vikram,
                                     
                                    I totally agree with you and its imperative that technical seniors especially who were not
                                    raised in a Agile culture from infancy but got into it after working for years in non-Agile setups
                                    are shown a clear path on how they can do value differentiation as they grow or they can end
                                    up in a pretty difficult position when asked whats your value differentiation compared to the
                                    guy with 1/4 your experience. Without that clearly laid out I thing its a problem just waiting to
                                    explode. I am not so worried about people who got into Agile from day one as they can relate
                                    more closely to servant-leadership and stuff but I would be watching with interest as to when
                                    their basic human instinct of being in power takes over. After all there is as little space at
                                    the top for servant-leaders as there is for leader-leaders.
                                     
                                    The basic problem is that Agile is a very engineering solution created by engineers for a problem
                                    that is engineering in nature but is vastly a human problem (productivity, motivation, teaming
                                    etc) and like most engineering solutions to human problems this one will also show its weaknesses
                                    as more and more humans embrace it. The good thing is that Agile is based on the foundation of
                                    iterative improvement and embracing change and I hope that Agile will use its own founding principles
                                    to do course correction and find a better solution to a changing requirement of showing a 25 year
                                    career path to guys in the technical ladder and I dont think anybody talked about it or thought abt
                                    this as a requirement 10 years back or even 2 years back. Changing requirements can impact the
                                    process itself and lets see how well Agile copes up with it.
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Pankaj     


                                    From: agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Vikram Dhiman
                                    Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 3:57 PM
                                    To: agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: RE: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                                    Pankaj:

                                    Super response!

                                    I think the answer here is to understand if you need senior people and if you need them then what is it that you would provide them before asking them to provide you something. Also, the cultural shift for these people can be significant, so what you are asking them to do is significantly high and if you can not match it with what is in it for them - at least at the interview stage, you are not going to start any discussion at all.

                                    I might be interested to hear about how different people create the space/ conditions for the senior people. Simply leaving them to fend for themselves or orient as per our divine leaders are born not created idea, is one strategy - not sure if a very bright one though.

                                    Thanks

                                    Vikrama Dhiman
                                    Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                                    
                                    Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    Extension: 113
                                    Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                    MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                    Skype: vickidhiman


                                    Pankaj Chawla wrote:

                                    Hi Ajay,
                                     
                                    Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only based on the
                                    logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many CEOs have
                                    you seen who have the guts to take a cut on their bonuses and instead allow
                                    a pay hike for the people way down there in the hierarchy (I havent seen any,
                                    infact going by the recent turmoils in US for past 8 years, it has brought
                                    forward leaders who will fight with the board of directors because their wife's
                                    travel expense was not approved or their compensation was 10% lower than
                                    their peers in similar fields). You can trickle down the hierarchical chain
                                    and will find similar behaviour at all levels. Authority and power by nature
                                    is the differentiator of who perish and who survive (look at NatGeo
                                    and every single program from the animal kingdom has one message,
                                    if you arent at the top of the power hierarchy you dont get the female,
                                    chances are you will die much early fighting the supremacy battle).
                                     
                                    The other part of the problem is that leaders cannot be created but
                                    managers are and most of the people who think they are leaders are
                                    actually managers. Leadership is a very human quality and not everyone
                                    can have it. Having said that the core premise on which management
                                    is based on is "managing something" and that itself means authority
                                    and power and hence the need for every manager to have it as part of
                                    their job description.
                                     
                                    Finally coming to this specific situation, the problem I see is that all four
                                    were actually techincal guys and not managers. The problem with Agile
                                    is that it puts all the technical guys in the same bucket, where as the
                                    managers (SM, PO, coach etc etc) still are all distinct and have a specific
                                    job description. The way techincal guys create a differentiatial in non-Agile
                                    setups is as one grows in experience one gets more into understanding
                                    customer situations, problem analysis, formulating solutions,architect ing
                                    and designing. The problem in Agile is that all this is not specific to a
                                    person but a team ownership and whatever be your experience you will all
                                    be doing it together and generally in equal distribution which can be very
                                    threatening to a senior guy as he is getting paid 4 times the money to do
                                    almost the same type of work and eventually the management can wake up
                                    to this fact and say - "hey why dont we get rid of some of the expensive 'senior'
                                    guys as they are doing the same work that a guy with 1/4 the salary is doing".
                                    The fact is that businesses work on the notion of increasing value differentiation
                                    as one grows in experience but some how Agile dilutes it all but putting all
                                    people in the same bucket. I would say that since Agile is only about 6-8 years
                                    old (has really become mainstream in last 3-4 years) we havent had these situations
                                    too often till now but as technical guys grow in experience within the Agile teams
                                    this situation is going to come all too often.
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Pankaj    


                                    From: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:agileindia@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ajay Danait
                                    Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:16 AM
                                    To: agileindia@yahoogro ups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

                                    Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert Greenleaf.
                                    Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                                     
                                    Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM (or coach).
                                     
                                    Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and- control less) team.
                                     
                                    I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are command-and- control freaks and not understood the true essence of being a "servant leader".


                                     
                                    On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@gmail. com> wrote:

                                    Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                                     
                                    This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                                     
                                    I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile setting.
                                     
                                    Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                                     
                                    regards,
                                    Rashina
                                     
                                    --
                                    PhD Student
                                    Victoria University of Wellington
                                    New Zealand
                                    rashina@gmail. com
                                     
                                    On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@ gmail.com> wrote:

                                    Vikram:

                                    I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not to gain knowledge.

                                    In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down by individuals it has invested in).

                                    It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that solves a "real-problem" ). You could raise questions to my belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true, but there could be exceptions).

