Sunday, February 26, 2012

Am I pushing change here or what?

Recently, I had a dialogue which went like this ...
I say: From my point of view you have a problem.
Answer: No, we don’t.
I say: I think, you do.
Answer: No, we don’t.
I say - Why do you want me here, if you deny the problem once I think there is one?

There was no question asked like – “what is the problem you think we have?” or “what do you mean by that?”. I am fully aware that the opening was rather provocative, however, IMO this was already the sugar-coated version. I am aware that this is a kind of “fixing on a position” and typically it is not leading anywhere. On the other side, this was not the first discussion, oh boy NO - we are now at a stage where people in the organization want to hear my observations, findings and thoughts – or at least I thought so ...

Right now I feel like like I am pushing an entire organization to become agile!

This is rather frustrating and I get a headache. I remember what Paul said about headache, its not your problem and this is true here as well. I need to go back to my purpose why I am conducting this experiment and why I want to be in this organization. My goal is to learn (whether I solve some problems along the way is pure coincidence – a side effect).

So, what do I learn here: I see a big junk of denial of reality and a “It's not so bad after all” - attitude. This is complemented with a crunchy “ I can't do” and “this is impossible to change” attitude. I face reactions like “Wolfi – now you really lost all your marbles – go away I am busy – stop annoying me you crazy external coach”. This amount of resistance is too much to handle for a single person (even for a big guy like me) by maintaining a healthy mind at the same time.

If you feel to be in a similar situation, the question for you might be what can you do? Here comes an idea: Find alleys, people who think in the same line of principles, others who are stamped to have lost all their screws. And you might be surprised where you find those people … team members in the next room, people working in support function e.g. building CI-system .

Persons who are titled Scrum Master or Agile Coach are not automatically fit for this community. I have seen so called Scrum Masters where I would say that a mouse impresses me more. I have met so called Agile coaches which think that “Agile is a process” and thus they favor “management by metrics”. Those kind of people are the ones which need to be influenced not the ones which influence others in the spirit of Lean, Agile and Scrum.

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