Introversion versus extroversion has been a hot topic over the past few years, especially since the release of Quiet by Susan Cain. In IT it is no different. Everyone knows the stereotype of the “typical developer” – the one who only wants to sit in their cube and code by him or herself all day. But it’s just that, a stereotype, based on some facts but not true for all. So how are we more inclusive of that person in Agile where collaboration, co-location, and teamwork are valued over solitude? Secondly, how do we encourage introverts to be leaders which is historically and stereotypical a role for extroverts?
I was recently talking to a former co-worker on one of my previous Scrum teams about team rooms. A fundamental of team formation and performance is teams being together and bonding through work and fun. While many companies proclaim they’re practicing Agile/Scrum, co-location and team rooms seem to have become more optional than mandatory. While we cannot completely get away from distributed teams, it seems that often even with teams that have members in the same place those teams are not sharing a space. From this practice I’ve seen teams having a harder time forming, norming, and performing (though they don’t seem to have storming problems). What benefits are teams missing when they don’t have a shared space? And even when they do have one, are they then lacking the ability to work with distributed teams?
A sunk cost is an accounting term referring to something (e.g. a project) that has been heavily invested in without success and will not continue to be funded. In these situations, often more money or time has been spent than is wise and it continues because so much has already been invested. The mantra is…
Wikipedia states that servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
When we refer to servant leadership in Scrum it is at the team level. A ScrumMaster is the servant leader for the Scrum team. They do all the steps the definition above refers to and more. This is all great for the Scrum team, but what about everyone else, the ScrumMasters included? Who is their servant leader? Can companies step in and supplement for this role?