test.ical.ly | getting the web by the balls

Jan/13

30

Even scrum won’t save you when the team is estranged

estrangedI was talking to a friend the other day who told me about a scrum team he recently met. He said he was irritated by the amount of rules and rituals they employed. Everything was done by the book.

And it felt wrong.

It felt wrong because apparently there was no team spirit. Apparently almost everyone was a lone wolf doing his tasks and obeying the rules.

There were the regular meetings in which everybody was telling what they were expected to tell and they had all the charts which they updated every morning.

My friend called these meetings and charts rituals with a negative undertone as he felt they were lifeless. Everybody was speaking when they were meant to speak but there was no communication at all.

Somehow the team became only a group of individuals and only few of them connected.

I don’t know this team but from what I was told I got the impression that whoever was responsible for the team and the process had two major misconceptions.

Firstly that developers can be added to a team like buying more computers. Developers however are human beings and if working in a team have to click with each other not to become best friends but good workmates. It requires some level of social skills to form a good team and it is the most important thing to do for a start.

Secondly there seems to be the believe that a methodology like scrum will solve all problems. It doesn’t. If a team isn’t one I’m sure its velocity can only get to a certain level and all the charts are just documenting but not benefiting the team. Its rules will feel narrow and dogmatic and wrong if there is no communication between team members. You can get better scrum experiences as this I’m sure.

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