TL; DR: The Illusion of Velocity
In this article, I explore the pitfalls of ‘The Illusion of Velocity’ in agile contexts, peeling back the layers of traditional metrics as leadership tools. Moreover, I point to the advantages gained from leadership engaging directly with teams.
Understand why servant leadership and practices like the Gemba Walks are crucial for coping with complex, adaptive environments toward actual progress. Moreover, get an idea of how to start flipping outdated hierarchies and embrace the natural rhythm of productivity and innovation.
TL; DR: The Obsession with Commitment Matching Velocity
Despite decades-long efforts of the whole agile community—books, blogs, conferences, webinars, videos, meetups; you name it—we are still confronted in many supposedly agile organizations with output-metric driven reporting systems. At the heart of these reporting systems, stuck in the industrial age when the management believed it needed to protect the organization from slacking workers, there is typically a performance metric: velocity.
In the hands of an experienced team, velocity might be useful a team-internal metric. But, when combined with some managers’ wrong interpretation of commitment, it becomes a tool of oppression. So when did it all go so wrong?
TL; DR: Faking Agile Metrics — An Eye-Opening Exercise
Imagine you’re a Scrum Master and the line manager of your team believes that the best sign for a successful agile transformation is a steady increase in the Scrum Team’s velocity. Moreover, if the team fails to deliver on that metric something is wrong with the Scrum Team. Alternatively, something is wrong with you as you are the Scrum Master and hence responsible for the team’s performance. (Apparently, not faking agile metrics, or being transparent in this case, does not seem to be valued here.)
Learn more about how to coach these kinds of line managers and help them overcome their preference for the industrial past with a simple exercise on how to cook the agile books.