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Re: [scrumdevelopment] How do we get senior management teams truly, actively engaged?

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  • Ram Srinivasan
    ... terms with scrum by viewing it as a specialist team thing . So what s happening because of this? Do you have a meta scrum where organizational level
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 2, 2013

      >> After some initial discomfort, >>management teams seem to >>come to terms with scrum by >>viewing it as a 'specialist team >>thing'.

      So what's happening because of this?

      Do you have a "meta scrum" where organizational level impediments/challenges are discussed periodically?


      On Jan 1, 2013 4:19 PM, "Steve" <steverwyllie@...> wrote:


      I've been a full-time scrum master for the last few years but there's a problem that I eventually keep bumping up against. After some initial discomfort, management teams seem to come to terms with scrum by viewing it as a 'specialist team thing'.

      I'd appreciate hearing anyone's experience on how they got typically time-poor, already-busy and stressed managers to reflect on their own working practice and start to at least consider different approaches, values and behaviours?

      The group I'm thinking about would be 'managers of product owners', IT Directors and traditional project and programme managers.


    • avinap77
      Hi Steve. ... I ve been in similar situations. What has worked for me more than once: * Schedule one-one-one talks with these managers on a regular basis. Give
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 2, 2013
        Hi Steve.

        --- "Steve" <steverwyllie@...> wrote:
        > I'd also really appreciate anyone else's experience of what's
        > worked, in terms of changing unhelpful behaviours demonstrated by
        > senior guys who aren't part of scrum teams.

        I've been in similar situations.

        What has worked for me more than once:

        * Schedule one-one-one talks with these managers on a regular basis. Give them attention. Make them feel relevant. Groom their involvment. Ask them what's important to them in the context of the current scrum. Make them feel heared and really listen to them.

        * Ask them for active help - for instance in contacting key strategic 3rd parties, or in coordinating work with other teams. Something that fits their C-level. Depending on the relationship between these managers and the team-members - I sometimes approach them for this help myself (as SM) and sometimes encourage a team member to do the asking. Either way pay attention to who's approaching them - it should be someone with a personal approach to them. Someone they really don't want to let down or alternatively really want to impress. By this you efectively turn them into team members without calling it that. They will care about the help they've provided and about what the team does with it.

        * Ask help from them to resolve impediments. They are usually more than glad to help if asked. In fact these managers usually love to help impediments because it lets them shine as real heroes and saviours-of-the-day. Even if they cannot really help, or if they delegate it to someone else, or even if they promise to help and then break that promise - it's the asking that makes the difference. Once they feel that they are helping they will show more interest in the results of their actions.

        * And like others have stated - invite them to the reviews as any other stakeholder. Hold them up to it. If they cannot come - ask them when would be more convenient and reschedule. Really make yourself care about if they come or not. Facilitate the discussion so the team talks to them and so they give their input. They will pick up on it and start reacting with equal care.

        * In the reviews - don't just demo. Ask them for feedback. Share a bit about what was hard for the team during the sprint (not at a fine-grain level like a retro, just the highlights). Let them feel the pains and challenges of the team. Let them participate in celebrating the team's success.

        HTH and good luck!
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