Sunday, July 11, 2010

ScrumMasters should believe in UFOs!

I've been working with some new ScrumMasters that used to be project managers and the biggest thing holding them and their teams back is the attitude around resolving impediments:
  1. They rely only on the team *reporting* impediments to them instead of sleuthing for impediments.
  2. They collect information about impediments in a notebook.
  3. No one on the team or management knows the status of the impediments, how many there are, or how bad they are.
  4. The ScrumMasters are writing email reports about the impediments.

Instead of the above behaviours, I'm encouraging them to believe in UFOs. Everyone should believe in them, but it's the ScrumMaster who should give UFOs their professional treatment.

  • U -- Who is responsible for resolving impediments? U!
  • F ast -- U shouldn't wait long before trying to resolve them. Don't schedule a meeting in the future or craft a report for something you can take care of now.
  • O bservable -- Impediments should be easy for anyone to see at any time.
  • S tatus -- The status of the impediments should be clear and known so the team feels something is being done beyond someone nodding their head, writing in their notebook, and crafting CYA emails. It's best to make the status observable.
I've put together a video called Living with Impediments which illustrates the problem and also goes over UFOs. You can also find more Agile videos at my YouTube channel.

Tell your ScrumMasters about UFOs.