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Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 of 24 , May 7, 2008
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 24 , May 7, 2008
                  View Source
                  • 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 9 of 24 , May 7, 2008
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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
                                        >



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


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