The principles of openness and transparency include being able to be truthful about ways that you are struggling. A Team Member must share their struggles with their Scrum Team and with the ScrumMaster so that the team, at least, knows your status. Without that visibility, the Scrum Team may make decisions that are difficult or impossible to implement due to hidden obstacles. At every Daily Scrum, each Team Member should think carefully about the challenges they are currently facing, and share those challenges. The ScrumMaster cannot do a good job without that transparency since a core part of their work is to deal with obstacles. If a Team Member fails to be open about obstacles, or fails to recognize something in their environment as an obstacle, this can slow the team in its progress towards becoming a high-performance team. Obstacles that persist for a long period of time simply because they are not openly discussed can have a demoralizing effect on the team. On the other hand, a team that creates full visibility into their obstacles can enlist the help of stakeholders, work together to overcome those obstacles, and systematically become better and better at doing their work.
Scrum relies on the truthfulness of Team Members to allow for transparency about the internal quality of the product. Internal quality is primarily related to the technical aspects of the product: its design, its architecture, lack of duplication in the code, and the level of coverage of the product with automated tests. Scrum relies on the professionalism of the Team Members for the proper implementation of this rule. Being upfront, transparent, and truthful about the internal quality of the product allows for the Product Owner to understand how much time and effort the Team will allocate to improving the internal quality of the product and how much will be allocated for new features. This also gives the ScrumMaster an opportunity to connect with stakeholders who may be able to help remove technical debt and waste that is continuing to exist. If Team Members are not truthful about the internal quality of the product, over time the system will become more cumbersome, more complex, and more painful to improve. This will also lead to a culture of hiding problems, which diametrically opposite to the intended use of Scrum: to uncover problems and allow us to solve them. Another downside is that morale will begin to decrease as Team Members care less about the quality of their work. This, of course, will ultimately lead to external quality problems that result in customers being unhappy and looking for someone else to work with.
There are three roles on a Scrum Team, no more and no less. These roles are: ScrumMaster, Product Owner, and the Team Members. It is critical to have all three roles present on the Scrum Team to get all needed responsibilities taken care of in an effective way. The Product Owner is responsible for the product and how the team connects with that product. The ScrumMaster is responsible for improving the use of Scrum in the organization and team, as well as removing any obstacles that slow the team down. The Team Members are responsible for getting the work done by self-organizing and finding ways to improve their own process and work. Without one of these key roles, the team would be missing a key focus and job. As well, Scrum specifically disallows any other roles on the Scrum Team. A person who has an official role of Tester cannot be on a Scrum Team. However, the same person, if given the official role of Team Member can be on a Scrum Team. If people have their official titles, performance evaluations etc. done in their traditional roles, it hinders self-organizing and causes conflicts of interest. A team is not a Scrum Team until those old roles are eliminated.
Most business persons and businesses understand the concept of strategic alliances. The reason to form alliances are many and varied and include such reasons like; monetary, distribution, market access, shared technology and others. My reason for joining Berteig Consulting is a little unusual. First reason is that I am an international consultant, trainer and coach. My international work requires 100-150 days of travel outside North America every year. I have been doing this for 10 years and it does not hold the same appeal it did in the beginning of the travel. Don’t misunderstand me, I still like the travel but I pay a price physically. So joining a reputable and successful Canadian company was appealing to me.
My second reason for the alliance is that I am very impressed with the knowledge, skills, abilities and professionalism that exists in the Berteig Consulting team. Their values were consistent with mine. During the summer of 2008, Mishkin Berteig (the co-founder of the Berteig Consulting) and I began to investigate how we could work together.
Needless to say we hit it off. There is mutual respect. So I made the move to become a CSM and begin to train, coach and consult within his company. Mishkin and I have already decided to co-write a book about Agile. I have currently written 5 books which are published in 10 languages, one of which is a best seller. Mishkin and I hope to publish in late 2009. I will continue my international work to some degree, but my strategic relationship with Berteig Consuting will become more important in the coming months and years.
I look forward to adding value to Berteig Consulting, the team members and all of our clients. I will do what needs to be done to insure the existing and future customers receive the best advice, coaching and training available in the Agile marketplace. I care about the people at Berteig Consulting and will make sure they receive value from me. There is a quote I respect … People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! We at Berteig Consulting care about the quality of our interactions with our customers and the results of our efforts.
James M. Heidema, CSM, CLU, CIAM
Berteig Consulting team member
James Heidema’s Profile