Curious, said the cat

Quick Thoughts

11 August 2014 • Written by Ceedee Doyle

John has not turned up for the start of the meeting, again, so he’s missed the check-in and ruined the atmosphere. We added some stuff to the sprint, without taking anything out...

Clare is cherry-picking tasks from the list, opening new stories and not concentrating on closing existing ones. Daniel never speaks up about blocks or getting bogged down in standup when it’s obvious that he’s taking twice as long as anyone else to do tasks.

So what? One of the hardest things about doing Agile work is changing our mindset. Instead of just letting things go, we speak up about inefficiencies. Instead of everyone being ‘busy’, the most important thing is that the team is working well.

It’s not easy being a Scrum team – it takes courage to call out when things are not going right. It also takes courage to change our mindset to be curious about why this thing is happening or not happening.

The Ground Rules for Effective Teams (Schwarz) talks about the Mutual Learning mindset. As you are probably finding, the thinking is quite different for a true Agile team than in other types of teams. Setting some time aside as a team to talk about the values that you want to exhibit, collectively and individually, will allow you to foster and encourage a spirit of openness and honesty. This is important so I’ll say it again:

It’s not easy being a Scrum team - it takes courage to call out when things are not going right and to be curious about why things are happening that way.

You, as a team, are responsible for delivering working stuff - so help each other to recognise when something needs changing. Create an opportunity to change the way we’re working to make it work for everybody.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in humans it encourages communication and self-organisation.

What curious things are happening in your team?

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