                                    As for your concern about the career transition, I think the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a scenario.



                                    Happy Agile'ing
                                    Rahul Puri

                                     
                                    On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                                    Hi Rahul:

                                    The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not enough experienced people on board].

                                    You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and experienced people?

                                    Thanks
                                    Vikrama Dhiman
                                    Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                    Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    Extension: 113
                                    Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                    MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                    Skype: vickidhiman

                                    Rahul Puri wrote:
                                    Vikram:

                                    According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on personality traits).

                                    Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be management person as that person really is making sure if the process is done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes the process should be to roll out an application.

                                    Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an impact)).

                                    Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).

                                    In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to just give "one right answer" to this issue.

                                    Happy Agile'ing
                                    Rahul Puri

                                    On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@netsolutions india.com> wrote:
                                    An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
                                    at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
                                    system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                    they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                    join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                    The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                    in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                    rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                    company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
                                    will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
                                    serious human capital loss.

                                    I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                    slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                    issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                    something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
                                    years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                                    "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                    just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                                    all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                    Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                    experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                    people too?"
                                    I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                    I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                    [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                    process driven companies with titles and authority.

                                    I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                    are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                    other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                    team debate has an interesting angle.

                                    I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                    are welcome.

                                    --
                                    Vikrama Dhiman
                                    Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                    Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    Extension: 113
                                    Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                    MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                    Skype: vickidhiman

                                     






                                • p_jayadeep
                                  This problem is well answered by Mary and Tom Poppendiek s book, on Lean Software development. According to them, the senior people in the team should grow
                                  Message 17 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                    This problem is well answered by Mary and Tom Poppendiek's book, on
                                    Lean Software development. According to them, the senior people in the
                                    team should grow into the master developers in the team who can not
                                    only do their own work, but help others in the team becoming better
                                    engineers and master developers in future. Also in an agile software
                                    development scenario, engineers need to make important decisions which
                                    is typically prescribed by an architect in the architecture document.
                                    Having senior folks around would really help the team make the right
                                    choices.

