The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Killing Agile (6/?)

Sadly, […] a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred. […] it is the story of that terrible stupid catastrophe and some of its consequences. 

It is also the story of a book, a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Killing Agile, not an Agile book, never published on Agile website, and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or heard of by any Agile team members.

Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book. […]

It begins with some fear

Let’s imagine you have been working for a pretty long time as a project manager for quite a big company.

You are a very experienced professional who knows how to handle complex situations. You are respected and probably also well paid for your work. Your self-esteem is in good shape too.

Until one day someone tells you that the company you are working for is going to move to Agile. Although at the beginning it seems just a rumour —like many others you heard in the past—, after some time, when your boss calls a meeting to let you know that all company’s projects are supposed to start working within a Scrum framework as soon as possible, you feel this is going to get serious.

After carefully reading the Scrum Guide, you actually panic, as there is no room for doubt: they are going to get rid of you and all the other project managers within the company!

If you feel this way, please take a deep breath.

As humans we may have fears, especially when we don’t know what’s happening and everything seems beyond our control.

Yet in such a situation, the worst thing you can do is panic.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be fair either if you started embracing a denial mood and told everybody that Agile does not suit your project/company, without having even considered giving it a try.

First of all, under no circumstances does the Scrum Guide suggest getting rid of project managers.

Secondly, do you really think your company is going to waste all your expertise?

Last but not least, don’t you think it’s time you stepped out of your comfort zone and took on a new challenge?

It’s true: no project manager is needed within a Scrum Team.

What’s more, no command and control style is required to handle a sprint. Trust and empowerment are recommended instead.

However, you can, without any doubt, still bring value to your work environment.

As you have a position in such a big company, you are familiar with managing complex projects, and you are respected by your peers, you could, for instance, focus less on the Scrum team and their duties, and knuckle down more to manage their interactions with other teams and projects: facilitating communication, spotting dependencies, and resolving all those impediments beyond the Scrum Master’s control.

It does look challenging, doesn’t it?

So, please keep calm, try to really understand Scrum and simply adapt your role to the Agile era!

List of references

(Sadly) real working life.

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  London: Del Rey Books,1995 (first published 1979).

Fake review from The Fake Boston Globe

Seconds before the lab is demolished to make way for a new galactic device…

… a SW tester begins a journey through Scrum framework aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Killing Agile (“A speck is about the most massively useful thing a software hitchhiker can have”) and a lab full of fellow team members…

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