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56433Re: [scrumdevelopment] How do we get senior management teams truly, actively engaged?

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  • Alan Dayley
    Jan 1, 2013
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      I will echo Markus's response but in a different way.

      "Action expresses priority." - Mahatma Gandhi 

      Full participation with the Scrum teams is not a priority for these people.

      What is their current priority?
      Should full participation with the Scrum teams be higher priority than what they now do?  If so, who needs to know this and how will you tell/teach/show them?
      Is there a way to satisfy their current priority AND have them more involved with the Scrum teams?

      Your question is huge. Whole books are written on the subject and it's tangents.  Use the questions above and similar ones to find one small place where you can steer toward the behavior you desire.

      For examples:
      How can you make your Sprint Reviews so compelling that they will clear their calendars to attend them?
      Is there some part of your work that you can make highly visible so that these people are drawn to participate without being preached at or cajoled?

      Alan




      On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
       

      An example of Markus's point:

      I knew a development director named Randy who was faced with the irritating chore of deciding where about 50 people should sit within a giant windowless multi-team room.  Every time he assigned someone a seat, there were a half dozen complaints.  Even in a windowless room, some seats were seen as more desirable than others.  By this time the teams had started forming and working together toward a common vision.  So he told everyone in the room to stop work for one hour and spend that time rearranging themselves in the room, working it out with each other.  Then he LEFT THE ROOM.  Randy told me he snuck back in the room after 45 minutes and the teams had worked it all out at the 37 minute mark.  Interestingly, the more socially dominant individuals did *not* wind up with the "desirable" seats -- more junior people wound up with them.

      Now, this mightn't have worked if he weren't already demonstrating through unambiguous actions that teams are responsible for self management.  

      BTW, in too many cases the "managers of product owners" are the real product owners, and the teams are stuck with proxies.  Those extra layers usually just add noise and reduce flexibility.

      Other things managers should probably do less of in an agile organization: Coordination between teams, performance appraisals, neurotic interventionism ( http://blogs.collab.net/agile/neurotic-interventionism ), applying pressure.   Most managers don't enjoy doing that stuff anyway.  Instead we're looking for vision, clear priorities, and help removing obstacles.  If they are open to your feedback (and always ask first), you can help them learn to give up control to gain influence.

      --mj


      On Jan 1, 2013, at 11:26 AM, "Steve" <steverwyllie@...> wrote:

       

      Hi,

      I've been a full-time scrum master for the last few years but there's a problem that I eventually keep bumping up against. After some initial discomfort, management teams seem to come to terms with scrum by viewing it as a 'specialist team thing'.

      I'd appreciate hearing anyone's experience on how they got typically time-poor, already-busy and stressed managers to reflect on their own working practice and start to at least consider different approaches, values and behaviours?

      The group I'm thinking about would be 'managers of product owners', IT Directors and traditional project and programme managers.

      Steve



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