                                    Jayadeep

                                    --- In agileindia@yahoogroups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Pankaj:
                                    >
                                    > Super response!
                                    >
                                    > I think the answer here is to understand if you need senior people and
                                    > if you need them then what is it that you would provide them before
                                    > asking them to provide you something. Also, the cultural shift for
                                    these
                                    > people can be significant, so what you are asking them to do is
                                    > significantly high and if you can not match it with what is in it for
                                    > them - at least at the interview stage, you are not going to start any
                                    > discussion at all.
                                    >
                                    > I might be interested to hear about how different people create the
                                    > space/ conditions for the senior people. Simply leaving them to fend
                                    for
                                    > themselves or orient as per our divine leaders are born not created
                                    > idea, is one strategy - not sure if a very bright one though.
                                    >
                                    > Thanks
                                    >
                                    > Vikrama Dhiman
                                    > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                    >
                                    > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    > Extension: 113
                                    > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                    > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                    > Skype: vickidhiman
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Pankaj Chawla wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Ajay,
                                    > >
                                    > > Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only
                                    based
                                    > > on the
                                    > > logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many
                                    > > CEOs have
                                    > > you seen who have the guts to take a cut on their bonuses and instead
                                    > > allow
                                    > > a pay hike for the people way down there in the hierarchy (I havent
                                    > > seen any,
                                    > > infact going by the recent turmoils in US for past 8 years, it has
                                    brought
                                    > > forward leaders who will fight with the board of directors because
                                    > > their wife's
                                    > > travel expense was not approved or their compensation was 10%
                                    lower than
                                    > > their peers in similar fields). You can trickle down the hierarchical
                                    > > chain
                                    > > and will find similar behaviour at all levels. Authority and power by
                                    > > nature
                                    > > is the differentiator of who perish and who survive (look at NatGeo
                                    > > and every single program from the animal kingdom has one message,
                                    > > if you arent at the top of the power hierarchy you dont get the
                                    female,
                                    > > chances are you will die much early fighting the supremacy battle).
                                    > >
                                    > > The other part of the problem is that leaders cannot be created but
                                    > > managers are and most of the people who think they are leaders are
                                    > > actually managers. Leadership is a very human quality and not everyone
                                    > > can have it. Having said that the core premise on which management
                                    > > is based on is "managing something" and that itself means authority
                                    > > and power and hence the need for every manager to have it as part of
                                    > > their job description.
                                    > >
                                    > > Finally coming to this specific situation, the problem I see is that
                                    > > all four
                                    > > were actually techincal guys and not managers. The problem with Agile
                                    > > is that it puts all the technical guys in the same bucket, where
                                    as the
                                    > > managers (SM, PO, coach etc etc) still are all distinct and have a
                                    > > specific
                                    > > job description. The way techincal guys create a differentiatial in
                                    > > non-Agile
                                    > > setups is as one grows in experience one gets more into understanding
                                    > > customer situations, problem analysis, formulating
                                    solutions,architecting
                                    > > and designing. The problem in Agile is that all this is not
                                    specific to a
                                    > > person but a team ownership and whatever be your experience you
                                    will all
                                    > > be doing it together and generally in equal distribution which can be
                                    > > very
                                    > > threatening to a senior guy as he is getting paid 4 times the
                                    money to do
                                    > > almost the same type of work and eventually the management can wake up
                                    > > to this fact and say - "hey why dont we get rid of some of the
                                    > > expensive 'senior'
                                    > > guys as they are doing the same work that a guy with 1/4 the
                                    salary is
                                    > > doing".
                                    > > The fact is that businesses work on the notion of increasing value
                                    > > differentiation
                                    > > as one grows in experience but some how Agile dilutes it all but
                                    > > putting all
                                    > > people in the same bucket. I would say that since Agile is only about
                                    > > 6-8 years
                                    > > old (has really become mainstream in last 3-4 years) we havent had
                                    > > these situations
                                    > > too often till now but as technical guys grow in experience within
                                    the
                                    > > Agile teams
                                    > > this situation is going to come all too often.
                                    > >
                                    > > Cheers
                                    > > Pankaj
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    > > *From:* agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Ajay Danait
                                    > > *Sent:* Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:16 AM
                                    > > *To:* agileindia@yahoogroups.com
                                    > > *Subject:* Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...
                                    > >
                                    > > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" --
                                    > > Robert Greenleaf.
                                    > > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
                                    > >
                                    > > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like
                                    > > the 4 "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue,
                                    > > then I would say they have not understood the core concept behind
                                    > > being a SM (or coach).
                                    > >
                                    > > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given
                                    > > "authority", leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team
                                    > > by consensus and true leaders are those who are successful in
                                    > > building a leader-less (read authority-less, command-and-control
                                    > > less) team.
                                    > >
                                    > > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
                                    > > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of
                                    > > being a "servant leader".
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > On 5/7/08, *Rashina Hoda* <rashina@...
                                    > > <mailto:rashina@...>> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
                                    > >
                                    > > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of
                                    > > view of my research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management,
                                    > > and in particular 'the role of the project manager in agile
                                    > > projects' as a part of my Phd research, here in New Zealand.
                                    > >
                                    > > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon
                                    > > and Mumbai and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of
                                    > > them in managerial positions. Almost all of them were very
                                    > > content with their roles and in general happy about the way
                                    > > agile was working for them. It would be interesting to talk to
                                    > > these managers who had issues with their roles in an agile
                                    > > setting.
                                    > >
                                    > > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a
                                    > > non-Agile framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy
                                    > > with the way Agile was being followed at their organisation,
                                    > > particularly in terms of how they were placed in the system.
                                    > > But do you believe its an inherent issue in Agile and that the
                                    > > fundamental Agile principles don't address the role of the PM
                                    > > (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
                                    > >
                                    > > regards,
                                    > > Rashina
                                    > >
                                    > > --
                                    > > PhD Student
                                    > > Victoria University of Wellington
                                    > > New Zealand
                                    > > rashina@... <mailto:rashina@...>
                                    > >
                                    > > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri
                                    > > <rahulpuri1984@... <mailto:rahulpuri1984@...>> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Vikram:
                                    > >
                                    > > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there
                                    > > weren't enough senior people. I believe exprienced people
                                    > > help you a WHOLE LOT to grow as a professional and as an
                                    > > individual. BUT, at the same time I don't believe an
                                    > > individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the
                                    > > experienced people. If growth was their concern they could
                                    > > read books and what not to gain knowledge.
                                    > >
                                    > > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people
                                    > > to take initiattive and assert their leadership
                                    > > skills(when experienced people aren't there, giving
                                    > > confidence to the company that it won't be let down by
                                    > > individuals it has invested in).
                                    > >
                                    > > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role
                                    > > should be played by a person who understands people and
                                    > > their needs(as only then a vaccum is created for the
                                    > > engineering of a "well designed" software system that
                                    > > solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my
                                    > > belief stating a person reaches that maturity level only
                                    > > with experience(which is true, but there could be
                                    > > exceptions).
                                    > >
                                    > > As for your concern about the career transition, I think
                                    > > the organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on
                                    > > Agile(which includes the HR). And, I think then there is
                                    > > strong possibility of not having such a scenario.
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Happy Agile'ing
                                    > > Rahul Puri
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                                    > > <vikram@...
                                    > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                                    > > Hi Rahul:
                                    > >
                                    > > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product
                                    > > Owner. Also, there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these
                                    > > went to a rival company. Also, because of this, at least
                                    > > some people migrated from Agile company to a non-Agile one
                                    > > [not because of process, but because there are not enough
                                    > > experienced people on board].
                                    > >
                                    > > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these,
                                    > > the PO and SM are typically given to senior people/
                                    > > someone really skilled and are generally seen as a reward.
                                    > > I know that these are supposed to be roles rather than
                                    > > titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for
                                    > > the discontent among senior technical people in the
                                    > > "technical team". In older hierarchy - you had two paths
                                    > > of growth : technical [tech architect, enterprise designer
                                    > > etc] and managerial. How do we show this to the people in
                                    > > an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good and
                                    > > experienced people?
                                    > >
                                    > > Thanks
                                    > > Vikrama Dhiman
                                    > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product
                                    Consulting]
                                    > >
                                    > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    > > Extension: 113
                                    > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                    > > <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                                    > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                    > > <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                                    > > Skype: vickidhiman
                                    > >
                                    > > Rahul Puri wrote:
                                    > > Vikram:
                                    > >
                                    > > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well
                                    > > enough), I believe the person you mentioning is good at
                                    > > Technical stuff. I find it hard to believe why would be
                                    > > eyeing a role that has less to do where his expertise is.
                                    > > "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good
                                    > > fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things
                                    > > might be different as his personality traits would come
                                    > > into play. But "by default", I would persume a Product
                                    > > owner to be a business oriented person who understands
                                    > > users and their needs, not a Technical guy who can produce
                                    > > tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using
                                    > > it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be
                                    > > exceptions based on personality traits).
                                    > >
                                    > > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think
                                    > > he has to be management person as that person really is
                                    > > making sure if the process is done right. And, "by
                                    > > default" taking care of processes is a management
                                    > > thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every
                                    > > organisation is not the same). So, I think the person in
                                    > > question here should think about certifications like PMP
                                    > > and all and get into PMO(Project Management Office) and
                                    > > really then lay out the plans on how he believes the
                                    > > process should be to roll out an application.
                                    > >
                                    > > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto
                                    > > an individual. If that individual is a SuperStar then I
                                    > > would suggest he should go into a company where Agile is
                                    > > not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he can play a
                                    > > strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that
                                    > > company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the
                                    > > person should a be a superstar(as far as expertise is
                                    > > concerned to have that kind of an impact)).
                                    > >
                                    > > Respect and authority any individual can command through
                                    > > their work. I find it hard to believe a person really
                                    > > being the captain of the ship and taking care of "most"
                                    > > things not having the respect of the crew(damm, even a
                                    > > t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in
                                    > > Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join
                                    > > any company to get respect and authority(as really work
                                    > > would speak for itself).
                                    > >
                                    > > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it
                                    > > really boils down to the person's personality. How much of
                                    > > an impact can he have, it's hard to really rationalise the
                                    > > whole situation in terms of Agile or (respect and
                                    > > authority). There are way too many variables involved to
                                    > > just give "one right answer" to this issue.
                                    > >
                                    > > Happy Agile'ing
                                    > > Rahul Puri
                                    > >
                                    > > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
                                    > > <vikram@...
                                    > > <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com>> wrote:
                                    > > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They
                                    > > are really good
                                    > > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right
                                    > > from the value
                                    > > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior
                                    > > people whom
                                    > > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical
                                    > > people] refused to
                                    > > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/
                                    > > authority".
                                    > > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival
                                    > > company and
                                    > > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so
                                    > > ever] has made
                                    > > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of
                                    > > people from this
                                    > > company have also joined the competing company citing what
                                    > > they call "we
                                    > > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short,
                                    > > there has been a
                                    > > serious human capital loss.
                                    > >
                                    > > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this
                                    > > - "I have
                                    > > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I
                                    > > don't have an
                                    > > issue working with people much less in experience - I
                                    > > would learn
                                    > > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to
                                    > > discredit all my 06
                                    > > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the
                                    > > time its just
                                    > > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against
                                    > > the team - I
                                    > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on
                                    > > to add - "After
                                    > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of
                                    > > Scrum Master,
                                    > > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with
                                    > > 02 years
                                    > > experience? Why not have something similar for technically
                                    > > experienced
                                    > > people too?"
                                    > > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up
                                    > > with an answer.
                                    > > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced
                                    people
                                    > > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile
                                    > > companies or more
                                    > > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                    > >
                                    > > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be
                                    > > things which
                                    > > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support
                                    > > from some
                                    > > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The
                                    > > people vs the
                                    > > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                    > >
                                    > > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight
                                    > > and thoughts
                                    > > are welcome.
                                    > >
                                    > > --
                                    > > Vikrama Dhiman
                                    > > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product
                                    Consulting]
                                    > >
                                    > > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                    > > Extension: 113
                                    > > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                    > > <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
                                    > > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                    > > <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
                                    > > Skype: vickidhiman
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • Venkatesh
                                    I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4 people who didn t join the Agile company, and the second one is with the company
                                    Message 18 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                      I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4
                                      people who didn't join the Agile company, and the second one is with
                                      the company practicing Agile itself.

