Project Behavior Issues

Some of the toughest problems on projects are caused by pulling together a group of individuals. Often one or more don’t work out.

On an Agile project you commit to your work every day and explain what you accomplished the day before. There’s nowhere to hide hours of surfing the web or spending a whole day writing a few lines of code. Productivity and effectiveness are evaluated every day. If you’re struggling but really trying the team will pull together and try to help out. Just putting in time by sitting in your cubicle for 8 hours a day and attending the standup isn’t enough.

At this point it becomes a management issue. Scrum puts pressure on management to act. Jump in, give the difficult feedback and get the employee on track. Management isn’t just about having an office, filling out budgets, and running team meetings. Management is defining expectations and helping people live up to them.

If line management can’t arrive at resolution it becomes an organizational issue. As Scrum or other Agile approaches expand and become the norm the organization must adapt. Letting a team flail with a weak link is unacceptable. Large scale organizational change is hard. Ken Schwaber’s estimate is only 20% of organizations will successfully complete a Scrum implementation.