Organizations transforming to agile use every possible by the book method to succeed — involving transformation consulting firms, appointing scrum masters, agile coaches, purchasing fancy tools etc. But they forget one simple requirement — Trusting your Scrum Team.

To me, once you have recruited highly qualified developers and scrum masters, the organization (read management), should leave them alone for the sprint timebox. In the waterfall model, managers were expected to generate metrics determining the project status. Extending that into the agile world, the same “agile managers” now sit outside the scrum team and demanding daily status reports on sprint health.

Well my ask to them is — Leave the team alone. The scrum team is a self managing group who is more attached to meeting the sprint goal than any manager ever will be. Asking team members to follow processes just for generating reports just so that they “KNOW”, destroys the very essence of self management and by extension the reason of transforming to an agile model. Similarly, forcing yourself on the teams retrospectives serves only one purpose — ego of the requester. I cannot fathom, any scenario where a VP or a Director joining a teams retrospective will allow the team to truly introspect and adapt.

What all this does tell me though, is that there is a lack of trust. If leaders cannot trust their teams to go away for two weeks, self manage and succeed (success includes learning from failures), then there is a bigger problem in hand. And that problem is NOT in the team.

Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Organization Change Agent