So an interesting topic came up in a retrospective last week, one that has come up on past teams as well and I’m still unsure as to the best answer for it. Example: team members get hit up for a production question or something else that isn’t a story in the backlog and spend a decent chunk of time working on it. This interferes with their other work and maybe they don’t get as much done as they committed to because of said question. Now they want to account for those types of things with a special “prod question” or other story in the backlog so they can account for that time and track back to it. What’s wrong with this picture?
On a project I was ScrumMastering for I noticed much contention between many of the different roles on the team. In keeping true to Agile and Scrum we are supposed to be “cross-functional” but what does that really mean? I kept hearing “they’re not doing their job” and “that’s not MY job” in regard to requirements gathering, writing stories, and even bug fixes. There have been many pieces written on the roles of members of a Scrum team as well as many things written on cross-functionality of members, but what does that really mean and where do we draw the line to keep people accountable?
A friend asked me the other day about my job and what I actually did. It’s difficult to explain IT to people who are not in the industry because many think all we do is fix computers. Now try to explain project management and Scrum. Regardless as I was explaining my role as a ScrumMaster and project manager in application development he rephrased his question, “How do you make the company money?” A valid question, but one that takes some thought.
Sometimes the hardest part to doing something is just showing up. Take this blog for example. I have been on a holiday hiatus for about two months now and even though I felt I should write another post, I couldn’t get the motivation to do so. I am off from grad school right now, work is a bit slow, and I have no other huge priorities, so why can’t I get the motivation to do a simple post?
I’ve been alluding to a series on personal branding and following my last post regarding why to personal brand, here is the next in the series. Consider this Personal Branding 101 – the introductory course, how to get started. In subsequent posts I will dive deeper into various outlets in which to enhance your personal brand, and get contributions from others within the Agile community, but this is the basics. Keep in mind, none of this information is super prescriptive – simply lessons learned from experience and simple research.