Live and Die By Your Sword

It’s funny how sometimes something you do all the time are so obvious that you don’t even see them. For the last few months I have been beginning to build up a list of articles I’ve had ideas to write about. Some sharing stories of what I am working on, others talking about issues I’ve seen that I feel I have a new take on, or a new analogy that I want to share to help teams be more agile.

What is funny about this is that so far after pulling together a list of ideas for articles, I’ve not until now actually written any. My excuse was that within my large reading list was a book by Barbara Minto, entitles The Pyramid Principle. My logic being that if I am going to start writing articles on my business blog I wanted them to be as good as I could make them and making sure there is structure to them so the readers enjoyed them and wanted to come back for more.

The reality with this approach though is that time was ticking by and I have not written anything. Then I saw the light, while I coach teams not to procrastinate, push the idea of “good enough for now”‘ and make sure they don’t fall foul of analysis paralysis I was doing exactly that; and it was staring me in the face.

So in one fell swoop, not only did I realise that actually starting writing articles was important, I had a good starting topic to use, I didn’t actually need to read that book. Yes, I am sure if I had read it, this article would be better, but I might not be writing it for some months yet while the book bubbled up to the top of my reading list and I then made my way through it.

It made me remember how hard it can be for teams to improve when they are focussing so hard on doing the day job. They are busy getting on delivering a product and then before they know it their company wants to become agile and people like me turn up to help them reach their goals. It can feel that we’ve turned their world upside down, with new processes and ways of working.  While still focusing on delivering and “doing the day job” they might overlook the improvements needed that are often ingrained in them to are actually needed and more important to making the transition work.

It is the role of Scrum Masters and coaches like me to remember this and to work with the teams so these improvements are not overlooked. Irrespective how we do this, by either convincing their heads or hearts, it’s important to not overlook the fact that they will not be necessarily focusing on this. Don’t get frustrated when you’ve mentioned it time and time again, they like me sometimes just won’t see the wood for the trees and if they don’t have the epiphany like me, it’s your role to tease this out and make sure they do see the bigger picture.