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Re: Scrum is generally good for staff morale

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  • Joseph Little
    Roy, You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but you can t make him drink. I had this little phrase come to me, which I tease and call
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 5, 2009
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      Roy,

      You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but
      you can't make him drink.

      I had this little phrase come to me, which I tease and call Little's
      Second law: "People are remarkably good at doing what they want to do."

      I read this two ways:
      - Where there's a will there's a way.
      - AND...when I ask my sister to do something, she has 1,954 ways to
      make that that thing does *not* happen.

      I don't know how things are where you live, but I find when people
      volunteer (and get paid), they tend to do a better job.

      Leadership is still needed and wanted. Typically more inspiring than
      bossing.

      Maybe a reasonable pattern is to say "We're going to Boston in a car
      because...[x!,y!,z!], and you guys figure out what we take and how we
      get there." Still, we know that despite what King Canute* may say,
      all the laws, natural and otherwise, will continue to apply.

      Regards, Joe

      * Some of you may wish to Google Wikipedia "ruler of the waves"



      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I find this discussion about 'forcing Scrum on the developers' to be
      rather interesting. Whenever I joined a new organisation, I was never
      asked 'Oh, what development approach do you prefer to use?'. No, I was
      usually told 'There are the manuals all about our development
      approach. That's the way we do things here'. Presunably the management
      were happy with the productivity that that particular development
      approach enabled, or were happy to blame the developers if
      productivity was low, and to replace them if that was seen as too much
      of a problem.
      >
      > Sure, to have discussions with an existing development team about
      adopting alternative approaches to their work is a good idea. No doubt
      some useful suggestions and information will be forthcoming. BUT I
      still think that it is managements' role to decide the development
      approach, and to 'impose' that on the developers. A good manager will
      choose a good approach, and will be able to 'sell' it to the
      developers. Ensuring that good and appropriate training is given is a
      necessary step. If the developers have already decided that the new
      approach is good, then so much the better. Yes, there will always be
      some opposition, but I think that there will always also be some
      willingness at least to try it.
      >
      > I would be interested to hear more about both cases stated here ...
      both expressing and demonstrating diametrically opposed viewpoints and
      outcomes. Why did productivity drop in one case, and improve in the
      other? Was the improvement sustained? Oh yeah, and how was it
      measured? :) What was the attitude of the team where productivity
      dropped? Why were they so opposed?
      >
      > Regards,
      > Roy Morien
      >
      >
      >
      > To: scrumdevelopment@...: adrian.carr@...: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:49:13
      -0500Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum is generally good for staff
      morale
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Just a second opinion in a similar situation.....
      >
      > Generally, yes, but not in all cases.The way Scrum was implemented
      where I worked, was a big success. It was forced on the Dev team
      from above (with a little input from a few developers).Productivity
      took a big increase.One good thing though - the cost of Support became
      obvious - it was no longer buried in Development cost.
      >
      >
      > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of quinton@...:
      Tuesday, December 30, 2008 12:44 PMTo: scrumdevelopment@...:
      [scrumdevelopment] Scrum is generally good for staff morale
      >
      >
      >
      > Generally, yes, but not in all cases.The way Scrum was implemented
      where I worked, was a disaster. It was forced on the Dev team from
      above.Productivity took a big hit, and never really recovered.One good
      thing though - the cost of Support became obvious - it was not longer
      buried in Development cost.--- peterstev@... wrote:From: "Peter
      Stevens (calendar)" <peterstev@...>To: scrumdevelopment@...: Re:
      [scrumdevelopment] Scrum adoption in union environments.Date: Tue, 30
      Dec 2008 17:04:29 +0100
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi Jean,This could be tricky. Ideally, Scrum and other agile methods
      are team games. "We are all in this together" with a common goal,
      "winning". Rigid definitions of "that's not my job" have no place in
      an agile team.I think you might want to consider doing a pilot project
      - see how it works and how people react to it first, then deal with
      formal, contractual and other bureaucratic issues later, after your
      people have hands on experience with working under Scrum, and assuming
      your agency still wants to continue.My experience has been that Scrum
      is generally good for staff morale. But a disconnect between
      management and team can be a source of frustration. An unhappy team
      member can sow much discontent. My own experience has been that senior
      engineers and managers feel more threatened by change in general and
      by Scrum in particular, because they don't see their position
      reflected in Scrum's roles. Junior people tend to see Scrum as a
      chance to gain experience and strengthen their skills. They are
      perhaps less set in their ways and more willing to try out new
      things.So I would look for a team of volunteers who really want to try
      it out and for whom the experiment is more important than the formally
      defined rules. Perhaps you won't find enough or any volunteers, in
      which case, Scrum is probably not a good idea for your
      organization.Cheers,PeterJean Richardson wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I'm working in a State agency, and, yes, they are unionized. The
      contract defines roles and relates that directly to pay and other
      compensation (such as how and whether comp time is accrued). So, if
      an IS5 is doing something such as database design, the contract would
      indicate that, for the period of time that worker is doing
      higher-than-IS5 tasks, the worker should be given a work-out-of-class
      differential.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > -- Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPhttp://tinyurl.com/Scrum-In-House-Training
      > http://scrum-breakfast.com
      > tel: +41 44 586 6450
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _________________________________________________________________
      > Time for change? Find your ideal job with SEEK.
      >
      http://a.ninemsn.com.au/b.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fninemsn%2Eseek%2Ecom%2Eau%2F%3Ftracking%3Dsk%3Atl%3Ask%3Anine%3A0%3Ahottag%3Achange&_t=757263783&_r=SEEK_tagline&_m=EXT
      >
    • Peter Stevens (calendar)
      ... Hi Joe, I have my consultant s corollaries to this phrase: * You can lead a horse to water, but you can t make him think. - You can give people good
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 5, 2009
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        Joseph Little wrote:

