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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Coaching a developer away from being spoon-fed

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  • Ron Jeffries
    ... Rock on, Martine! Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com We know less about the project today than at any time in the future. -- Chet Hendrickson You mean today
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 1, 2005
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      On Thursday, December 1, 2005, at 12:23:05 PM, Martine Devos wrote:

      > Nobody takes my power away, nobody gives it back to me.

      Rock on, Martine!

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      We know less about the project today than at any time in the future.
      -- Chet Hendrickson
      You mean today is the dumbest day of the rest of my life?
      -- Ron Jeffries
    • Clinton Keith
      ... Hi Simon, From our experience: it sounds like you re at a natural step of adopting Agile. You recognize that this is important (which is great), but it
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 1, 2005
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From Simon Baker
        >
        > What if the whole team is struggling with its new empowered status and
        > is failing to become self-organising because everyone has come from a
        > command and control structure?
        >
        Hi Simon,

        From our experience: it sounds like you're at a natural step of adopting
        Agile. You recognize that this is important (which is great), but it
        takes time for teams to shed the fear of C&C and gain the courage of
        ownership.

        Keep looking at the way to use the simple Scrum practices. Some random
        suggestions:
        - Let them fail (as Victor suggests)
        - Even if you can intervene and avoid the failure.
        - Review the product value, not the tasks.
        - Praise value...focus more on that than their just
        accomplishing all the stories in the backlog "just to be done".
        - Address the entire team, not just your senior people at meetings.
        - Don't talk in Scrums (if you are a chicken)
        - Focus on solving impediments that are yours to solve.

        Just keep focusing on the practices and improving practices once a
        sprint. This is as much of an education for you as it is for the teams.
        One day (it took us over 18 months) the teams will begin to take
        ownership and you'll find a whole new gear you never knew they had.

        Enjoy,
        Clint
        www.agilegamedevelopment.com
      • Nick Xidis
        I don t know if there s a good prescription for this ill but, here s my 2 cents. Visibility, Success & Honesty Make actual performance (or the lack) visible to
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 1, 2005
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          I don't know if there's a good prescription for this ill but, here's my 2 cents.

          Visibility, Success & Honesty

          Make actual performance (or the lack) visible to the whole team. Post it on the wall, talk about it in daily meetings. Don't try to hard to jump in and "fix" this person's issues. Give him/her some time and space to work it out, you're asking him/her to do a very uncomfortable thing and it may take a while before they understand their new role. If you make it visible, the team will work it out (some times with a little coaching)

          Nothing gets folks to change quicker than having actual success. I've had multiple experiences with teams adopting agile and it's a struggle to hold it together until there's a success. Everybody needs to have the "ah ha" moment where they finally get it -- they see how the pieces fit together. One of the hardest things an agile team leader has to do is keep the team and the agile process together long enough to have success.

          Your developer needs to know that you're completely honest. Both with him and what's going on with your projects. Even if its unpleasant, none of the rest matters if they don't trust what your about.


          I know this is not a technique focused as you might have expected -- sorry, I was in a philosophical mood.






          On 12/1/05, Simon Baker <simonbaker@...> wrote:
          What techniques have people successfully employed to encourage a
          developer to be more responsible and decisive and to be a proactive
          part of an emerging self-organising team, when he has become used to
          and comfortable with being spoon-fed by a project manager in a command
          and control environment?





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            Nick Xidis
            nxidis@...

            We are here to make another world. (Deming)
        • David H.
          ... Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you. I do
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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            Martine Devos wrote:
            > My twopence.
            >
            > Could not be the problem that some of us do not want to be empowered as in "empower them" not by younger and not by older people. Maybe sometimes we just try to hard.
            >
            > I met a great scrummaster a couple of weeks ago, in Sweden, and a great team. Low profile. Taking hurdles away. Serving. Speaking up to management when needed. And the team -- and he -- come out of a command and control culture. They just had a training in TDD... He just did not try too hard. Stepping back and creating space for empowered teams.
            >
            > Some of this empowerment (and helping our teams) sound so paternalizing, Empowerment is great. AND empowerment is one of the most abuzed, misunderstood words.
            >
            > I started using dis-disempowerment a while ago. Not that makes much difference. It does give me the intro to saying what I think about empowering though.
            >
            > Sometimes I dis-empower myself -- give up my power to think for myself, to feel for myself, to say what I think and not what I think I am supposed to say, to take risks on my own behalf ... (I am paraphrasing Virginia Satir).
            > Once I see that I get my power back. I may still be scared, I may decide not to say that I need training, or that I am not gonna finish as promissed... But I do that consciously, Not because someone has power over me.
            > Nobody takes my power away, nobody gives it back to me.
            Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which
            is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you.
            I do think I understand the word "to empower" a bite differently, mainly
            because I am not a native speaker. To me it means that you do everything in
            your power to ensure that a team or an individual has that cosy warm feeling
            he needs to unfold.

