Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ScrumMasters, I Hope You're Being Criticized!

This recent post, The Catch 22 of Criticism, was great. Here's why it matters to you.

ScrumMasters, one of the most powerful aspects of your role is that of Organizational Change Agent.

Whomever started your large company, he or she surely didn't say to themselves at the beginning, "You know, I'd really love to create a large, slow bureaucracy. That'd be awesome!"

Yet, the company grows. And adds dev, QA, and business analyst silos. And grows. And adds management layers. And grows. And adds project management layers. And grows. And suddenly management is wondering why it takes so long to get anything done.

As the change agent, you're giving constant, prompt feedback to what is keeping your product-focussed team from being super productive. And I've seen again and again pushback from those in the middle who are fearful, or resistant to change, or have other motives, or have something to "lose." But...

Don’t let it change what you’re doing entirely or who you are. You must understand the type of criticism, the story line, and the intentions. Don’t be reactive, simply sit back, enjoy the show.
The catch 22 is that if you’re being successful at pushing boundaries, you’ll get criticism. If you aren’t getting criticism, you’re not pushing hard enough or actually making change. So look at criticism as a gift, or a sign that you’re doing something right. 
By the way, I love the storyline mention. That's the topic of a session I proposed (and was accepted) at Agile 2013. More on that to come...

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