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  • 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 1 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 2 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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        Thanks Guido.

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

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

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

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


        Guido Schoonheim wrote:

        Hi Vikram,

         

        Very interesting topic indeed.

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

        Things that can help:

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

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

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

        Cheers,

        Guido

         

         

        Kind regards,

         

        Guido Schoonheim

        Chief Technology Officer

         

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

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

         

         

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

         

        Hi Ajay and Rahul:

        Thank you for your responses.

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

        Thanks

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



        Ajay Danait wrote:

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

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

         

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

         

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

         

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



         

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

        Hi Vikram/Rahul,

         

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

         

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

         

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

         

        regards,

        Rashina
         

        --

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

         

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

        Vikram:

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

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

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

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



        Happy Agile'ing
        Rahul Puri

         

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

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

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

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

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

        Rahul Puri wrote:
        Vikram:

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

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

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

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

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

        Happy Agile'ing
        Rahul Puri

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

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

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

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

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

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

         







      • Ravichandran J.V.
        Hi, just wanted to put in a few of my thoughts... Leadership is all influential (just one definition of leadership, i m sure) whereas, managers have to be
        Message 3 of 24 , May 7, 2008
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          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 4 of 24 , May 7, 2008
          View Source
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            Guido:

            Quite an insightful response.

            Thanks
            Rahul Puri

            On 5/7/08, Guido Schoonheim <gschoonheim@...> wrote:
            > Hi Vikram,
            >
            >
            >
            > Very interesting topic indeed.
            >
            >
            >
            > I have seen similar issues appear concerning the role of seniors /
            > architects in Agile teams. However, not in such a drastic form. Very
            > senior developers often feel used to being in charge like a surgeon at
            > the operating table. This is how they make the difference in classical
            > projects, they make it work because of the experience and skill that
            > they exercise formally. This has become part of status and personal
            > image.
            >
            >
            >
            > When they first join an Agile team and realize that they do not have
            > such formal authority then a search begins for their position. Surely
            > they are better and smarter then their counterpart? Do the nurses and
            > assisting doctors now have the same authority at the table as the
            > surgeon? How can this ever go well? Must result in chaos!
            >
            >
            >
            > Instead of having their place in formal authority they now have to
            > create it for themselves using soft skills. By debating decisions with
            > the team. This can feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.
            >
            >
            >
            > At large clients that I have coached I have encountered large critical
            > projects that reverted back to a classical model, not because the people
            > involved did not like the ideas of Scrum, but because they could not
            > take this hurdle.
            >
            >
            >
            > The problem in essence, as I see it, is that the senior guru developers
            > feel a mismatch between their personal objectives and the Agile company
            > objectives. This is however just a feeling and can be taken away if you
            > help them rebuild their position in an Agile environment!
            >
            >
            >
            > Things that can help:
            >
            > - Have a norming session with the team (to establish norms and
            > values). Explain that the fact that there are no roles means that they
            > can decide how to do things. Agree on standards, agree on definition of
            > done, agree on how to do design as a team, and most importantly agree
            > how to make decisions on different topics as a team. Teams will almost
            > never choose the democratic way by voting btw.
            >
            > - Make one senior developer responsible for the project
            > quality. Give him the responsibility and time required and hold him
            > accountable. However, he has no right to impose his will. He has to
            > signal all issues to the team so that they together can do the required
            > Agile modeling and brainstorming to resolve it. The teams is required to
            > take these signals seriously. If they cannot resolve it he is required
            > to escalate to management. If issues remain in the software that are not
            > signaled then he is firstly responsible (and secondly the whole team of
            > course)
            >
            > - Have one on one coaching talks with the senior to help him
            > find his way in leadership. Actively develop the skills required to lead
            > the others. Tell him that you expect him to lead them through this
            > project! If he picks it up well (in a servant leader way) then make him
            > Scrum master (to be done together with his development tasks).
            >
            >
            >
            > I do a lot of work together with Jeff Sutherland. When we talk about how
            > he has arranged things at Patient Keeper I find that also there, at the
            > root of Scrum, they hold seniors personally accountable for technical
            > quality of teams. Single wringable necks.
            >
            >
            >
            > If you look at great projects you will find that the seniors assert
            > themselves as leaders implicitly (not as bosses) and that this comes
            > naturally. If so then the above might be less necessary, but I still
            > always have a norming session. In larger projects (>10 manyears) I am in
            > favor of a quality watch dog role to keep consistency on the long term.
            >
            >
            >