                                      Both seem to have shown pretty immatured behavior. My personal view
                                      is this company practicing Agile seems to be pretty immatured because,
                                      it doesn't seem to have put forth right policies/procedures in place
                                      while introducing Agile in the organization. I am assuming that
                                      somebody at the top might have felt Agile to be good and told
                                      everybody to start practicing Agile without looking at the human
                                      aspect. Practices like self organizing teams, flat team structure, etc
                                      cannot be implemented in one go, it needs its own time and effort to
                                      take off before it reaches maturity level. Many a times dedicated
                                      Agile coaches/behavioral experts are brought into picture to monitor
                                      the impact of such practices on teams before giving the final go.
                                      This Agile company that we are discussing many not have looked into
                                      any of the above aspects, before introducing Agile.

                                      Also senior members should be empowered to be coaches/mentors for
                                      juniors, during the initial days of creation of self organizing/self
                                      managing /flat structured teams. This in turn does not hurt the ego
                                      and at the same time, junior members would be benefited as they get to
                                      learn a lot from seniors.

                                      In one of the case studies I have seen, junior team members wanted to
                                      participate in design and architecture. Senior folks used to brush
                                      them aside saying they don't have necessary skills. The Agile coach
                                      for this project in turn made all the seniors to be mentors and
                                      assigned a senior to a junior. As soon as the seniors title changed
                                      from calling themselves as "architects" to "mentors/coaches", the
                                      relationship transformed to a "teacher/student" relationship, leading
                                      to a good atmosphere. I sometimes feel "titles" do matter and
                                      retaining/changing them makes a lot of difference.

                                      Self organizing does not mean that seniors or capable people should
                                      not be respected. In most of the self organizing teams I have seen,
                                      seniors and much experienced people have been voted to do the roles of
                                      Scrum Master and PO by their team members. Always due respect is given
                                      to the right people. If the people are matured enough, they would try
                                      to understand the scenario, their weaknesses and strive to improve
                                      upon them rather than quitting !!!

