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One team - One dream

Written by Muhammad Saqib on Jul 04, 2017

Is your scrum team happy? According to scrum guide, the scrum team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially shippable increment of a “done” product at end of each sprint. One important characteristic of scrum team is they are cross-functional, what it means is, as a whole they’ve got all the skills needed to create the product increment and without any special title.

Usually, organizations or agile coaches create teams consisting all the engineers like developer, tester, designer (UI), UX expert, DBA, technical writer so that as a team they should be able to transform backlog item into a shippable item.

But what most coaches are doing wrong in this agile transformation and in making agile teams even if they have a cross functional team? They split their goals. Instead of setting a team goal every indivisual set their own goal.

Here is an example taken from one of the talks

Let’s say, USA can never beat Argentina in football. Why? Because what they do is, they divide teams into 2 groups. Forwarders and defenders. Forwarders goal is to attack and goal. They will get credit when they score a goal. Defenders will get credit only when you prevent the goal by opponent side.

Makes sense, right?

But what will happen even If you won the game by 1-0? Forwarders will be disappointed because they only manage to score 1 goal in 90 minutes plus extra time but defenders will be extremely happy as they have not let the opponent score even a single goal. So half team will be happy although you win the game.

Similarly, if you win 100-99, forwarders will be extremely happy because they hit 100 goals and defenders will be extremely disappointed because they let go 99 goals. End of the day, even you win the world cup, the half team will be upset, unhappy.

This is exactly what is happening in many organization when we do transformation.

If you divide your scrum into developers and testers and then give conflicting objectives to them. And now you expect to work as one team. Sorry, this will not work.

Give the team one objective, just don’t care how many defects you find but a team should work in such a way that customer do not find defects in code. That should be the goal for the whole team. That’s the way you will achieve remarkable goals. It’s not tester’s goal to find bugs, report, and developers goal to fix but should be the team goal that there should not be any bug when team releases that work to the customer and they should work collectively to achieve this. So for a football team, a goal should be no matter how much goals opponent team hits you, you should hit one more the opponent. This thinking is the big problem in current leaders. Unless you come up out of this mindset and see the big picture, the agile transformation for the leaders will always be a challenge.

Have you seen company having a big building and calling them “XYZ Development Center”, means their focus is only on development not on a big picture on solving problem, huh???? 

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