A single question rates your Scrum team's agile fluency

Teams Jun 24, 2021

Perhaps you are like all the others. And you use Scrum as a technique.  So, how do you know whether you team has crossed the boundaries and gone to the other side. What other side you might ask? The threshold of thinking and being agile using Scrum.

A very simple question can answer this for you.  You need to answer "Yes" or "No" to a single question, which is:

Do you have roles on your Scrum team?

If you answered "No" your team has crossed the threshold. If you answered "Yes", you're doomed to pretend that Scrum works for you.

Why is this so important?

Humans are slaves to roles. Yes, we truly are.  And to titles. And we derive power, authority, order and compensation level from these. Once we are put into a role, we imbibe them and stay true to them, and consciously or unconsciously use it to defend our position and where we are with it and find ways to grow upwards from it. Giving up playing the role is akin to giving up our identity at work that we cling to. Not going to happen in most cases.

So this is a major barrier. For techniques like Scrum to make inroads into helping do better work need this "role" barrier to be broken down in "straight off the bat" at the start in order for the team to have some chance at success in Scrum being practiced well. And one of the key "rules" in Scrum is that apart from "Product Owner" and "Scrum Master" roles within the team, the only other role is "Developer" (wrongly mistaken as Software developer which it is not), but "Product Developer" – any one who develops the Product that one is working on. This is the only role on the team - as a team member.

In fact, I am guessing that significant amount of organizations probably over 80% or more don't get this right. And continue to crack the whip at the teams to do more cheaper, better, faster work. Which is an impossibility, because since the team does not know what work comes by, they have no clue whether their collective basket of skills, competencies and experiences are capable of meeting the demand for the work. "No roles" on the team helps evolve, expand and broad base these skills, competencies and experiences across team members leading to creating an ability to do truly better work.

And yet, I am sure, that you would not be able to do this one "Small move". What a shame - of lack of utilization of human potential in the teams that is wasted every day being a slave to the roles defined by your organization. You are indeed missing out on "Big Payoff's" and you deserve that.


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