            > I am interested to hear measures you guys take to give these valuable
            > seniors a fitting place in your organizations.
            >
            >
            >
            > From your description it sounds like the company in question exercised
            > the team principle as 'everyone is the same'. This is something that
            > seniors find hard to stomach for they are indeed not the same. The right
            > phrasing is that formally 'everyone is equal' and that the team has to
            > find its own dynamic.
            >
            >
            >
            > We do this not to hinder them, but to give them room to be most
            > effective. No rules means enormous space!
            >
            >
            >
            > Sorry for the long reply, as I said it's a very interesting topic ;-)
            >
            >
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Guido
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Kind regards,
            >
            >
            >
            > Guido Schoonheim
            >
            > Chief Technology Officer
            >
            >
            >
            > Xebia Blog ! http://blog.xebia.com/ <http://blog.xebia.com/>
            >
            > Xebia Podcast! http://podcast.xebia.com/ <http://podcast.xebia.com/>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Van: agileindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileindia@yahoogroups.com]
            > Namens Vikram Dhiman
            > Verzonden: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:36 AM
            > Aan: agileindia@yahoogroups.com
            > Onderwerp: Re: [agileindia] I am much more senior ...
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi Ajay and Rahul:
            >
            > Thank you for your responses.
            >
            > I already know or at least claim to know what is servant leadership,
            > management, team work and what an ideal manager should do. The first
            > thing that I am trying to do is understand where these people are coming
            > from. So that we do not confuse this, there is no problem hiring PO's
            > and Process Coaches and even Managers. It is hiring senior technical
            > people thats a problem. What I am asking is within the "self organizing
            > team" where do people who have significantly more experience and
            > knowledge fit in. I think they are important components of the team, and
            > understanding their concerns and aspirations is an important subject for
            > managers. Simply telling these people there whole idea of seniority and
            > growth is freaky does nothing to solve the problem in my opinion. If
            > anything, I might have lost them forever and would have done a
            > particularly bad job as a manager - with or without agile.
            >
            > Thanks
            >
            > Vikrama Dhiman
            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
            >
            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
            > Extension: 113
            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@...
            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@...
            > Skype: vickidhiman
            >
            >
            >
            > Ajay Danait wrote:
            >
            > Ask these 4 guys to read the topic of "Servant Leadership" -- Robert
            > Greenleaf.
            >
            > Being a senior does not mean "slight" authority or command.
            >
            >
            >
            > Seniority is earned through respect of "juniors" and looks like the 4
            > "seniors" who quit because they saw "A"gile being the issue, then I
            > would say they have not understood the core concept behind being a SM
            > (or coach).
            >
            >
            >
            > Leadership cannot quit because they have not being given "authority",
            > leaders know when to enable "authority" in the team by consensus and
            > true leaders are those who are successful in building a leader-less
            > (read authority-less, command-and-control less) team.
            >
            >
            >
            > I sincerely feel that the "seniors" you talk about are
            > command-and-control freaks and not understood the true essence of being
            > a "servant leader".
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > On 5/7/08, Rashina Hoda <rashina@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Vikram/Rahul,
            >
            >
            >
            > This is very interesting scenario, specially from point of view of my
            > research. I'm exploring Agile Project Management, and in particular 'the
            > role of the project manager in agile projects' as a part of my Phd
            > research, here in New Zealand.
            >
            >
            >
            > I was in India for the two Agile India conferences in Gurgaon and Mumbai
            > and chatted with many agile practitioners, most of them in managerial
            > positions. Almost all of them were very content with their roles and in
            > general happy about the way agile was working for them. It would be
            > interesting to talk to these managers who had issues with their roles in
            > an agile setting.
            >
            >
            >
            > Since the 4 senior managers choose to move from an Agile to a non-Agile
            > framework, it seems obvious that they weren't happy with the way Agile
            > was being followed at their organisation, particularly in terms of how
            > they were placed in the system. But do you believe its an inherent issue
            > in Agile and that the fundamental Agile principles don't address the
            > role of the PM (be it SM, PO, or Agile coach) properly?
            >
            >
            >
            > regards,
            >
            > Rashina
            >
            >
            > --
            >
            > PhD Student
            > Victoria University of Wellington
            > New Zealand
            > rashina@...
            >
            >
            >
            > On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:13 AM, Rahul Puri <rahulpuri1984@...>
            > wrote:
            >
            > Vikram:
            >
            > I find it hard to believe people leaving because there weren't enough
            > senior people. I believe exprienced people help you a WHOLE LOT to grow
            > as a professional and as an individual. BUT, at the same time I don't
            > believe an individual's growth is STRICTLY dependent on the experienced
            > people. If growth was their concern they could read books and what not
            > to gain knowledge.
            >
            > In my opinion, the situation was perfect case for people to take
            > initiattive and assert their leadership skills(when experienced people
            > aren't there, giving confidence to the company that it won't be let down
            > by individuals it has invested in).
            >
            > It's my personal opinion, that a Product Owner's role should be played
            > by a person who understands people and their needs(as only then a vaccum
            > is created for the engineering of a "well designed" software system that
            > solves a "real-problem"). You could raise questions to my belief stating
            > a person reaches that maturity level only with experience(which is true,
            > but there could be exceptions).
            >
            > As for your concern about the career transition, I think the
            > organisation as a whole needs to be mentored on Agile(which includes the
            > HR). And, I think then there is strong possibility of not having such a
            > scenario.
            >
            >
            >
            > Happy Agile'ing
            > Rahul Puri
            >
            >
            >
            > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Vikram Dhiman
            > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com> >
            > wrote:
            > Hi Rahul:
            >
            > The person does not want to me a Scrum Master or Product Owner. Also,
            > there were 04 such persons. Also, 04 of these went to a rival company.
            > Also, because of this, at least some people migrated from Agile company
            > to a non-Agile one [not because of process, but because there are not
