Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scrum Team Anti-patterns – How to piss off your ScrumMaster

Life in my own company - How to annoy your ScrumMaster

“As a ScrumMaster, these are some of my pet peeves, in no particular order:

  1. Come late to meetings.  Better yet, don't show up to the meeting, don't let anyone know that you're going to miss the meeting, and then get grumpy when the ScrumMaster asks you to not do it again.  After all, the team doesn't really need to know what you're doing.
  2. Ignore the priority of stories set by the product owner.  He loves not knowing what's going to be completed at the end of the iteration.
  3. Have side conversations during iteration (sprint) planning, or send chat messages on your computer.  Then, when asked a question about what you should have been paying attention to, have a lost look and say, "Could you repeat that," meaning the last 10 minutes of conversation.  Rinse, repeat.
  4. Prefer e-mail for communication.  After all, you don't have to bother talking to a human being and you can do nothing while you wait for a reply!  Heaven.  Why would someone use the phone, an office visit, a chat, screen sharing or any of those other pesky interactive conversation mechanisms.
  5. Never ask for help, and if you do, make sure you always ask the same team member, even if others might know more.  It'll make person your asking much less productive, since he'll have to do your work and his work too!  And if you don't ask for help, you can do nothing and blame it on not being up to speed!  Teamwork, Shmeemwork.

…”

I’m still a noob ScrumMaster, but some of these sure had me nodding…

2 comments:

abby, the hacker chick blog said...

ewww, #3 is rampant on my project.

When the To:/CC: list has more than 10 names and the email thread has over 10 back & forth replies without getting anywhere, maybe just maybe, it's time to figure out the right person to make the necessary decision and actually walk over or pick up the phone and TALK TO THEM and stop wasting everyone else's time.

(okay, phew, I feel better for getting that off my chest. Thank you. Glad it's not just me. ;-) )

Re: #1, are you aware that it is common practice to make people who arrive late to the daily scrum do something embarrassing, like singing I'm a Little Teapot. Course, that might not help so much with people just not showing up... but, it might be a good, if temporary, stress reliever for the rest of you ;-)

Greg said...

Re: #1. Yeah, I read/heard the $1 thing, the 1$ per minute late thing, etc.

Personally I started putting a little tick mark up on our main, very visible, whiteboard each time a person was late.

Funny, no one was later after I started doing that... ;)