Thursday, May 5, 2016

Habits of highly effective scrum masters and product owners #1 Focus on improving production capability based on empirical data

One of my scrum teams is on the verge of becoming a dysfunctional team because of compounded factors and after a very open retrospective, these are the reasons that surfaced;

  • Politics among team members 
  • Lack of ability of some of the team members 
  • Incompetent scrum master 
  • User stories are not documented by the product owner
Lot of mud got thrown without any data and some fell on me as well. End of the day I got that filthy feeling of not managing the situation professionally. I was going back to my 'bad manager' habits of just focusing only on the production (velocity) and not on how to improve the production capability of the team.That is when the concepts in the  book 'Seven habits of highly effective people' , by Stephen R Covey become invaluable to scrum masters and product owners 

 For any meaningful improvement, we need to know where we are empirically.  We did not fix anything, and got into the next sprint, with the hope of getting some data to validate our assumptions. In the scrum lingo, the theme of the sprint itself is to create data, to base our judgments, so that meaningful and sustainable improvement is possible, thus achieving improved productivity.  

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