            > enough experienced people on board].
            >
            > You have 03 main roles : PO, SM and the team. Of these, the PO and SM
            > are typically given to senior people/ someone really skilled and are
            > generally seen as a reward. I know that these are supposed to be roles
            > rather than titles, but this is rarely done. That can be a reason for
            > the discontent among senior technical people in the "technical team". In
            > older hierarchy - you had two paths of growth : technical [tech
            > architect, enterprise designer etc] and managerial. How do we show this
            > to the people in an Agile set up so that you do not end up loosing good
            > and experienced people?
            >
            > Thanks
            > Vikrama Dhiman
            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
            >
            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
            > Extension: 113
            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
            > Skype: vickidhiman
            >
            > Rahul Puri wrote:
            > Vikram:
            >
            > According to your mail(and provided I comprehended it well enough), I
            > believe the person you mentioning is good at Technical stuff. I find it
            > hard to believe why would be eyeing a role that has less to do where his
            > expertise is. "In theory", I find it hard to believe he would be a good
            > fit for Product Owner's role. Again, in practice things might be
            > different as his personality traits would come into play. But "by
            > default", I would persume a Product owner to be a business oriented
            > person who understands users and their needs, not a Technical guy who
            > can produce tonnes code but that application doesn't have people using
            > it(keep in mind, I said default ... there could be exceptions based on
            > personality traits).
            >
            > Even if he is eyeing the Scrum Master role, then I think he has to be
            > management person as that person really is making sure if the process is
            > done right. And, "by default" taking care of processes is a management
            > thingy(It's important I quote "by default" because every organisation is
            > not the same). So, I think the person in question here should think
            > about certifications like PMP and all and get into PMO(Project
            > Management Office) and really then lay out the plans on how he believes
            > the process should be to roll out an application.
            >
            > Joining a company thats Agile or Fragile, is really upto an individual.
            > If that individual is a SuperStar then I would suggest he should go into
            > a company where Agile is not the norm. Why? Well, because this way he
            > can play a strong leadership role in shaping the personality of that
            > company and have a serious impact(but like I said, the person should a
            > be a superstar(as far as expertise is concerned to have that kind of an
            > impact)).
            >
            > Respect and authority any individual can command through their work. I
            > find it hard to believe a person really being the captain of the ship
            > and taking care of "most" things not having the respect of the
            > crew(damm, even a t00l like Jack Sparrow was able to command respect in
            > Pirates of the Caribean). So, im my opinion he can join any company to
            > get respect and authority(as really work would speak for itself).
            >
            > In the end, I'd like to highlight one essential point, it really boils
            > down to the person's personality. How much of an impact can he have,
            > it's hard to really rationalise the whole situation in terms of Agile or
            > (respect and authority). There are way too many variables involved to
            > just give "one right answer" to this issue.
            >
            > Happy Agile'ing
            > Rahul Puri
            >
            > On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Vikram Dhiman
            > <vikram@... <mailto:vikram%40netsolutionsindia.com> >
            > wrote:
            > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good
            >
            > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value
            >
            > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom
            > they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
            > join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority".
            > The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and
            > in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made
            > rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this
            > company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we
            >
            > will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a
            >
            > serious human capital loss.
            >
            > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
            > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an
            > issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn
            > something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06
            >
            > years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
            >
            > "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
            > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
            >
            > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
            > Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years
            > experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced
            > people too?"
            > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer.
            > I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
            > [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more
            > process driven companies with titles and authority.
            >
            > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which
            > are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some
            > other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
            > team debate has an interesting angle.
            >
            > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts
            > are welcome.
            >
            > --
            > Vikrama Dhiman
            > Manager, Business Analyst [Pre-sales and Product Consulting]
            >
            > Phone: 91-172-4630550
            > Extension: 113
            > Yahoo IM: vickydhiman@... <mailto:vickydhiman%40yahoo.com>
            > MSN IM: vickidhiman@... <mailto:vickidhiman%40hotmail.com>
            > Skype: vickidhiman
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Pankaj Chawla
            Hi Ajay, Even though I totally agree with you but your arguments are only based on the logic and ignore the emotional aspect of human behaviour. How many CEOs
            Message 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 of 24 , May 8, 2008
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                              Agile Enthusiasts:

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

                              Happy Agile'ing
                              Rahul Puri

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

                              Hi,

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

                              Coming back to the thread and my 2 c.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                              Regards | Vikas





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

                              Vikram

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

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

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

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

                              Thanks,
                              Venkatesh





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

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

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

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

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


                              Venkatesh wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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