The Agile Guy…

My journey on the road called 'Agile'

Will the Pigs (B)eat the Chickens ?

One of the principles of Agile Manifesto is:

“Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.”

How often are we able to create such environment , where the teams are motivated and full accountability of the work they do . I think, in order to have it , the two conditions should be true:

  1. The Chickens( managers/not working Agile/Scrum Teams) should trust and give freedom to the teams .
  2. The Pigs(Members of Agile/Scrum team members) should be aware of the freedom and take full ownership of work

Case 1: Chickens gives responsibility/control to Pigs. Pigs not ready to take ownership.

Smells :

  1. Team used to command and control, and have hard time when they have to take decisions.
  2. New members, in their norming /forming/storming stage , still struggling to take collective actions.
  3. Team has Dysfunctions. (Click here for a book on team dysfunctions)
  4. Heroism .
  5. Teams misuse the freedom given to them.
What to do ?
1. Coaching by an experienced Agile Coach.
2. Focus on positives of teams dynamics and small improvements the team does.
3. Appreciate the team work over individual contribution.
4. Change in the HR system for appraising employee performance.
5. Team building games/workshops.
 
 
 

Case 2: Chickens don’t give responsibility/control to Pigs. Pigs ready to take ownership.

Smells :

1. Chickens not aware of Agile.

2.Chickens aware of Agile,but less confident of giving control to teams.

3. Fear about loss of Status-Quo.

What to do ?

1. Coaching support from an experienced Agile Coach.

2. Read an article by Pete Deemer(CST) : http://www.goodagile.com/resources/roleofthemanager10.pdf

3. Change in HR policies in role description if needed.

4.Understand their concerns , and talk , to remove any fears.

5. Teams can be proactive, by taking initiatives and delivering results by self organizing.

Case 3: Chickens don’t give responsibility/control to Pigs. Pigs not ready to take ownership.

This is a classic case where:

Managers dont know.

Managers dont care.

Developers dont fix it.

What to do ?

Jeff Sutherland has a very very good technique for solving such dysfunctions called as Shock therapy.

More info http://jeffsutherland.org/scrum/SutherlandShockTherapyAgile2009.pdf

Case 4: Chickens give responsibility/control to Pigs. Pigs ready to take ownership.

A step toward Self organization..

Chickens and Pigs both needs to support each other in the journey of self organization.

Its not about who wins the battle.

It is all about how they support each other in Becoming truly self organized team.

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3 thoughts on “Will the Pigs (B)eat the Chickens ?

  1. Vasuda on said:

    Wonderful! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Perfect summary of the different scenarios commonly observed.

  2. Mike Pearce on said:

    Great post, I really like breaking it down this way. Although, I’m not a big fan of the ‘Chicken & Pig’ analogy – it can be construed as insensitive with some cultures.

  3. Great post! Keep it up.

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