Saturday, June 25, 2011

Getting personal

One of the things I like most about Scrum is that it makes people, well, personal. It allows people to be themselves.

One of the best suggestions I ever heard for living was: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Might I be a touch sarcastic?) Of course, as a teenager, I chuckled about that word 'love', until I read about agape and caritas. (Techno-geeks may Google those words.) Then I realized that behaving well, on a personal basis, with other people is more serious, or at least complex, than a Hallmark card. (Notice that I moved from what some think of as emotion to action.)

So, I think Scrum, in a small way, forces us to practice this suggestion every day. This is a good thing. We don't have to be aware of it, we are not 'trying' to be good, we just learn, without being precious about it, how to act better towards other people. In my experience, there is a lot to learn.

A person recently described a teammate in this way:

Now, this may or may not be a very accurate description of this person. It does sound a bit contradictory (aren't we all!). And the person making the description may not be totally unbiased. My feeling is that some members of some teams would not be totally comfortable with some of these attributes (to the degree they recognized them). But my main point is that we have to get to know our teammates personally.

This is a wonderful thing.

In these days, it seems to be that 'things' sometimes have the upper hand. And people are no longer important. But this is not true.

People are the more important.

It is for people that we build new products. It is with our new best friends that we struggle to build something wonderful.

And Scrum does its little things, and somehow, at least within the team, we start to see again for the first time how compelling people are. Weird, and wonderful.


Kelly Waters said...

I couldn't agree more Joe. People have always been the most important ingredient in software development. One of the great things about agile principles and practices is definitely the way it gets people talking to each other...

Kelly Waters

Joe Little said...

And I want to say it more dramatically. People are valuable to us not just because they are useful. We love them whether they give us anything or not. And people are always more important than things.

Now, as a businessman is also know that people feel fulfilled when they can contribute. So, helping them be useful is good.

And we must admit that people can be a pain in the ass.

But it is for people that we live and give, and not for money and not to win the most things. For some of us, I think the modern ways help us get a bit confused on this point.

For my introvert friends: I do not mean we live for all people. One or two or three or four is plenty.

So, again, Scrum helps us be personal in a useful and indirect way. Which is the way most of us prefer.

Regards, Joe

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