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How a manager should best help a team asking for expensive/scarce tools ?

Last post 12:27 pm May 1, 2018 by Ian Mitchell
1 reply
10:02 am May 1, 2018

Hi folks,

In a lot of company, the Scrum Team have difficulties to get access to their "ideal tools". For instance, expensive testing tools can be scarce. But how should a manager react if a Scrum Team comes after the retrospective and ask for having their own instance of such a tool ?

Actually, in my company, it is exactly the case : we have a "performance testing team" with experts mastering expensive tools. Every teams take a ticket for a ride with them before release to market (imagine the waiting lane and the waste...)

What is the best way a manager should help this Scrum Team ?

Should the manager explain to them that they are suppose to be self-organized and deal with the issue on their own ? (What is the use of having such a manager ?)

Should the manager find a local expert than can help the Scrum Team to partially emulate their "production-like" environment ? (Quite easy but limited and maintain the "statu-quo" and the current policies)

Should the manager struggle with the C-level in order to provide the Scrum Team with the necessary environment ? (Hard but long term gain for the company)

Curious to read from you !


12:27 pm May 1, 2018

My advice would be to go for the so-called long-term gain, if that is the way to deliver shippable work. Where there are impediments with C-level sponsorship then certainly these ought to be exposed.

Short-term gains are generally to be favored, but only if they will help a team to meet the current Sprint Goal and deliver increments of release quality. In Scrum it's better to close the validated learning loop as quickly as possible, rather than to anticipate longer-term outcomes without benefit of empirical control.

Telling a team to self-organize, without helping them to do so, would just be a failure in servant-leadership on the part of a manager. Seeking the "partial" emulation of a "production-like" environment would be more pro-active, but would not support empiricism since work will not be of release quality. Neither are likely to provide a short-term gain at all.

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