Political ‘Scrum’

In my travel’s around clients I frequently see organisations trying to introduce agile or lean approaches. Sometimes this is driven by a real understanding of the issues and limitations of their current approach, sometimes it’s ‘new shiny toy syndrome’ (new? – this stuff has it’s roots in late 80’s or earlier). Sometimes it’s ‘keeping up with the Jones (or Howe-Jones!)’

Frequently these agile transformations struggle or fail for a variety of reasons. the most common is ‘politics’. Organisations, regardless of size, are full of people, and some people are inherently out for there own interests.

I frequently see Scrum teams behaving cooperatively and transparently but their message to other stakeholders gets filter and distorted by political animals who are living in their own culture of ‘fear and incompetence’.

How do these teams cope with these political influence? Make sure your metrics are in place, burn down charts, definition of done, test coverage, team velocity, etc. then PUBLISH THEM TO EVERYONE!

If the reality of the teams progress and actions is exposed to every stakeholder for them to see for themselves it’s not possible for the organisational politicians to distort the message.

Be open and transparent.

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