—When I watch the team interact during stand up I'm dismayed by what I see. It's like I'm looking at two different groups of people. In reality, it's the same people in different situations.
The software team and I have been struggling with how to improve our stand up. One challenge was improving communication. This challenge involves creating an environment where the team is not stiffled by outsiders.
When I watch the team interact I’m happy with what I see. I see a team that’s engaged in achieving its objectives and heavily embracing collaboration. When I watch the team interact during stand up I’m dismayed by what I see. It’s like I’m looking at two different groups of people. In reality, it’s the same people in different situations. One appears comfortable. The other not so much.
My team hates their stand up. As their manager, it’s painful to watch. As I watch, I am reminded of awful circumstances.
I’ve long acknowledged that the outside presence is too heavy for this team. It smothers and stiffles them. The best characterization I can give is that the team is a collection of gentle souls. The heaviness comes from the weight of opinion and direction from outside the team. For some reason, the team collapses in the face of this onslaught. For me, it’s a failure of the Manager and the Scrum Master.
My challenge as the manager is to inject a change into the stand up that achieves two goals.
We’ve played with the notion of asking for huddles up front. That didn’t work because the team didn’t execute. This makes the situation complicated, because it implies that
The solution to address the challenges and to flesh out the huddle is to force the huddle. The idea is to use the huddle to provide the team a way to extract themselves to make a decision without outside influence. Basically, I’m going to trust my instincts and whenever I percieve the team being pushed around I will tell, not ask, for a huddle and assign someone to communicate the decision.
It’s the best that I can do. It’s also the smallest change I can make to enable better outcomes.