Sarcasm on Scrum Team

Say you have a developer, Brad, on a project. Brad is a pretty senior developer and is fairly sarcastic. On a typical waterfall project with defined phases, no collocation and a long testing phase a lot of frustration develops. Typical miscommunication happens and too much is contained in documentation from emails, to defect tracker comments. Distance increases the need for documentation.

On this sort of project Brad’s sarcasm is often misinterpreted as confrontation and further separates factions on the team. The project is actually pretty successful, but at the end Brad is burned out and frustrated.

Contrast this with a Scrum style project with daily standups. Same Brad, same sarcasm, but everyone just giggles when Brad explains his impediment that the sunlight reaching his cube is distracting him and that he really would prefer fluorescent lighting. The sarcasm is understood and even appreciated as a humorous release. The team tends to gel because they’re collocated and meeting regularly. Everyone is visibly on the same team and the conflicts that often develop over distances are handled by the Scrum process.

Not a side effect I would have expected, but one I’m beginning to really appreciate.

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