                                      Cheers,
                                      Venkatesh
                                      http://agileworld.blogspot.com






                                      --- In agileindia@yahoogroups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really
                                      good
                                      > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                                      value
                                      > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                      > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                      > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                      > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                      > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                      > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                      > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call
                                      "we
                                      > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has
                                      been a
                                      > serious human capital loss.
                                      >
                                      > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                      > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                      > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                      > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all
                                      my 06
                                      > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its
                                      just
                                      > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                      > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
                                      "After
                                      > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                      > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                      > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                      > people too?"
                                      > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                      > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                      > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                      > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                      >
                                      > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                      > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                      > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                      > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                      >
                                      > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                      > are welcome.
                                      >
                                      > --
                                      > Vikrama Dhiman
                                      > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                      >
                                      > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                      > Extension: 113
                                      > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                      > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                      > Skype: vickidhiman
                                      >
                                    • Vikram Dhiman
                                      Venkatesh: I went through your email and then I went through my email. After reading your assumptions, it seems that I did not articulate my question/ context
                                      Message 19 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                        Venkatesh:

                                        I went through your email and then I went through my email. After reading your assumptions, it seems that I did not articulate my question/ context well.

                                        Regardless of that, I do not see how doing everything in one go is immature at all? It is a choice available in implementing a change and I have seen it work in two contexts, and much faster too. It does have some repercussions but going slow and steady has some other repercussions too [in fact every choice you make has repercussions]. What I like about agile is the focus on continually learning and adapting rather than judging and reprimanding - applicable for individuals as well as organizations.

                                        Thanks
                                        Vikrama Dhiman
                                        Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]  
                                        
                                        Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                        Extension: 113
                                        Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                        MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                        Skype: vickidhiman


                                        Venkatesh wrote:


                                        I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4
                                        people who didn't join the Agile company, and the second one is with
                                        the company practicing Agile itself.

                                        Both seem to have shown pretty immatured behavior. My personal view
                                        is this company practicing Agile seems to be pretty immatured because,
                                        it doesn't seem to have put forth right policies/procedures in place
                                        while introducing Agile in the organization. I am assuming that
                                        somebody at the top might have felt Agile to be good and told
                                        everybody to start practicing Agile without looking at the human
                                        aspect. Practices like self organizing teams, flat team structure, etc
                                        cannot be implemented in one go, it needs its own time and effort to
                                        take off before it reaches maturity level. Many a times dedicated
                                        Agile coaches/behavioral experts are brought into picture to monitor
                                        the impact of such practices on teams before giving the final go.
                                        This Agile company that we are discussing many not have looked into
                                        any of the above aspects, before introducing Agile.

                                        Also senior members should be empowered to be coaches/mentors for
                                        juniors, during the initial days of creation of self organizing/self
                                        managing /flat structured teams. This in turn does not hurt the ego
                                        and at the same time, junior members would be benefited as they get to
                                        learn a lot from seniors.

                                        In one of the case studies I have seen, junior team members wanted to
                                        participate in design and architecture. Senior folks used to brush
                                        them aside saying they don't have necessary skills. The Agile coach
                                        for this project in turn made all the seniors to be mentors and
                                        assigned a senior to a junior. As soon as the seniors title changed
                                        from calling themselves as "architects" to "mentors/coaches" , the
                                        relationship transformed to a "teacher/student" relationship, leading
                                        to a good atmosphere. I sometimes feel "titles" do matter and
                                        retaining/changing them makes a lot of difference.

                                        Self organizing does not mean that seniors or capable people should
                                        not be respected. In most of the self organizing teams I have seen,
                                        seniors and much experienced people have been voted to do the roles of
                                        Scrum Master and PO by their team members. Always due respect is given
                                        to the right people. If the people are matured enough, they would try
                                        to understand the scenario, their weaknesses and strive to improve
                                        upon them rather than quitting !!!

                                        Cheers,
                                        Venkatesh
                                        http://agileworld. blogspot. com

                                        --- In agileindia@yahoogro ups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really
                                        good
                                        > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                                        value
                                        > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                        > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                        > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                        > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                        > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                        > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                        > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call
                                        "we
                                        > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has
                                        been a
                                        > serious human capital loss.
                                        >
                                        > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                        > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                        > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                        > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all
                                        my 06
                                        > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its
                                        just
                                        > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                        > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
                                        "After
                                        > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                        > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                        > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                        > people too?"
                                        > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                        > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                        > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                        > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                        >
                                        > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                        > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                        > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                        > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                        >
                                        > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                        > are welcome.
                                        >
                                        > --
                                        > Vikrama Dhiman
                                        > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                        >
                                        > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                        > Extension: 113
                                        > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ ...
                                        > MSN IM: vickidhiman@ ...
                                        > Skype: vickidhiman
                                        >

                                      • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
                                        Vikram You are right, you had not articulated anything about the company and so I made assumptions based on the following things: 1. Those 4 people who were
                                        Message 20 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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                                          Vikram

                                          You are right, you had not articulated anything about the company and so I made assumptions based on the following things:

                                          1. Those 4 people who were supposed to join didn't join stating that they don't get respect as seniors

                                          2. Another set of employees also left the company and joined rival company.

                                          Above points made me to think that there is something wrong in the way the company is handling people and process !!

                                          Thanks,
                                          Venkatesh



                                          Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                          Venkatesh:

                                          I went through your email and then I went through my email. After reading your assumptions, it seems that I did not articulate my question/ context well.

                                          Regardless of that, I do not see how doing everything in one go is immature at all? It is a choice available in implementing a change and I have seen it work in two contexts, and much faster too. It does have some repercussions but going slow and steady has some other repercussions too [in fact every choice you make has repercussions] . What I like about agile is the focus on continually learning and adapting rather than judging and reprimanding - applicable for individuals as well as organizations.

