Saturday, December 31, 2011

Do not forget. When having Agile Meetings, Managers, Stakeholders and clients have busy schedules as well.

I wanted to make a post about a disturbing trend I've been seeing in different Agile environments.

Agile Methodologies give the team members a certain level of respect and Responsibility.

Team members are empowered to self-organize, reach out of their teams, arrange meeting rooms, and basically Get the Job Done.

Product Owners, Managers, Project Managers, Stakeholders, Clients, and many other people are part of regular communications with team members where there was none before.  This includes but is not limited to the Planning and Review meetings, constant email, voice and personal communication.  This may be a new experience for many team members.  In an environment where SCRUM or OpenAgile is NEW to the organization, this can be even more of a concern.

If for instance, your team has arranged a review meeting for a specific date and time, you REALLY should make a point of being there on time.  After all; you are expecting other people in the organization to show up so they don't slow you down.

If you are a Scrum Master, acting as an OpenAgile Process Facilitator, or simply anybody interested in Agile as a framework, please consider not showing up for meetings on time to be a serious Obstacle or Impediment to success.  

Those that are invited are supporting you and treating you with the necessary respect to allow you to work in an Agile Environment.  The same respect is due in return.

Leaving a VP, CIO, CEO or any stakeholder sitting in a room waiting for 30 to 45 minutes while the team members meander in is not appropriate (and not very wise) in ANY environment.  The difference when applying SCRUM is that this type of behavior, is MUCH MORE OBVIOUS and transparent to the organization.

Those same people you are making wait will some day need to stand in a room to fight for your rights as a team.  They may need to explain to another executive why they should make time out of their busy day to attend a team meeting and put other business off for an hour.

Agile is not an open license to treat others as though their time is not valuable.  The reason an Agile framework is successful is that it allows managers and those that used to "control" you to do other tasks which have their own significance and importance to the company or group you're in.  They are ALSO busy!

Mike Caspar

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References :
SCRUM
OpenAgile