Product Managers, Whole Team
We work with our stakeholders effectively and without fear.
I know somebody who worked in a company with two development teams. One was Agile, met its commitments, and delivered regularly. The team next door struggled: it fell behind schedule and didn’t have any working software to show. Yet when the company downsized, they let the Agile team go rather than the other team!
Why? When management looked in on the struggling team, they saw formal diagrams papering the walls and programmers working long hours. When they looked in on the Agile team, they saw people talking, laughing, and going home at five with nothing but rough sketches and charts on the whiteboards.
Like it or not, your team doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Agile can seem strange and different at first. “Are they really working?” outsiders wonder. “It’s noisy and confusing. I don’t want to work that way. If it succeeds, will they force me to do it, too?”
Ironically, the more successful Agile is, the more these worries grow. Alistair Cockburn calls them organizational antibodies. (He credits Ron Holiday with the term.) If left unchecked, organizational antibodies will overcome and dismantle an otherwise successful Agile team.
No matter how effective you are at delivering software, you’re in trouble without the goodwill of your stakeholders and sponsor. Yes, delivering software and meeting technical expectations helps, but the interpersonal skills your team exhibits ...
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