Exploring a Scrum Team's Journey: The 5 Stages of Being Awesome
Every Scrum team wants to be awesome and hit every Sprint goal. Read on for one Scrum Master's advice on how to achieve awesomeness.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Are you ready to escape the average and become awesome? Do you want to overcome your fears and follow your dreams?
"Don't fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today." - Unknown
Punch Fear in the Face and Get Comfortable With the Tension
Fear prevents Scrum teams from chasing awesomeness by convincing them that it's impossible or unachievable. One simple way to overcome this obstacle is to do what you fear the most. Good Scrum teams know where they lack strength and take steps to get better at it using opportunities like Sprint retrospectives. Yet, many Scrum teams have no idea what "blind spots" derail their energy and enthusiasm. One of the great ways I've found to discover blind spots is reviewing key areas - this activity can be performed in Sprint retrospectives. For example, take a big flip chart and draw the famous golden circle "WHY, HOW, WHAT." In the innermost circle write your Values (as enumerated in the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Values), in the middle write Principles (Empiricism, Transparency, Inspection, Adaptation, Self-Organization, Cross Functionality, etc.), and toward the outside write complimentary Practices (Engineering practices, Burndown, estimation poker, etc.). Ask the entire team to post sticky notes on the Values, Principles, and Practices and pick 3 to 5 areas for development in each area and create a learning journey roadmap by having the team agree on which ones can be taken up in the upcoming Sprint and create tangible actionable improvements around these goals. And, of course, you'll need to inspect these goals in the next retrospective and continue the loop.
"Principles define practices that tools support."
So, now that you’re set to begin being awesome, it’s time to get familiar with the five stages of awesomeness.
1. Learning New Skills
"How much do you agree with the statement: 'I just love coming to work'? What would make you agree with that statement more?" - Retrospective Coaching Cards (Geoff Watts)
2. Editing Your Life to Find Your Passion
We saw that learning is all about trying many different, small things. In fact, learning is a way of gaining opportunities and choices. Unfortunately, we can’t be an expert in everything. So we need to start editing. Ask yourself: What gives me the most joy? It’s important to phrase the question exactly that way. Normally we start by asking result-based questions: What will give us more money?; Which businesses are growing?; etc. Although these are excellent questions, asking them isn’t the appropriate way to start. Being awesome means doing something that inspires you. And once you’ve discovered what it is, the ball starts rolling. For instance, let’s say that you’ve edited your life and realized that you absolutely love sharing ideas. You can apply this in many different ways: you could become a blogger, a writer, or a podcast host. Whatever it may be that you want to learn, just start acting on it. And if halfway through you realize that it’s not your way to awesomeness, simply edit it and move on to the next thing!
"If money were suddenly to become obsolete and unnecessary, what would make you want to carry on working in this team? How can you get more of that?" - Retrospective Coaching Cards (Geoff Watts)
"The finest steel is made from the hottest fire."
4. Harvesting the Results
This is actually a difficult time, the closer you get to something, the more you realize how much is still left to do. People often lose the "drive" and thus hinder their progress. The loss of motivation can be dealt with by creating small finish lines that act as intermediate milestones. This way people and teams will always keep their momentum going. One great way to reach the Sprint goal(s) is by having smaller milestones throughout the Sprint and to leverage frequent inspection adaptations and just in time collaboration to validate what the Product Owner and team have learned. This can help to retain focus and refuel the impetus.
Figure out what matters to you most now- FOCUS, (Remember the "YAGNI" principle).
5. Sharing the Love by Coaching Others
"The four laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation, and repetition. To make sure this goal was achieved, I created eight laws of learning - namely, explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, and repetition.” - John Wooden
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.