            -d
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... I would suggest, and I hope, with some confidence, that Martine would agree with me here, that each individual has much power beyond what was handed to
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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              On Friday, December 2, 2005, at 3:40:04 PM, David H. wrote:

              > Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which
              > is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you.

              I would suggest, and I hope, with some confidence, that Martine
              would agree with me here, that each individual has much power beyond
              what was handed to them.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              Speculation or experimentation - which is more likely to give the correct answer?
            • David H.
              ... In what context? Within a fixed organisational structure or as an individual? When I do not know the passwords to the employers database because my job
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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                Ron Jeffries wrote:
                > On Friday, December 2, 2005, at 3:40:04 PM, David H. wrote:
                >
                >> Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which
                >> is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you.
                >
                > I would suggest, and I hope, with some confidence, that Martine
                > would agree with me here, that each individual has much power beyond
                > what was handed to them.
                >
                In what context? Within a fixed organisational structure or as an individual?
                When I do not know the passwords to the employers database because my job
                description does not grant me access to that information, then I simply do not
                have that info and it can only be given to me.

                If you are referring to the power within ourselves that we often do not
                utilise because we are scared or because we forgot about it, then I can only
                agree whole heartedly.

                -d


                PS: I apologise for nit-picking.
              • Dave Bly
                Two more cents for the kitty: Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which is driven by usual command and control someone had
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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                  Two more cents for the kitty:

                   

                  “Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which
                  is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you.”

                  Remember that there is more than one kind of power.  Position power, that ascribed to you by your position, may need to be given to you, but personal power is something that you all have, regardless of the position you hold.  Personal power, that power accruing to you by your ability to perform well and consistently, articulate clearly, persuade effectively and negotiate diplomatically is yours to use, even in a command and control environment.  I have found that personal power is more effective in the long run than position power any day. And it often determines the amount of position power you are granted over the long run.  

                   

                  “Stepping back and creating space for  empowered teams.”

                  Do any of you have teenaged or young adult children?  I think there are interesting parallels between raising young adults and managing empowered teams. Often, they may not listen up front and follow the guidance you offer. They have to stub their toes a few times to see the light for themselves.  “Storming” if you will.  But the payoff is worth it, resulting in more mature and reasoned team decision making.  The trick is to find ways that they can learn from their failures in small, non-destructive ways first and then gradually increase the thresholds as they grow.

                   

                  Dave

                  - “Knowledge is power.” – Sir Francis Bacon

                   


                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of David H.
                  Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 12:40 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Coaching a developer away from being spoon-fed

                   

                  Martine Devos wrote:
                  > My twopence.
                  >  
                  >   Could not be the problem that some of us do not want to be empowered as  in "empower them" not by younger and not by older people.    Maybe sometimes we just try to hard. 
                  >  
                  >   I met a great scrummaster a couple of weeks ago, in Sweden , and a great  team.  Low profile.  Taking hurdles away.   Serving.   Speaking up to management when needed.    And the team -- and he -- come out of a command and control  culture.  They just had a training in TDD...  He just did not  try too hard.   Stepping back and creating space for  empowered teams.
                  >  
                  >   Some of this empowerment (and helping our teams) sound so  paternalizing,   Empowerment is great.  AND empowerment  is one of the most abuzed, misunderstood words.  
                  >  
                  >   I started using dis-disempowerment a while ago.  Not that makes  much difference.  It does give me the intro to saying what I think  about empowering though. 
                  >  
                  >   Sometimes I dis-empower myself -- give up my power to think for myself,  to feel for myself, to say what I think and not what I think I am  supposed to say, to take risks on my own behalf ...  (I am  paraphrasing Virginia Satir). 
                  >   Once I see that I get my power back.  I may still be scared, I may  decide not to say that I need training, or that I am not gonna finish  as promissed...  But I do that consciously,  Not because  someone has power over me.
                  >   Nobody takes my power away, nobody gives it back to me.  
                  Before you can do that you need to have that power though. In a company which
                  is driven by usual command and control someone had to give it to you.
                  I do think I understand the word "to empower" a bite differently, mainly
                  because I am not a native speaker. To me it means that you do everything in
                  your power to ensure that a team or an individual has that cosy warm feeling
                  he needs to unfold.

                  -d


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