                                          Thanks
                                          Vikrama Dhiman
                                          Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                          Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                          Extension: 113
                                          Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                                          MSN IM: vickidhiman@ hotmail.com
                                          Skype: vickidhiman


                                          Venkatesh wrote:

                                          I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4
                                          people who didn't join the Agile company, and the second one is with
                                          the company practicing Agile itself.

                                          Both seem to have shown pretty immatured behavior. My personal view
                                          is this company practicing Agile seems to be pretty immatured because,
                                          it doesn't seem to have put forth right policies/procedures in place
                                          while introducing Agile in the organization. I am assuming that
                                          somebody at the top might have felt Agile to be good and told
                                          everybody to start practicing Agile without looking at the human
                                          aspect. Practices like self organizing teams, flat team structure, etc
                                          cannot be implemented in one go, it needs its own time and effort to
                                          take off before it reaches maturity level. Many a times dedicated
                                          Agile coaches/behavioral experts are brought into picture to monitor
                                          the impact of such practices on teams before giving the final go.
                                          This Agile company that we are discussing many not have looked into
                                          any of the above aspects, before introducing Agile.

                                          Also senior members should be empowered to be coaches/mentors for
                                          juniors, during the initial days of creation of self organizing/self
                                          managing /flat structured teams. This in turn does not hurt the ego
                                          and at the same time, junior members would be benefited as they get to
                                          learn a lot from seniors.

                                          In one of the case studies I have seen, junior team members wanted to
                                          participate in design and architecture. Senior folks used to brush
                                          them aside saying they don't have necessary skills. The Agile coach
                                          for this project in turn made all the seniors to be mentors and
                                          assigned a senior to a junior. As soon as the seniors title changed
                                          from calling themselves as "architects" to "mentors/coaches" , the
                                          relationship transformed to a "teacher/student" relationship, leading
                                          to a good atmosphere. I sometimes feel "titles" do matter and
                                          retaining/changing them makes a lot of difference.

                                          Self organizing does not mean that seniors or capable people should
                                          not be respected. In most of the self organizing teams I have seen,
                                          seniors and much experienced people have been voted to do the roles of
                                          Scrum Master and PO by their team members. Always due respect is given
                                          to the right people. If the people are matured enough, they would try
                                          to understand the scenario, their weaknesses and strive to improve
                                          upon them rather than quitting !!!

                                          Cheers,
                                          Venkatesh
                                          http://agileworld. blogspot. com

                                          --- In agileindia@yahoogro ups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really
                                          good
                                          > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                                          value
                                          > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                          > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                          > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                          > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                          > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                          > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                          > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call
                                          "we
                                          > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has
                                          been a
                                          > serious human capital loss.
                                          >
                                          > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                          > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                          > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                          > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all
                                          my 06
                                          > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its
                                          just
                                          > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                          > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
                                          "After
                                          > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                          > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                          > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                          > people too?"
                                          > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                          > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                          > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                          > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                          >
                                          > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                          > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                          > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                          > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                          >
                                          > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                          > are welcome.
                                          >
                                          > --
                                          > Vikrama Dhiman
                                          > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                          >
                                          > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                          > Extension: 113
                                          > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@ ...
                                          > MSN IM: vickidhiman@ ...
                                          > Skype: vickidhiman
                                          >



                                          Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                                        • Vikas Hazrati
                                          Hi, I think this would be a record thread in the history of agileIndia group with immense amount of activity wonderful to see that :) Coming back to the thread
                                          Message 21 of 24 , May 8, 2008
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                                            Hi,

                                            I think this would be a record thread in the history of agileIndia group with immense amount of activity wonderful to see that :)

                                            Coming back to the thread and my 2 c.

                                            It is true that vis a vis the traditional team structures the senior members of an agile team tend to feel that their experience is not being utilized and they would not get the same amount of respect as they deserve. In an Agile team everyone is equally involved and strives for developing the right software. However, being equally involved does not necessarily mean that expectations from all the individuals is the same.

                                            As members pointed out earlier the senior members of the team need to give direction in terms of architecture, design, help new members to get on board and be productive, mitigate issues and conflicts etc etc. These are some of the things which are implicitly expected from senior people on the team. The idea is to be effective in a cohesive fashion.

                                            Apart from the regular project work there is also an expectation from these senior members to keep an eye on new and emerging technologies and introduce them to the core projects as and when required. Of course this again is a two way street, the company needs to give space and the people need to respond.

                                            If the senior people are doing all of this then as per my experience they would be respected and acknowledged much more than what the title on their business card says. Unfortunately at least in the domestic market we attach a lot of value to the designation on the business card but that would change :)

                                            On a tangent thinking from the perspective of those senior guys, may be they were never conveyed that they would still be respected by a virtue of their deeds. 

                                            Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who happens to be an HR manager in a respected software company. We were discussing our experiences on various companies that we have been to and what we have learned. I talked to him about a few of my experiences where I said it hurts in the long run to be a whistle blower and nobody loves that. If you feel that there is something wrong and you highlight that then it comes back to you even though you had good intentions.

                                            What he had  to say really changed my perspective and I can relate to some of my mistakes. He said that it is easy to be whistle blower, though it takes courage to be one. It is easy to say that this is wrong and that is wrong, what makes the difference is the people who can also suggest solutions. You should say that this is wrong and this is the possible solution for that. It is only when you accompany your whistle blowing with a possible solution then you are doing your full job, else you get only half ear to what you have to say. May be one of those 4 guys is reading this and would respond with a possible solution ;)

                                            Regards | Vikas



                                            On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Venkatesh Krishnamurthy <venky_nk@...> wrote:

                                            Vikram

                                            You are right, you had not articulated anything about the company and so I made assumptions based on the following things:

                                            1. Those 4 people who were supposed to join didn't join stating that they don't get respect as seniors

                                            2. Another set of employees also left the company and joined rival company.

                                            Above points made me to think that there is something wrong in the way the company is handling people and process !!

