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Re: Rotten apple in Scrum team

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  • aacockburn
    ... and ... may ... to ... role ... concern ... in the ... etc, ... That particular talk was written in 2002-2003 to discuss the question of what a Project
    Message 1 of 124 , Jan 5, 2009
      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Hudson" <phudson@...>
      > Alistair,
      > I find it interesting that you discuss here the Project Manager role,
      > seem to assume that's the only interpretation of manager. I think this
      > be an US thing (there was a similar discussion on Ward's Wiki), but at
      > least in the companies I have experience of, it's often quite common
      > separate out the role directing a specific project or project from the
      > that manages the people who make up the teams.
      > I think the roles are quite different - a resource/line manager can
      > themselves with longer term issues around the total number of people
      in the
      > organisation, the balance between contractors and permanent staff, the
      > development of skills useful to the organisation in future projects
      > while the project manager can concentrate on what's needed to meet the
      > project commitments.

      That particular talk was written in 2002-2003 to discuss the question of
      what a Project Manager's job would look like on an agile team. Hence
      the word "Project Manager" there, which is anathema to many Scrum

      What I did to get that slide was to look at 10 factors I consider
      crucial to successful teams - the absence of which causes unhappy
      project trajectories - then I placed them in various places in and
      around the dev team, and was fairly surprised to see how many of them
      landed in the lap of the person who traditionally has held the PM spot.
      I also noticed from a few troubled agile projects that the absence of
      the PM could be linked to the absence of some of those things -
      particularly the "advertise the project" outward arrow, and the "attend
      to the quality of the community" internal activity.

      When I gave this talk in various places (including the PMI), I was a bit
      surprised and heartened that the grey-haired PMs in the group were busy
      nodding their heads when I hit this slide, and several came up to me
      afterwards to thank me for articulating what they had been doing all
      these years, besides babysitting Gantt charts and budgets.

      You correctly spot that the list applies pretty generically to line
      managers as well as PMs. In fact, these days, I don't know whether to
      write line manager or PM on that slide any more.

      However, it is still really very much the job assignment of a Project
      Manager to take care of these issues. And if you replace the PM with a
      ScrumMaster, I think you will find that some of these items fall through
      the cracks. I personally would not particularly tell a new ScrumMaster,
      "You are point person for the quality of community and morale in the
      group." I see that as a fairly large inflation of the SM role (Who sees
      it differently, out of curiosity?)

      I don't mind if the team self-organizes in a different way to cover the
      gaps - perfectly fine where I come from ... it is perhaps a good lesson
      for SMs to take forward to the team that these issues are lurking and
      important and need to be dealt with. What I do mind is if nobody knows
      those issues exist, are important, and aren't getting taken care of.

    • Roy Morien
      We are watched, observed without knowing it all the time by many people, for many reasons that we do not know. That in itself is not a problem. What is the
      Message 124 of 124 , Jan 14, 2009
        We are watched, observed without knowing it all the time by many people, for many reasons that we do not know. That in itself is not a problem. What is the problem is the reason for that observation, and that it becomes known to us.
        If I am observed by people who want to know my coming and going so that they can rob my house, that will become a real problem for me, especially after they have robbed my house, and I connect that action with those couple of guys who seemed to be in our street a lot. I will then be much more vigilant and worried and suspicious in the future.
        If I am observed for the purpose of being given the Good Guy of the year Award, I will be quite happy about that, once I am aware of the situation, and I will probably start to 'play to the audience' a bit so as to be seen as extra nice :)
        So, motive for being observed is important, especially when the activity is revealed. In the workplace it is a case of what you don't know won't hurt you, until you get called in to the boss' office and told 'I've been watching you for a while and I am unhappy with what I have seen and I am now going to criticise you and make you fear for your job'. From that moment on you are going to be nervous, suspicious even to the point of being paranoid sometimes. Whatever the depth of your reaction is, it will be a big downer on your motivation and morale.
        Of course, as soon as you leave the bosses office, everyone else will know that they are probably being 'observed' too, so paranoia will inevitably set in all round. The 'observing' is no longer unknown, but is assumed at all times, and also assumed for nefarious reasons.
        Of course, if the boss comes out and addresses the group, and admits to observing the group's activities (which is not in itself a problem, and probably everyone assumed it anyway) and makes some good observations about success and failures, and plans to overcoming the problems, then everyone will probably be perfectly happy, and it is not a problem in any way.
        Roy Morien

        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        From: haricha@...
        Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 11:39:16 +0530
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Rotten apple in Scrum team

        Let me clarify on pt 5. Now, I have been watching this thread from long time and did not respond for long time, did I loose your trust just by watching it?

        There are multiple ways to watch someone without letting them know and I dont think we loose trust becoz of that. In fact, the first time questioner "Marko" has been watching team and thats how he developed this perception about one of the team member.

        We are being watched all the time by people who are near to us and I dont think we loose trust in each other. The action someone takes after watching for some time, may build or break trust.

        May be the better word instead of watch is observe but my intention is mentioned above when I wrote that point. Any feedback, most welcome.


        On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 7:25 PM, Tim Walker <walketim@gmail. com> wrote:

        Regarding #5 - sounds like a sure fire way to lose trust.


        On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 3:30 AM, Hariprakash Agrawal <haricha@gmail. com> wrote:
        > Great question with very interesting debate. My take on this situation:
        > It requires people management, inter-personal and team building skills; not
        > sure whether SM has this responsibility or not but my opinion would be that
        > SM play this role as well..
        > 1. Try to have informal relationship, discussions with low performer over
        > time, like, in pantry, out of work area
        > 3. Ask tough questions in indirect way in an informal environment in 1:1
        > 4. Just listen, don't counter but empathize; don't blame and don't provide
        > solutions
        > 5. Watch him for some period without letting him realize that you are
        > watching
        > 6. Most probably, low performer will understand and improve over time; if
        > not, ask team opinion preferably 1:1 with each team member. if negative, its
        > time to look for some kind of job which suits him/her most
        > Regards,
        > Hariprakash
        > On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:39 PM, majkic.sensei <majkic@gmail. com> wrote:
        >> Hi,
        >> I have situation considering Scrum metrics. I use team velocity based
        >> on user story points. Everything works fine, but when I take a look at
        >> individual contributions, I was surprised.
        >> Average contribution per developer is 38 usp (user story points). One
        >> of the members makes only 19 usp - twice less than the others.
        >> Did I do wrong, because I measured individual contribution? Who is
        >> responsible for handling those situations in Scrum? Should I bring
        >> this to Scrum review meeting or I should talk with this guy in
        >> private? What would you do?
        > --

        > Regards,
        > Hariprakash Agrawal (aka Hari),
        > <http://hariprakasha grawal.blogspot. com>

        Hariprakash Agrawal (aka Hari),
        <http://hariprakasha grawal.blogspot. com>

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