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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Keep trying against your beter judgement

From Scaling Lean and Agile Developement

One common mistake teams make, when presented with a Scrum practice that challenges them, is to change Scrum, not change themselves. For example, teams that have trouble delivering on their Sprint commitment might decide to make the Sprint duration extendable, so they never run out of time and in the process, ensure they never have to learn how to do a better job of estimating and managing their time. In this way, without coaching and the support of an experienced ScrumMaster, organizations can mutate Scrum into just a mirror image of its own weaknesses and dysfunction, and undermine the real benefit that Scrum offers: Making visible the good and the bad, and giving the organization the choice of elevating itself to a higher level.

I have struggling with this one. How do you convince someone to keep trying something when it does not seem like it is working? I have read in other places that you should keep trying it until you feel like you have mastered the practice. Then after you have mastered the practice you can chose not do it knowing full well the implications of your decision. I guess then the question comes down to how do you know you have mastered something.

Maybe there are no black and white answers. I guess all we can do is try to do the right thing and keep reflecting and reevaluating our decisions.

I like the idea of thinking of these things as experiments. Where there is really no right or wrong decision to be made, instead there is just a different lesson to be learned depending on which choice you make. The important point though is you have to regularly stop and reflect objectively and be willing to change and keep trying new things. That is probably the hardest part.

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