Click, the kettle goes on.
Standing in the Kitchen I feel a creepy prescence behind me.
COO: “I spoke with Tom (That’s the Product Owner he spoke with)
….So Jem how comes we can’t deliver the sprint goal”
Pouring in the hot water into my delicious cancer infested instant coffee granules.
“Well it’s turning out to be allot more complex then expected”
“We explained to Tom that these stories in this sprint are larger than normal & that means more unknowns and now that we’ve started to reveal those unknowns… there’s increased complexity”
Me:”We have other options, we can reduce some of the sophistication in those stories as we discussed before & that could help with us getting closer to the sprint goal”
COO: “Well no, because that ain’t gonna cut it.
*Please note there is a wider issue here of this individuals ability & desire to understand how empiricism in software works. It would take a shelf full of mythical man month books (empiricism bit), throw into a blender with the DNA of a 1000 Nuns (humility DNA sorted) injected into his veins followed by a personality transplant to get – maybe – just a tiny bit close to WANTING to understand how Scrum works.
Me: I’ve made Tom aware of what we can and cannot do, you have two options. Less sophistication on those stories (as advised) or larger stories which more sophistication which take longer.
COO: “Well actually, I think there’s a deeper issue here”
“I am fed up of how little the team care”
Me: “Right…..how do you mean exactly…. how little the team care?”
COO: “You want a list?”
Drawing for my sword.
Me: “There’s a list?”
Sword now at his throat.
My fantasy sword twirling playfully under his Jimmy Savile sized chin.
Say something bad about my Scrum family…. do it.
I dare you.
He let it out.
Like a big, fat constipated baby that just ate a kilo of grapes.
This was a drive by, a drive by of smelly, ugly news.
“Those developers never turn up on time”.
“Those developers always look like they don’t want to be here”.
“Those developers never put in that extra when we’re in trouble”.
“Those developers DON’T seem to care”.
Man, I was just waiting to hear the Mortal Kombat line ” FINISH HIM”.
“I think the guys are little down at the moment in spirit yes”.
COO: “That’s putting it nicely Jem”
COO:”I’m paying them to do a job”
It’s not the 1st and won’t be the last time that we’ll hear of people complain about Dev’s who don’t care.
I wonder if they ever wondered why that was.
No one JUST STOPS CARING.
You can definitely GET people to NOT CARE.
HOW TO STOP YOUR DEV’S FROM CARING.
When you told ’em about a project that needed to be done, they asked “Why”? You said, “because it needs to get done”.
When the user story got pushed back by dev and they asked “Why”, “what the driver behind the story was”, you said “it’s what we need to do”.
When they told you it was part of User Stories to understand the “Why”, you used fear and reminded ’em that they’re there to “do a job” & to “not slow down the process with extra questions”.
When a hard date was created to deliver a piece of software and the team asked you “Why are we shooting for that date”, “what’s the incentive here?”. You said “Because I want to have a date”.
When they pushed back and said “that’s just an arbitrary date & we shouldn’t be communicating 6 months ahead to customers tangible scope “, you said ” that’s the way it works round here”.
When the team said they were concerned with the micromanaging and asked why the dynamic had changed in the office, you said ” you need to get your head down and play the game”
When the team said that a big part of Scrum is the interaction piece and the ongoing conversations are there to clarify understanding, use group intelligence to do things better & asked why they need a ‘meeting room’ for these huddles… what did you say” because it looks like you are not doing any work and management don’t like the look of you not doing work”.
And you ask why these developers ‘Don’t care?’
Why they don’t come running to work quicker than the off-spring of a duracle bunny & a can of red bull?
This comes down to one thing, and one thing only.
To not take on feedback and listen to what these people doing the actual work have to say.
Arrogance to NOT explain WHY the business need what they need.
Arrogance to NOT have a dialogue & discuss WHY we need to use an empirical approach to software development.
Arrogance to NOT have the courage to challenge their senior managers views on the need for Scrum teams to stop interacting as it looks like “they ain’t working”
Do you know what noodles are?
Brains, Dev tend to have ’em.
A group of dev’s.
That’s allot of noodles.
Just think about it.
These people with brains are passionate about technology & want to do awesome things with technology.
These people want to question what you want so they can give it to you in the best way possible.
Is that unreasonable?
Is it unreasonable to care?
To care enough to ask if there is a BETTER WAY OF DELIVERING WHAT YOU NEED, TO GET SMALL CHUNKS OF VALUE OUT EARLIER TO TAKE FEEDBACK & GROW AWESOME PRODUCTS! (breaking up stories, identifying a true lean MVP, stopping big upfront design, accepting that customer feedback grows the best product etc)
To care enough that they are saying to you that Software has moved on from predictive bullish*t & TO WAKE UP TO empiricism & address uncertainty in short time boxes, feed it back into our road map & make sure the customer knows the scope can vary from the get go – SO YOU DON’T LOSE FACE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS?
To care enough to question the value behind a user story SO THAT YOU DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON SOMETHING WHICH IS MORE EXPENSIVE IN DEV TIME THEN IT IS IN BUSINESS VALUE.
But you don’t want ’em to?
Don’t argue back – you clearly DONT WANT DEV’S TO CARE!
You won’t tell em why.
Project zap creativity and initiative now on.
You won’t listen to the right approach to software development (empiricism) which helps you manage customer expectations honestly and openly WITHOUT starting death marches which destroy the souls of developers.
Project let’s crush morales & create a death march which we know will end in a blood bath.
You won’t listen to the fundamental support they need to get Scrum working (interactions, events etc)
Project lets smash to pieces any energy and vibrancy and therefore desire the team have about their work or the team.
You are not willing to take on feedback in the crap dynamic being created which makes a morgue look exciting.
Project let’s make developers so fearful of having a conversation, requirements get misunderstood, group intelligence is dead and we’re seeing suboptimal solutions, pairing is dead – now cross functionality has gone into the after life along with autonomy
oH I’m sorry, you wanted Dev’s to care?
How can they ?
R.I.P INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
Caring means you need to feel motivated about what you do.
Intrinsically, from inside, motivated.
But your arrogance is killing any intrinsic motivation which could every surface man!
It destroys energy, purpose, excitement, creativity, desire — inner motivation — which makes you WANT to get to work, WANT to stick around later to get that story into done, WANT to deliver that bad ass product, WANT to make your firm as successful as possible.
All of that stuff above, all of it.
It comes down to intrinsic motivation.
But intrinsic motivation is never going to happen.
Because you are too arrogant to listen, to be educated, to hear the truth, to discuss, to treat people like they are your peer instead of a subordinate.
Your arrogance is stopping developers from caring.
Don’t expect anyone to care, no matter how well paid they are.
Caring is a two way street.
If you want devs to care, you need to let ’em care.