        Roy,

        You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but
        you can't make him drink.


        ,_._,___


        Hi Joe,

        I have my consultant's corollaries to this phrase:
        • You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think. - You can give people good advice, and they may continue to follow their old, bad practices
        • You can lead a horse to water, he'll think what he wants. -- You can teach someone Scrum, and they may go off and do Kan-Ban.
        Neither is really satisfying if those horses were your customer, but of the two, I prefer the latter ;-)

        Cheers,

        Peter
        -- 
        Peter Stevens, CSM, CSP
        http://tinyurl.com/Scrum-In-House-Training
        http://scrum-breakfast.com
        tel: +41 44 586 6450
        
      • Joseph Little
        Hi Peter, We need to talk...about something else. In a day or two. Kanban: Ummm. I like Lean and Kanban is a good practice within Lean. Already part of
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 5, 2009
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          Hi Peter,

          We need to talk...about something else. In a day or two.

          Kanban: Ummm. I like Lean and Kanban is a good practice within Lean.
          Already part of Scrum, eg, via the Scrum Board. But I worry that
          some people have gotten on this "Kanban" wagon (as it is being
          called), which may take them down a less-successful path. Of course,
          if it is only a short detour and they learn to use the cards really
          well, then a good learning experience.

          Regards, Joe


          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stevens (calendar)"
          <peterstev@...> wrote:
          >
          > Joseph Little wrote:
          > >
          > > Roy,
          > >
          > > You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but
          > > you can't make him drink.
          > >
          > >
          > > ,_._,___
          >
          >
          > Hi Joe,
          >
          > I have my consultant's corollaries to this phrase:
          >
          > * You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think. - You
          > can give people good advice, and they may continue to follow their
          > old, bad practices
          > * You can lead a horse to water, he'll think what he wants. -- You
          > can teach someone Scrum, and they may go off and do Kan-Ban.
          >
          > Neither is really satisfying if those horses were your customer, but of
          > the two, I prefer the latter ;-)
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > Peter
          >
          > --
          > Peter Stevens, CSM, CSP
          > http://tinyurl.com/Scrum-In-House-Training
          > http://scrum-breakfast.com
          > tel: +41 44 586 6450
          >
        • Peter Stevens
          Hi Joe, ... Sure! Looking forward to it. Re: Kanban/Scrum-ban - I think innovation is a good thing. People should try out new ideas and at et the cream rise to
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 5, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Joe,

            >
            We need to talk...about something else. In a day or two.

            Sure! Looking forward to it.

            Re: Kanban/Scrum-ban - I think innovation is a good thing. People should try out new ideas and at et the cream rise to the top. And sometimes people *have* to try things for themselves. If it's good, we can embrace what they have accomplished. If not, Scrum will still be there.

            Personally, I don't thing the WIP of a two week or even four week sprint is terribly relevant to the total cost of production. It might be theoretically an issue, but I think most organizations have bigger problems. And calculating or guaranteeing cylce time becomes much more difficult without the rhythm of sprints.

            I am most curious about how well the pipeline concept is going to work. Process the stories in phases with a limit on the number of stories in analysis, design, implementation. Seems like an attempted to reinvent/improve the waterfall. Alan Shalloway has a similar concept -- I think he calls them exploratory (create the product backlog), analysis (get stories ready for implementation) and implementation stories.

            Cheers,

            Peter


            On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:12 PM, Joseph Little <jhlittle@...> wrote:

            Hi Peter,

            We need to talk...about something else. In a day or two.

            Kanban: Ummm. I like Lean and Kanban is a good practice within Lean.
            Already part of Scrum, eg, via the Scrum Board. But I worry that
            some people have gotten on this "Kanban" wagon (as it is being
            called), which may take them down a less-successful path. Of course,
            if it is only a short detour and they learn to use the cards really
            well, then a good learning experience.

