I’ve got only several days to prepare for a small but important “project” – watching Super Bowl. The upcoming event has sparked up a couple of ideas that I’d like to share with you and maybe even initiate a discussion.
So let’s assume we have a software development project to deliver while there’re no specification and time to describe the requirements, we have a cross-functional team of five to eight people, and we have a very short timeframe to deliver the final product to the client. So what do we need to make sure the team is on the same page and fully committed?
“SCRUM! Go ahead!” you might say.
“What the f***!” my inner philologist says (there is “flexibility” hidden).
Your humble PM believes in the pseudo-scientific hypothesis of linguistic relativity. The strong version of the hypothesis says that language determines the thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories.
Stop! Wait a minute… Do I want to say that Scrum (scrimmage) is only a method of restarting play according to the definition and there is no reason to use that name in the methodology? Yes, I do.
Should we name the process of achieving a well-defined result “the action when nobody of your team has a solid vision”? Shall we think well about the iteration when we cannot raise our own head and help a teammate in trouble?
A couple of words about the definition of Scrum from Wikipedia (the theme from the Star Wars is being played at the background): “They called this the holistic or rugby approach, as the whole process is performed by one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases, where the team “tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth…”
They missed something interesting, didn’t they? Scrum is not a beginning so why did authors forget about the planning stage?
Wiki helps me again: “In sport, a huddle is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to strategize…”
Let’s shed the light on the “Huddle” in the meaning of team action and talk why it’s a better name for the Agile framework, according to the images associated with this process.
When Scrum aims to continue the game, Huddle is the way to get the real result.
In the scrimmage, we should get the ball. That’s all. But. Sometimes, a software development process is more sophisticated (like life itself, isn’t it?), and we should lose the battle to win the war. I would rather fail the project deadline for a day or two but get positive feedback from the Customer after delivering the final result.
By participating in the huddle, you get to know everything about the main goal of your teamwork and the accountability that each of your team members holds. Anyone can prompt and help everyone.
Huddle is one big demonstration of how the leader could win Super Bowl without having any rock stars in their team by only using tactics and confidence in the team. Just like Bill Belichick of New England Patriots, you can lead your team to success by only doing your own job.
I propose to rename one of the frameworks of the Agile methodology and add a bit of wisdom linked to the real power of the team. If we are talking about the IT field, we associate the approach to achieve the result within a short time period (we call it Sprint, by the way ;)) with plenty of people who only want to move the ball, no matter what it takes. “WE SHOULD MOVE THE BALL!” Should we?
Well, understand me correctly, I don’t mind all this stuff. But maybe we don’t need to call it “Scrum“? Maybe instead of dancing Haka we should breathe in, breathe out and mix the spirit of openings with a cold head? Start thinking about a distance to your goal? Stop looking for inspiration in the motivation bestsellers from people who want to earn money on their versions of the simplest truths!
Leave the ball alone! Have you ever thought that maybe we must gather together to understand own role before changing the world?
Several days before Tom Brady will make an appointment to see the surgeon for adding the sixth finger, I just wanted to explain why we need to replace “Scrum” with “Huddle”.
Do your job!