Author: Vishu

CHOW #78- Responding rather than Reacting

Here is a challenge of the week. How do you Respond rather than React in the following situations? Someone sends you a nasty email copying rest of the team members also on the mail Someone abuses and insults you in a meeting by calling your idea as stupid What has been your experience in any such situation? How did you feel? How did you manage yourself and what did you do? Or how do you respond in such...

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Breathe and Behave

If we observe and reflect back, we can notice that many times we React to situations compulsively rather than Respond in a wise way. For example, in a fit of anger sometimes we shout at someone or make some hasty decisions and later realize that we should not have done that. The more we React than Respond to situations, the more likely we will strain the relationships with others be it in office, at home or in social contexts. In his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about  ‘You are the product of your own...

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CHOW #59– Dysfunctional TechLead in Agile Transformation

Divya, a Scrum Master for a Scrum Team, is looking for improving Agile maturity in her team. However she has a challenge in dealing with the TechLead, Surya, in the team. Surya, a long timer in the company, is a very critical member needed for the success of the project. But he doesn’t believe in Agile and often opposes many of the practices; He is non-cooperative and dysfunctional at times in the team. He not only skips most of the Scrum ceremonies but also influences other team members to do the same. Divya is looking for help from the Agile Coach on how to deal with Surya. How can you help Divya?   Suggested Solution Here are some possible approaches Divya can consider: First & foremost, Divya should try to understand the possible reasons for Surya’s behavior. There are many possibilities – it may be lack of understanding of the rationale behind Agile practices, or it could be resistance to change or it could be due to mismatch of aspirations/goals or it could be due to insecurity or fear of losing individual prominence etc. Depending on different reasons, Divya will have to take different approaches. If Surya is not aware of the rationale behind Agile practices, she should enable him to attend a workshop like ‘The Whys of Agile’ and follow up with some coaching so that the principles...

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Start-up to Scale-up Transformation patterns

Having been part of a couple of Start-up to Scale-up journeys (both in Products and Services space) and being part of industry forums, benchmarking initiatives, and many consulting/coaching engagements, I have seen typical patters from Start-up to Scale-up of organizations. They go through several S curves in the journey. The S curves Start-up organizations start doing something, become very good at it and then start stagnating. If they continue to do more of the same, they may start drooping down in performance. Before they start stagnating, good companies detect the signs and kick-start the next S curve. Typically, these...

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CHOW #42– Improving your team’s overall performance

Judy is a Scrum Master for an Agile team of 8 people including developers, testers and UX members. The team is working on a core platform part of the product which has an impact on all the other modules of the product. There is significant expectation on the team to deliver the core part, meeting the needs of all the dependent modules with high quality and speed (as the other modules are waiting for this core part). The team follows Scrum practices as meticulously as prescribed by any good book on Agile.  Judy is aware that the team’s performance will increase many-fold if they function more as a self-organizing and collaborating team. She notices that the key impediment to this is the Tech Lead whose caustic behavior is putting off the team members in taking ownership. Judy has a one-on-one discussion with the Tech Lead and observes that his behavior was not intentional, but due to not being aware that his behavior was a problem. How can Judy help the Tech Lead to change so that team’s overall performance improves?   Suggested solution: Looking at Judy’s understanding and analysis of the situation and the initial interaction with the TechLead, Judy seems to be a mature Scrum Master with good awareness and emotional intelligence. Judy can use her these strengths to bring change in the TechLead’s behavior. As Judy noticed,...

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