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Voting the entire team off the island

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  • Emiliano Heyns
    We had been doing pretty good for a while, slowly climbing up to something resembling agile, when the addition of a new team member dragged us back into the
    Message 1 of 148 , Jun 24, 2008
      We had been doing pretty good for a while, slowly climbing up to something resembling agile, when the addition of a new team member dragged us back into the dark ages, and productivity has dwindled to near zero as the team bickers about roles, gripes about external dependencies, and plans for perfection, achieving nothing in the process.

      We're batting close to a 100 on the "Scrum Smells" list, with the team unwilling to address anything that concerns the team itself. The team is unwilling to think about what success means to them, and deems "having fun on the job" and unattainable and quite frankly silly goal. Size estimates are done grudgingly, if at all, as are task breakdowns ("we'll just see what we get done as we go"). Team members (and I use the term loosely) are unwilling to do anything that's not strictly related to what they see as their "assigned specialty", so no cross-functional, or even helping out a team-mate. There's zero commitment as the team will only talk about tasks, not the PO goals or stories, and would strongly prefer the tasks be thought out and assigned without them present. The team rarely shows up voluntarily for the daily standup. And they won't attend a Scrum for Team Members course, even if I could arrange it.

      So, at what point does one deem the team members inherently incapable of Agile and replace them? Because I'm getting thoroughly fed up after a year of trying to coax this lot into caring just a little bit about the POs needs, their work, or anything in fact relating to this project.

      Frustrated,
      Emile
    • Emiliano Heyns
      On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 11:36 PM, Emiliano Heyns
      Message 148 of 148 , Sep 13, 2008
        On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 11:36 PM, Emiliano Heyns <Emiliano.Heyns@...> wrote:
        On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 4:42 PM, Ilja Preuss <it@...> wrote:
        Emiliano Heyns wrote:
        > Do I want them to behave differently... that is a very good question. I
        > think (easy to say) I would be OK with a wide variety of behaviors as
        > long as we're showing noticeable progress towards our projects' goal.

        How visible is that progress? How visible is how much needs still to be
        done to reach that goal? Is this reflected in some kind of burn chart
        that the team members believe in?

        I'm beginning to doubt this. We have something like this, but I wonder whether the value of the milestones is adequately explained, which could certainly be an issue for the new member. If not, it could explain a thing or two.

        I've been reading Jean Tabaka's book; I forgot who recommended it to me, but here's a heart-felt thank you to whoever did. I've found "a thing or two" that I should have handled very, very differently. So my apologies to this group, after the apologies already rendered to my team. We're not at the performing stage yet, but in a lot better shape than we were.

        Thanks all,
        Emile

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