Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Organization of the Scrum Course - 2

See part 1.  Now continue below with part 2….
One of the big problems is that the attendees, or many of them, resist intellectually.  So, as in Zen, we have to confuse the intellectual mind in order to enable real learning to happen.  Or, as the Army says, we have to break them down in order to build them back up again.
We have to ‘go around’ or ‘get behind’ the intellectual resistance that is common to just about all of us. So, one technique is to do exercises. Not following a highly logical flow is another technique. Surprising the attendees (in small ways) is another. Humor and improvisational exercises are other techniques. Food is another.  Addressing them directly, and getting to know them as a person is another technique.
For some, our techniques are…umm, disconcerting. If a person is a certain type – well-organized, intellectually rigorous, thinking, logical – it can feel a bit uncomfortable.  But if one has at least an intellectual understanding or some real experience that people and  life do not always follow pre-conceived intellectual notions, then it is not so uncomfortable. Very few people are uncomfortable, although a very few are.
So, I admit that the course to a new person, or to a few, might feel uncomfortable. (Actually, my impression is that most people enjoy it. About 98%.  But not all.)
During the course, if you tell me you have that an uncomfortable feeling, then I will offer some advice. First, I will address the topics that are on the one-page (two-sides) outline of ‘Scrum’ I hand out (it is really more than just Scrum).  I will follow the outline on the website. (Except not in that order.)  We will follow the slides, except  we will cover additional material.
We have a strong confidence that most real learning is not logical, per se. It happens in the sub-conscious mind, where experiences are ‘put together’ by the brain into a ‘logical’ way of looking at the world; assembled into a pattern or set of patterns. I try to  force your brain to break down old patterns, and rebuild new patterns.  I have confidence most of our attendees can do that.
And I know, sadly, many are ‘controlled’ by ‘waterfall ideas’ and they will not be able, after only 2 or 3 days, to really replace the waterfall patterns with agile/scrum patterns.  Some people are like that.
Would we succeed better if we presented things in a more organized, more logical way?  Well, a few people might say ‘it was a good logical presentation’.  That small group, would feel better.  But I am completely convinced that, if you look at the overall results, they would be much much lower.
Remember that our goal is not teaching. Nor learning. Nor even action by the attendees. Our goal is that attendees achieve real results with Scrum. For the person, for that person’s team, and for that person’s customers. One will never achieve real results with merely a ‘logical understanding’ of the work.
So, we are not after explicit knowledge. We are after ‘a sense of urgency’ and the tacit knowledge that leads to successful results.
So, I hope now it is clearer why I organize the Scrum course the way I do.
I wish you every success in having fun in achieving real results.

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