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Re: [XP] The Whole Enchilada

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  • Adam Sroka
    ... I think a lot of this comes from a misunderstanding of what it means to have self organizing teams. We asked a bunch of idiots to self-organize and
    Message 1 of 87 , Feb 1, 2009
      On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 6:59 AM, Mary Poppendieck <maryp@...> wrote:
      > Hi Laurent,
      > I'm with Josh on this. I see lots of floundering Scrum initiatives,
      > typically due to the assumption that essential technical practices will
      > be discovered by "the team" and they are not. Can you explain where the
      > incentive would come from to write up the stories? Why bother?

      I think a lot of this comes from a misunderstanding of what it means
      to have "self organizing teams." We asked a bunch of idiots to
      self-organize and they've yet to come up with anything brilliant! What
      are we doing wrong?

      I worked for a boss who insisted on allowing teams to decide for
      themselves. He hired a couple of people with Agile experience and put
      them in marginal positions. Then he wondered why Agile practices
      weren't spreading! If good ideas are like viruses then some teams have
      hearty immune systems.

      Oddly, if you put a group of people together who aren't Agile they
      will continue not to be Agile despite the passage of time.
    • Brad Appleton
      Thanks Charlie for the thoughts and advice!
      Message 87 of 87 , Feb 7, 2009
        Thanks Charlie for the thoughts and advice!

        Charlie Poole wrote:
        > You have to be careful there. Usually, coaches are people who
        > have been successful with teams in the past. So they have lots
        > of skills and ways of doing things learned in the past. The
        > major thing a new coach needs - what I needed to develop
        > when I first started - is a sense of humility. You don't know
        > what a given team (one you aren't part of) should do.
        > IME, this is the hardest part of being a coach, and it's
        > even harder for coaches who have some standing in the
        > organization, since they have to bend over backwards to
        > avoid the appearance of setting rules.
        >> The change-team also (with input from the practicing agile coaches &
        >> engineers) provides the mechanism to help identify projects
        >> that are good candidates to be agile, and the
        >> sponsorship/advocacy to approach their management and discuss
        >> if they'd be open to it and what the benefits (and
        >> consequences) are. We're actually having some pretty good
        >> successes there.
        > Here, I'd say the risk is beginning to think of agile as
        > one Way of doing things - not that you're thinking that
        > way, but I've seen internal groups like this move from
        > encouragement to standardization a time or two.
        >> Getting back to the original topic of this thread, our
        >> "starter kit" has a menu of practices on it. There is a set
        >> that we say are "required in order to be agile" (we say we
        >> think you cant be agile without it -- even tho we dont force
        >> it). There are some that are considered "scaling"
        >> practices (e.g., "Scrum of Scrums", "Joint Retrospectives",
        >> "Feature-Teams") and we say when we believe those are
        >> applicable and should be used. There are some "optional
        >> practices", meaning that they may not be absolutely necessary
        >> for agility, but they really enhance it a lot. (again we dont
        >> force any things, we recommend and provide support and guidance)
        > To be clear, I too think there are some practices you just
        > have to do to be agile. I just don't think you should necessarily
        > give people lists of them. It works much better (for me anyway)
        > to start fresh with each team, work with them and guide them
        > to decide how they will be agile.
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