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57256Re: [scrumdevelopment] Why do the "values" matter?

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  • Kevin Callahan
    Sep 24 12:44 PM
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      Hi Jean,

      Apologies for commenting on a thread that has otherwise quieted down.

      I firmly believe that yelling in and of itself, is not a problem...*IF* the team has built deep trust, and the topic is truly an how to improve the process and NOT focused on interpersonal attacks, and there are team artifacts in place such as a conflict protocol for support. High-performing teams will and should passionately debate in order to discover the best way forward. I'm not suggesting this must always be in the form of raised voices and high emotion, though at times these are bound to emerge. Successful teams and organizations are emotionally connected; members need to be able to vulnerably and transparently share what is true for them. 

      That all said, yelling can also be incredibly violent, which it sounds like is more along the lines you're experiencing. Even so, I'm curious about an inquiry-based approach such as "what do we believe we gain by increasing our vocal volume?" or "what is the experience of being yelled at?" or "if yelling is not driving the results we need, what are other possible actions that we could try?"

      Additionally, while disrespect can be intentional, what I see far more often is that there is a (at times massive) disconnect between what is intended and what outcome is realized. I find that most often people simply lack the communication tools and language precision to say what they mean in a way that can be heard as intended. These are learnable skills, and without them we'll struggle to get through the pivotal conversations agile requires to a more productive place.

      As I've started doing more often, I'd love to connect with anyone interested in further discussion via a Google Hangout or Skype video chat. This is a rich and nuanced topic; email can only stumble around its edges...


      On Sep 20, 2013, at 9:50 AM, Jean Richardson wrote:


      Thanks, Ron.  I’ve been hesitant to point to specific behaviors in this document when I won’t be there to speak to it later.  However, initially, when the internal agile champion asked for me to write two organization impediments up my first comment was “stop the yelling.”  Yelling and disrespectful speech are two behaviors that can still use work.  Lack of respect impairs courage, and pretty soon the whole set of values are on a rocky foundation.


      I have started reasoning about each of the values in the document.  A person could write a treatise on this topic, and maybe that’s what I need to do elsewhere.


      You’re probably right about case studies.  I’ve definitely seen people read them, discuss them, and then not change a darn thing. 


      --- Jean


      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
      Sent: Friday, September 20, 2013 6:25 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Why do the "values" matter?



      Hi Jean,


      On Sep 20, 2013, at 8:59 AM, "Jean Richardson" <jean@...> wrote:

      Do others here see the same confusion about why respect, commitment, courage, openness, and focus are important to an effective Scrum adoption?  Do I need to be talking about professionalism, instead?  I’m concerned that will gloss the issue, frankly.  Have any of you been able to tie this to real numbers (dollars) through external case studies?


      I am not aware of case studies, though doubtless there are some. Case studies rarely convince anyone, in my experience, even those who ask for them. Much less those who do not.


      I would be inclined to reason about each of the values and why it's important, e.g.:


      When two people have respect for each other, things go more smoothly. For example, suppose there is low respect between developers and testers. Then when testers find things, the developers will push back instead of leaning in to understand what is being seen. With respect, they work together. The result is fewer defects, found sooner, and fixed sooner. The same is true between, say, the developers and the product owner. When there is low respect …


      Repeat for each, ad infinitum.


      All that said, people's values are not easy to change. Personally, I am more inclined to work on behavior. The things they do, the things they say, and so on. 

      Don't ignore your dreams; don't work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy. -- Paul Graham


      Kevin Callahan
      Enterprise Agile Coach

      Direct   +1 (207) 691-2997
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