Need guidance about this situation

Last post 12:57 am January 8, 2022
by Mario De Caerlé
7 replies
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08:12 am January 4, 2022

I am handling a team in which all developers have joined recently (2 months old team).

In last retrospective, I conducted happiness index survey anonymously and everyone gave 9 & 10 marks out of 10 for collaboration happening within a team. Everyone was very much happy with the everyone else in the team.

However, today - Architect found one blunder which developers had done while doing code & he took a class of all developers. Now, let's say their names are W,X,Y and Z.  While architect was telling them the mistake they have done, X said, based on Y & Z's advice they did this. Architect is very professional guy & said he does not want to go to that level who did and whose advice etc. But as a team you should be careful as our entire last sprint could have got wasted because of this mistake. 

After this call with architect got over, I had a call with X for some other reason that time X was very upset and said he shouldn't have listened to advice given by Y & Z.

After some time I had a call with Y. Y said X should not have taken our names during the call with architect and it was X who was working on that module right from the start. So, it was very wrong on his part to call out Y & Z's name is what Y believes.

Now- I am not sure it was whose mistake etc and don't find any point to know about it but this incident will have impact on team bonding. Also, to avoid such things what should be done from next time?

-------------------------Below is the action items from my side- ----------------------

1. Discuss this in retrospective & ask the solution from the team itself

2. From tomorrow onwards post scrum discussion we will have code walkthrough with architect. So that any blunders, architect will come to know very early.

3. I have advised them that going further, for any confusion just pull architect in call and get your confusion clarified. Instead of wasting time doing things incorrectly

 

09:07 am January 4, 2022

The first thing that comes to my mind is why isnt the architect part of the Developers, especially as no one outside of the Developers is allowed to tell them what to do? 

 

10:04 am January 4, 2022

"Holding each other accountable as professionals" is a primary accountability of all team members(Architect, Developer etc) in Scrum. It is important that the new team is trained with rule of the game so they will be aware how to work using Scrum Framework. Any new team may go through 'Stroming' phase, but emphasizing the Scrum Values help the team get out it and maintain their "happiness index".

Adapting the Definition of Done(if necessary) based on the inspection of the "blunder" happened could possibly help to avoid such situation next time.

 

 

06:19 pm January 4, 2022

While architect was telling them the mistake they have done, X said, based on Y & Z's advice they did this. Architect is very professional guy

Really? He sounds more like a manager pointing the finger.

  • What servant leadership is he demonstrating?
  • What has he learned -- based on this recent experience -- that he might need to do in the future?
  • How can he get his knowledge and skill over to others in a more timely way, so they don't risk falling in a hole?

A good agile leader is the first one to be vulnerable.

11:20 am January 6, 2022

Adapting the Definition of Done(if necessary) based on the inspection of the "blunder" happened could possibly help to avoid such situation next time.

Oh yes, how could I miss that? thanks..

 

The first thing that comes to my mind is why isnt the architect part of the Developers, especially as no one outside of the Developers is allowed to tell them what to do? 

He is a developer as he shares his knowledge and guide the team. However, for quick understanding I mentioned his designation.  

 

While architect was telling them the mistake they have done, X said, based on Y & Z's advice they did this. Architect is very professional guy

Really? He sounds more like a manager pointing the finger.

No Ian. He was not pointing finger. He just made sure that they realize the blunder. Else, too much time would have gone wasted correcting it. And based on this experience we have started frequent code walkthrough session in which code walkthrough is done post daily scrum. This was missing earlier.

    02:23 pm January 6, 2022

    No Ian. He was not pointing finger. He just made sure that they realize the blunder. 

    I'd suggest otherwise, and that he may have exhibited an unfortunate behavior -- in a position of apparent seniority -- which others then emulated.

    "While architect was telling them the mistake they have done, X said, based on Y & Z's advice they did this".

    Hence X started pointing the finger too.

    A company sets the tone which others then follow, and for better or worse a certain culture is then built up. In your case, it's the one you are now facing.

    Servant leadership is a critically important quality within an agile organization. I think your company may have experienced some learning opportunities in this regard, and it would be a shame to miss them.

     

    12:15 pm January 7, 2022

    This kind of situation is very usefull for us (Scrum Master). It display the fragility of the team and it is also a great learning opportunity. How can the team enforce its resilience? How can they aquire more aotonomy regarding the external SME?

    What is their first-loop AND double-loop learning?

    12:57 am January 8, 2022

    It seems like the happiness index is way too high, and you've found a much broader problem.

    I would start with this question: Is the environment safe? Are the Developers able to speak freely, do they feel they can?
    If they don't, they'll tell you everything is just fine.

    Then your solutions:

    1. Discuss this in retrospective & ask the solution from the team itself
    Bring it up if they do not and don't ask them for a solution, they should agree it's a problem, and bring a solution without asking them. Only if they can't, suggest something.

    2. From tomorrow onwards post scrum discussion we will have code walkthrough with architect. So that any blunders, architect will come to know very early.

    Is this a team decision? Let it be discussed in Retrospective, and let them decide what to do. Only if they can't decide, offer a suggestion. By the way, what is "Scrum discussion"?

    3. I have advised them that going further, for any confusion just pull architect in call and get your confusion clarified. Instead of wasting time doing things incorrectly
    You sound like "the manager". This may be why the happiness index was so high: they want to please you.