So, creating a Agile team sounds good on paper, but making this a reality is often harder in most organizations. The hardest part of moving to dedication of team members is first believing that the benefits are worth enduring the pain that often accompanies this move. In the “pre-dedication” way of working, team members would move from team to team as the project heated up in a certain area or when a specific team needed the specialized skills only that team members possessed. These “pre-dedication” team members were also at the whim of the project manager who was bequeathed with the holistic knowledge of the “big picture” and could decide at any given moment that which agile project or which part of which agile project a team member was working that day. So, these team members would spend 25% of their time on Project A, 30% on Project B, 35% on Project C, and 10% on Project D. But, did anyone remember that all this context switching was an enormous drain on that team member and he / she was left with either putting in 25% overtime or being late on at least 3 of these 4 agile projects. As a scrum team member, a lack of dedication can kill your ability to deliver and not to mention your motivation to be at work.
Now that you are hopefully convinced that you want your organization to be steeped in a Culture of Commitment, how do you infuse the CofC in your company’s DNA? The “Culture of Commitment enabling” markers your teams need to strive for are depicted below.
Welcome to Interview Series! In this Series, we ask questions that you submit through our social media channels to our consulting practice leaders.
Having played senior leadership roles in many solutions delivery organizations, we have witnessed both the presence and absence of a Culture of Commitment.
More often, organizations pervert the notion of the Sprint “commitment” with crushing delivery pressure or a lack of a support structure that allows a real commitment culture to take hold. For these environments, you can see the team do a collective “Whatever!” when Sprint Planning ends and everyone is looking for the commitment to the Sprint Goals. The real “commitment” is just to get the Sprint Planning meeting over and done. It is these types of organizations from which the Scrum Guide felt the need to “protect” us by removing any notion of commitment.