Episode 198 - Failure To Execute


Manage episode 303202335 series 1369467
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Perhaps the most important thing Scrum teaches us to do is make and keep small commitments with consistency.

On these points, I've spoken many times but I want to reveal that of all the human challenges I encounter in teams, it is this. Why can't people keep their word?

-This problem exists everywhere - within our projects and beyond

-Talk is cheap, and true action and fidelity to our commitments is rare

-We all do, but it is a failure of great proportion that place low value on our word

-Notice this week how many people have to be excused for missing a promise AFTER the deadline has passed. Notice how many people will even cancel or call in sick to avoid being accountable. Among the root causes are:


-Depleted energy /poor time and energy management

-Lack of alignment between passion and work

-Poor communications and unclear expectations

-unaddressed blockers

-lack of urgency


In all of these cases, there are simple solutions. One is to ask for help, another is to continuously communicate movement toward a small goal. Proper sprint planning and standups should help, but a funny thing happens. People would rather be seen as late (and subsequently unreliable) than as needing help or renegotiating arrangements.

There is another way. Rally the team around their group and individual identity. What do you want to be known for? Ask people and they'll tell you - dependability, trustworthy, accountable. Hold them to this higher ideal, and the commitment to the smaller deadlines will follow.


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