Live and Die By Your Own Sword

It’s funny how sometimes something you do all the time is so apparent that you don’t even see them. For the last few months, I have been beginning to build up a list of articles I’ve had ideas to write about. Some share stories of what I am working on, and others talk about issues I’ve seen that I feel I have a new take on or an analogy I want to share to help teams be more agile.

What is funny about this is that after pulling together a list of ideas for articles, I’ve not written any until now. My excuse was that Barbara Minto’s book, The Pyramid Principle, was within my reading list. My logic was that if I was going to start writing articles on my business blog, I wanted them to be as good as I could make them and ensure there was structure so the readers enjoyed them and wanted to come back for more.

However, the reality with this approach is that time was ticking by, and I have not written anything. Then I saw the light while I coach teams not to procrastinate, push the idea of “good enough for now”, and make sure they don’t fall foul of analysis paralysis. I was doing precisely that, and it was staring me in the face.

So in one fell swoop, not only did I realise that starting writing articles was necessary, I had a good starting topic to use, and and I didn’t need to read that book. Yes, I am sure if I had read it, this article would be better, but I might not have been writing it for some months yet while the book bubbled up to the top of my reading list, and I then made my way through it.

It made me remember how hard it can be for teams to improve when they are focusing so hard on doing the day job. They are busy getting on delivering a product, and then before they know it, their company wants to become agile, and people like me turn up to help them reach their goals. It can feel that we’ve turned their world upside down with new processes and working methods. While still focusing on delivering and “doing the day job”, they might overlook the improvements needed to make the transition work.

It is the role of Scrum Masters and coaches like me to remember this and to work with the teams so these improvements are not overlooked. Irrespective of how we do this, by either convincing their heads or hearts, it’s important to not overlook the fact that they will not be necessarily focusing on this. Don’t get frustrated when you’ve mentioned it time and time again, they like me sometimes just won’t see the wood for the trees and if they don’t have the epiphany like me, it’s your role to tease this out and make sure they do see the bigger picture.