                                            Thanks,
                                            Venkatesh





                                            Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                            Venkatesh:

                                            I went through your email and then I went through my email. After reading your assumptions, it seems that I did not articulate my question/ context well.

                                            Regardless of that, I do not see how doing everything in one go is immature at all? It is a choice available in implementing a change and I have seen it work in two contexts, and much faster too. It does have some repercussions but going slow and steady has some other repercussions too [in fact every choice you make has repercussions]. What I like about agile is the focus on continually learning and adapting rather than judging and reprimanding - applicable for individuals as well as organizations.

                                            Thanks
                                            Vikrama Dhiman
                                            Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                            Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                            Extension: 113
                                            Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                            MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                            Skype: vickidhiman


                                            Venkatesh wrote:

                                            I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4
                                            people who didn't join the Agile company, and the second one is with
                                            the company practicing Agile itself.

                                            Both seem to have shown pretty immatured behavior. My personal view
                                            is this company practicing Agile seems to be pretty immatured because,
                                            it doesn't seem to have put forth right policies/procedures in place
                                            while introducing Agile in the organization. I am assuming that
                                            somebody at the top might have felt Agile to be good and told
                                            everybody to start practicing Agile without looking at the human
                                            aspect. Practices like self organizing teams, flat team structure, etc
                                            cannot be implemented in one go, it needs its own time and effort to
                                            take off before it reaches maturity level. Many a times dedicated
                                            Agile coaches/behavioral experts are brought into picture to monitor
                                            the impact of such practices on teams before giving the final go.
                                            This Agile company that we are discussing many not have looked into
                                            any of the above aspects, before introducing Agile.

                                            Also senior members should be empowered to be coaches/mentors for
                                            juniors, during the initial days of creation of self organizing/self
                                            managing /flat structured teams. This in turn does not hurt the ego
                                            and at the same time, junior members would be benefited as they get to
                                            learn a lot from seniors.

                                            In one of the case studies I have seen, junior team members wanted to
                                            participate in design and architecture. Senior folks used to brush
                                            them aside saying they don't have necessary skills. The Agile coach
                                            for this project in turn made all the seniors to be mentors and
                                            assigned a senior to a junior. As soon as the seniors title changed
                                            from calling themselves as "architects" to "mentors/coaches", the
                                            relationship transformed to a "teacher/student" relationship, leading
                                            to a good atmosphere. I sometimes feel "titles" do matter and
                                            retaining/changing them makes a lot of difference.

                                            Self organizing does not mean that seniors or capable people should
                                            not be respected. In most of the self organizing teams I have seen,
                                            seniors and much experienced people have been voted to do the roles of
                                            Scrum Master and PO by their team members. Always due respect is given
                                            to the right people. If the people are matured enough, they would try
                                            to understand the scenario, their weaknesses and strive to improve
                                            upon them rather than quitting !!!

                                            Cheers,
                                            Venkatesh
                                            http://agileworld.blogspot.com

                                            --- In agileindia@yahoogroups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really
                                            good
                                            > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                                            value
                                            > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                            > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                            > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                            > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                            > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                            > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                            > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call
                                            "we
                                            > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has
                                            been a
                                            > serious human capital loss.
                                            >
                                            > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                            > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                            > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                            > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all
                                            my 06
                                            > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its
                                            just
                                            > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                            > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
                                            "After
                                            > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                            > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                            > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                            > people too?"
                                            > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                            > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                            > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                            > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                            >
                                            > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                            > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                            > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                            > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                            >
                                            > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                            > are welcome.
                                            >
                                            > --
                                            > Vikrama Dhiman
                                            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                            >
                                            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                            > Extension: 113
                                            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                            > Skype: vickidhiman
                                            >



                                            Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                                          • Rahul Puri
                                            Agile Enthusiasts: I think what Agile really does is, it makes the whole process transparent. And, any rough edges within the team would get highlighted. Now,
                                            Message 22 of 24 , May 8, 2008
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                                              Agile Enthusiasts:

                                              I think what Agile really does is, it makes the whole process transparent. And, any rough edges within the team would get highlighted. Now, some people may like this transparency some may not. But, one thing is for sure in the long run it will augur well for the whole software development community.

                                              Happy Agile'ing
                                              Rahul Puri

                                              On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM, Vikas Hazrati <vhazrati@...> wrote:

                                              Hi,

                                              I think this would be a record thread in the history of agileIndia group with immense amount of activity wonderful to see that :)

                                              Coming back to the thread and my 2 c.

                                              It is true that vis a vis the traditional team structures the senior members of an agile team tend to feel that their experience is not being utilized and they would not get the same amount of respect as they deserve. In an Agile team everyone is equally involved and strives for developing the right software. However, being equally involved does not necessarily mean that expectations from all the individuals is the same.

                                              As members pointed out earlier the senior members of the team need to give direction in terms of architecture, design, help new members to get on board and be productive, mitigate issues and conflicts etc etc. These are some of the things which are implicitly expected from senior people on the team. The idea is to be effective in a cohesive fashion.

                                              Apart from the regular project work there is also an expectation from these senior members to keep an eye on new and emerging technologies and introduce them to the core projects as and when required. Of course this again is a two way street, the company needs to give space and the people need to respond.