            Regards, Joe

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stevens (calendar)"


            <peterstev@...> wrote:
            >
            > Joseph Little wrote:
            > >
            > > Roy,
            > >
            > > You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but
            > > you can't make him drink.
            > >
            > >
            > > ,_._,___
            >
            >
            > Hi Joe,
            >
            > I have my consultant's corollaries to this phrase:
            >
            > * You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think. - You
            > can give people good advice, and they may continue to follow their
            > old, bad practices
            > * You can lead a horse to water, he'll think what he wants. -- You
            > can teach someone Scrum, and they may go off and do Kan-Ban.
            >
            > Neither is really satisfying if those horses were your customer, but of
            > the two, I prefer the latter ;-)
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Peter
            >
            > --
            > Peter Stevens, CSM, CSP
            > http://tinyurl.com/Scrum-In-House-Training
            > http://scrum-breakfast.com
            > tel: +41 44 586 6450
            >




            --
            Peter Stevens, CSM, CSP
            http://tinyurl.com/Scrum-In-House-Training
            http://scrum-breakfast.com
            tel: +41 44 586 6450

          • Roy Morien
            You are correct. BUT ... if the water happens to be a particular development approach, and the developers are being paid good money to follow that approach,
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 5, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              You are correct. BUT ... if the water happens to be a particular development approach, and the developers are being paid good money to follow that approach, then I really do feel that they should 'drink'. I am all for industrial democracy and team self-management and all that is implied in this. I am also aware that people have their own views, probably divergent views, on almost any subject. BUT if I am paying them good money to do something (ie: their salary) I would expect them to do their best job regardless of whether I have told them the preferred process or they have chosen it themselves.
               
              I also acknowledge that it is in my own best interests to create an environment where everybody behaves in a satisfied and productive manner. So I will try to ensure that the best work environment is available, and developers are happy. But if I am satisfied that working in a particular way is the best way, then I do not see that i should be somehow hostage to the opinions, views and preferences of those who I have employed.
               
              There is a natural balance that will be achieved here. Imposing a bad approach will inevitably lead to failure. Imposing a good approach, combined with appropriate training and assistance, will not inevitably lead to failure. People will vote with their feet if they are sufficiently unhappy, which may have negative consequences for me, so I will try to avoid that.
               
              But all of this does not mean that I should tolerate active opposition and hostility, or even disinterested and antagonisitc behaviour. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Just make sure the tune is appropriately melodious :) (not malodious)

              Regards,
              Roy Morien



              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              From: jhlittle@...
              Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 17:59:16 +0000
              Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Scrum is generally good for staff morale


              Roy,

              You probably know the US phrase...You can lead a horse to water, but
              you can't make him drink.

              I had this little phrase come to me, which I tease and call Little's
              Second law: "People are remarkably good at doing what they want to do."

              I read this two ways:
              - Where there's a will there's a way.
              - AND...when I ask my sister to do something, she has 1,954 ways to
              make that that thing does *not* happen.

              I don't know how things are where you live, but I find when people
              volunteer (and get paid), they tend to do a better job.

              Leadership is still needed and wanted. Typically more inspiring than
              bossing.

              Maybe a reasonable pattern is to say "We're going to Boston in a car
              because...[x! ,y!,z!], and you guys figure out what we take and how we
              get there." Still, we know that despite what King Canute* may say,
              all the laws, natural and otherwise, will continue to apply.

              Regards, Joe

              * Some of you may wish to Google Wikipedia "ruler of the waves"

