Erm. It’s been a while. I’ve missed put things in my brain into words. The first week I missed I felt a bit anxious, more so the second week. I think it started when I started thinking that I must have something to write about. A point to the article. The point is to reflect and nothing else. When I realised writing was becoming a thing to be anxious about I let go. Now here I am again. Round two.
A lot has changed since I was last here. Covid-19 has taken hold and locked most of us at home. uncomfortableI got another new job (did I mention that last time? can’t remember) as Head of Agile Delivery, I’ve recruited a new Senior Scrum Master so now have a full senior scrum team. I started writing our strategy for the year, iteratively of course.
In order to support businesses continuing to work throughout lock-down and with social distancing, we’ve put a lot of fast work into adapting our services. That’s put everyone’s attentions on our Scrum teams to deliver in new ways. And it’s uncomfortable! We’re talking expectations on delivering software in days, not weeks. We’re having to step up our team working to a new level. The ability to feedback to each other critically and quickly helps us overcome blockers. I’ve been experimenting with this and, once or twice, have got it wrong and had to apologise. That’s OK I think mostly because the person felt able to call me and challenge my assertion and I saw my error. I hereby promise that I will never again give someone some critical feedback in writing. I will talk to them. Human to human. A big part of the challenge is how we can slice products thinner than ever while still meeting our quality standards. It’s frustrating but we’re breaking new ground. Challenging our selves and each other is the key to this.
Amidst all this I’ve been keen to keep shaping our Agile Delivery Strategy, and the team are keen to see it. It started in the best way, by talking to the team. After capturing the key points from them I identified my inputs such as our Digital Strategy and the Scrum Guide and laid out a draft, in the open on our team pages. I’ve pointed a few people to it to get some fast feedback and released another iteration. I’ll be widening the audience later this week so we can continue to iterate. Eventually will break that it down to some Epics that will represent our goals. We’ll do all that as a team. Why have one brain on this when we can have at least 14?!
I mentioned a new senior scrum master and a complete senior scrum. What a relief! I’ve done two jobs for about 8 weeks now and I didn’t appreciate how tiring it can be. Having just finished The Five Dysfunctions of a team I put it to good use in planning some team building work for next week. We’ll be doing something on trust and constructive conflict as well as accountability before we move onto review the strategy. I’m really, really excited about this week as it’s another new chapter. While I’m on this topic I realised something this week. I’ve been so focussed on the Agile side of things that I forgot to pay attention to Delivery. It’s the Agile Delivery Profession after-all. A team-mate said they see it as “50% Agile and 50% delivery” to which I responded, backing their side of the argument, “No, it’s 100% delivery and we’ll do that using Agile”. So next week we’ll figure out getting that right, as a team.
There’s just one last thing. All the teams have cool names. My Scrum of Scrums was called the Wyld Stallyns for Bill and Ted’s Band. It reminded me that we should “Be excellent to each other”. Now that the new senior scrum master is leading the Wild Stallyns, my new scrum, the senior scrum, needs a name. I can’t call it the Agile Delivery Profession Senior Scrum. What a mouthful. But I don’t want to just throw any name at it. A name is important. It has value and gives a team identity. So that’s another thing we’ll need to do this week.
As usual there’s loads of other stuff that’s going on.
Catch you soon, maybe next week