                                              If the senior people are doing all of this then as per my experience they would be respected and acknowledged much more than what the title on their business card says. Unfortunately at least in the domestic market we attach a lot of value to the designation on the business card but that would change :)

                                              On a tangent thinking from the perspective of those senior guys, may be they were never conveyed that they would still be respected by a virtue of their deeds. 

                                              Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who happens to be an HR manager in a respected software company. We were discussing our experiences on various companies that we have been to and what we have learned. I talked to him about a few of my experiences where I said it hurts in the long run to be a whistle blower and nobody loves that. If you feel that there is something wrong and you highlight that then it comes back to you even though you had good intentions.

                                              What he had  to say really changed my perspective and I can relate to some of my mistakes. He said that it is easy to be whistle blower, though it takes courage to be one. It is easy to say that this is wrong and that is wrong, what makes the difference is the people who can also suggest solutions. You should say that this is wrong and this is the possible solution for that. It is only when you accompany your whistle blowing with a possible solution then you are doing your full job, else you get only half ear to what you have to say. May be one of those 4 guys is reading this and would respond with a possible solution ;)

                                              Regards | Vikas





                                              On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Venkatesh Krishnamurthy <venky_nk@...> wrote:

                                              Vikram

                                              You are right, you had not articulated anything about the company and so I made assumptions based on the following things:

                                              1. Those 4 people who were supposed to join didn't join stating that they don't get respect as seniors

                                              2. Another set of employees also left the company and joined rival company.

                                              Above points made me to think that there is something wrong in the way the company is handling people and process !!

                                              Thanks,
                                              Venkatesh





                                              Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                              Venkatesh:

                                              I went through your email and then I went through my email. After reading your assumptions, it seems that I did not articulate my question/ context well.

                                              Regardless of that, I do not see how doing everything in one go is immature at all? It is a choice available in implementing a change and I have seen it work in two contexts, and much faster too. It does have some repercussions but going slow and steady has some other repercussions too [in fact every choice you make has repercussions]. What I like about agile is the focus on continually learning and adapting rather than judging and reprimanding - applicable for individuals as well as organizations.

                                              Thanks
                                              Vikrama Dhiman
                                              Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]

                                              Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                              Extension: 113
                                              Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                              MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                              Skype: vickidhiman


                                              Venkatesh wrote:

                                              I can see two different issues in this scenario, an issue with those 4
                                              people who didn't join the Agile company, and the second one is with
                                              the company practicing Agile itself.

                                              Both seem to have shown pretty immatured behavior. My personal view
                                              is this company practicing Agile seems to be pretty immatured because,
                                              it doesn't seem to have put forth right policies/procedures in place
                                              while introducing Agile in the organization. I am assuming that
                                              somebody at the top might have felt Agile to be good and told
                                              everybody to start practicing Agile without looking at the human
                                              aspect. Practices like self organizing teams, flat team structure, etc
                                              cannot be implemented in one go, it needs its own time and effort to
                                              take off before it reaches maturity level. Many a times dedicated
                                              Agile coaches/behavioral experts are brought into picture to monitor
                                              the impact of such practices on teams before giving the final go.
                                              This Agile company that we are discussing many not have looked into
                                              any of the above aspects, before introducing Agile.

                                              Also senior members should be empowered to be coaches/mentors for
                                              juniors, during the initial days of creation of self organizing/self
                                              managing /flat structured teams. This in turn does not hurt the ego
                                              and at the same time, junior members would be benefited as they get to
                                              learn a lot from seniors.

                                              In one of the case studies I have seen, junior team members wanted to
                                              participate in design and architecture. Senior folks used to brush
                                              them aside saying they don't have necessary skills. The Agile coach
                                              for this project in turn made all the seniors to be mentors and
                                              assigned a senior to a junior. As soon as the seniors title changed
                                              from calling themselves as "architects" to "mentors/coaches", the
                                              relationship transformed to a "teacher/student" relationship, leading
                                              to a good atmosphere. I sometimes feel "titles" do matter and
                                              retaining/changing them makes a lot of difference.

                                              Self organizing does not mean that seniors or capable people should
                                              not be respected. In most of the self organizing teams I have seen,
                                              seniors and much experienced people have been voted to do the roles of
                                              Scrum Master and PO by their team members. Always due respect is given
                                              to the right people. If the people are matured enough, they would try
                                              to understand the scenario, their weaknesses and strive to improve
                                              upon them rather than quitting !!!

                                              Cheers,
                                              Venkatesh
                                              http://agileworld.blogspot.com

                                              --- In agileindia@yahoogroups.com, Vikram Dhiman <vikram@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really
                                              good
                                              > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                                              value
                                              > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
                                              > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                                              > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
                                              > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
                                              > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
                                              > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
                                              > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call
                                              "we
                                              > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has
                                              been a
                                              > serious human capital loss.
                                              >
                                              > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                                              > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
                                              > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                                              > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all
                                              my 06
                                              > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its
                                              just
                                              > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                                              > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
                                              "After
                                              > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
                                              > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
                                              > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
                                              > people too?"
                                              > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
                                              > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                                              > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
                                              > process driven companies with titles and authority.
                                              >
                                              > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
                                              > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
                                              > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                                              > team debate has an interesting angle.
                                              >
                                              > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
                                              > are welcome.
                                              >
                                              > --
                                              > Vikrama Dhiman
                                              > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
                                              >
                                              > Phone: 91-172-4630550
                                              > Extension: 113
                                              > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
                                              > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
                                              > Skype: vickidhiman
                                              >



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