              --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Roy Morien <roymorien@. ..> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I find this discussion about 'forcing Scrum on the developers' to be
              rather interesting. Whenever I joined a new organisation, I was never
              asked 'Oh, what development approach do you prefer to use?'. No, I was
              usually told 'There are the manuals all about our development
              approach. That's the way we do things here'. Presunably the management
              were happy with the productivity that that particular development
              approach enabled, or were happy to blame the developers if
              productivity was low, and to replace them if that was seen as too much
              of a problem.
              >
              > Sure, to have discussions with an existing development team about
              adopting alternative approaches to their work is a good idea. No doubt
              some useful suggestions and information will be forthcoming. BUT I
              still think that it is managements' role to decide the development
              approach, and to 'impose' that on the developers. A good manager will
              choose a good approach, and will be able to 'sell' it to the
              developers. Ensuring that good and appropriate training is given is a
              necessary step. If the developers have already decided that the new
              approach is good, then so much the better. Yes, there will always be
              some opposition, but I think that there will always also be some
              willingness at least to try it.
              >
              > I would be interested to hear more about both cases stated here ...
              both expressing and demonstrating diametrically opposed viewpoints and
              outcomes. Why did productivity drop in one case, and improve in the
              other? Was the improvement sustained? Oh yeah, and how was it
              measured? :) What was the attitude of the team where productivity
              dropped? Why were they so opposed?
              >
              > Regards,
              > Roy Morien
              >
              >
              >
              > To: scrumdevelopment@ ...: adrian.carr@ ...: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 12:49:13
              -0500Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum is generally good for staff
              morale
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Just a second opinion in a similar situation... ..
              >
              > Generally, yes, but not in all cases.The way Scrum was implemented
              where I worked, was a big success. It was forced on the Dev team
              from above (with a little input from a few developers). Productivity
              took a big increase.One good thing though - the cost of Support became
              obvious - it was no longer buried in Development cost.
              >
              >
              > From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
              [mailto:scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of quinton@...:
              Tuesday, December 30, 2008 12:44 PMTo: scrumdevelopment@ ...:
              [scrumdevelopment] Scrum is generally good for staff morale
              >
              >
              >
              > Generally, yes, but not in all cases.The way Scrum was implemented
              where I worked, was a disaster. It was forced on the Dev team from
              above.Productivity took a big hit, and never really recovered.One good
              thing though - the cost of Support became obvious - it was not longer
              buried in Development cost.--- peterstev@.. . wrote:From: "Peter
              Stevens (calendar)" <peterstev@. ..>To: scrumdevelopment@ ...: Re:
              [scrumdevelopment] Scrum adoption in union environments. Date: Tue, 30
              Dec 2008 17:04:29 +0100
              >
              >
              >
              > Hi Jean,This could be tricky. Ideally, Scrum and other agile methods
              are team games. "We are all in this together" with a common goal,
              "winning". Rigid definitions of "that's not my job" have no place in
              an agile team.I think you might want to consider doing a pilot project
              - see how it works and how people react to it first, then deal with
              formal, contractual and other bureaucratic issues later, after your
              people have hands on experience with working under Scrum, and assuming
              your agency still wants to continue.My experience has been that Scrum
              is generally good for staff morale. But a disconnect between
              management and team can be a source of frustration. An unhappy team
              member can sow much discontent. My own experience has been that senior
              engineers and managers feel more threatened by change in general and
              by Scrum in particular, because they don't see their position
              reflected in Scrum's roles. Junior people tend to see Scrum as a
              chance to gain experience and strengthen their skills. They are
              perhaps less set in their ways and more willing to try out new
              things.So I would look for a team of volunteers who really want to try
              it out and for whom the experiment is more important than the formally
              defined rules. Perhaps you won't find enough or any volunteers, in
              which case, Scrum is probably not a good idea for your
              organization. Cheers,PeterJean Richardson wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > I'm working in a State agency, and, yes, they are unionized. The
              contract defines roles and relates that directly to pay and other
              compensation (such as how and whether comp time is accrued). So, if
              an IS5 is doing something such as database design, the contract would
              indicate that, for the period of time that worker is doing
              higher-than- IS5 tasks, the worker should be given a work-out-of- class
              differential.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > -- Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPhttp://tinyurl. com/Scrum- In-House- Training
              > http://scrum- breakfast. com
              > tel: +41 44 586 6450
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              > Time for change? Find your ideal job with SEEK.
              >
              http://a.ninemsn. com.au/b. aspx?URL= http%3A%2F% 2Fninemsn% 2Eseek%2Ecom% 2Eau%2F%3Ftracki ng%3Dsk%3Atl% 3Ask%3Anine% 3A0%3Ahottag% 3Achange& _t=757263783& _r=SEEK_tagline& _m=EXT
              >




              Sell your car for just $40 at CarPoint.com.au It's simple!
            • Ron Jeffries
              ... I would predict with some confidence that your expectations will quite commonly not be met, were you to impose on people things that they do not like. Ron
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 6, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello, Roy. On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, at 2:00:27 AM, you wrote:

                > You are correct. BUT ... if the water happens to be a particular
                > development approach, and the developers are being paid good money
                > to follow that approach, then I really do feel that they should
                > 'drink'. I am all for industrial democracy and team
                > self-management and all that is implied in this. I am also aware
                > that people have their own views, probably divergent views, on
                > almost any subject. BUT if I am paying them good money to do
                > something (ie: their salary) I would expect them to do their best
                > job regardless of whether I have told them the preferred process
                > or they have chosen it themselves.

                I would predict with some confidence that your expectations will
                quite commonly not be met, were you to impose on people things that
                they do not like.

                Ron Jeffries
                www.XProgramming.com
                www.xprogramming.com/blog
                It's easy to have a complicated idea.
                It's very very hard to have a simple idea.
                -- Carver Mead
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