• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Tim Cooke
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Bear Bibeault
Sheriffs:
  • Knute Snortum
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Ron McLeod
  • Piet Souris
  • Ganesh Patekar
Bartenders:
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
  • salvin francis

Is this scrum or micro management?

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is this scrum or micro management?

Okay, taking the risk that my manager would read this and then I would get into trouble..

But we just had scrum standup an hour ago. We have something like 10 scrum teams. The top manager of the company joins the stand up. We all have to explain what we did yesterday, and focus goes from helping eachother to the manager and excusing why something does not have progress. Even worse, at the end of the standup he now had a look at our burndown chart, and commented on that. That is newly observed behavior by the way. We had to excuse ourselves that one person is sick, and three are on course at the moment. It feels like being in a factory with someone with a stopwatch behind me. And this should energize me and make me happy? The worst thing was that the team seriously discussed the matter of the burn down chart, even after the manager was gone. I thought it was irrelevant for our work, and just wanted to get things fixed, without getting into a dogmatic scrum discussion.

 
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 5765
146
Android Mac OS X Firefox Browser VI Editor Tomcat Server Safari
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is not Scrum, it is a status update meeting - a very inefficient way to keep one person up-to-date, although effective for that one person.
 
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree. The daily stand-up is not a status meeting, which is what it sounds like you're having. There is no excuse-making either, although that description might be tinted with your own negative bias. As far as approaching it in good faith, however, the Daily Stand-up is supposed to be a focused planning meeting and status is involved only so far as to update the plan for the work that will be done until the next standup meeting.

Managers are not supposed to be involved either and the team is not supposed to come to the meeting to report to them. The team is there to coordinate their work and make sure everyone is on the same page. It's like getting in a huddle before you get set to execute on the next play in football. The coach does not get into the huddle nor does the team owner. They stay off to the sidelines or up in their cushy executive boxes, high above the field where they can watch the entire field as the game progresses.

If the manager comes to the Daily Stand-up to learn about the teams status then that is borderline micromanagement if he's just a passive observer and outrightly so if he demands status updates from the team. The dysfunction is that there's a lack of transparency and visibility into the team's progress and that should be addressed by the team and the Scum Master, with the main responsibility for fixing the problem being on the latter. EDIT: Of course, the Dilbertian case would be that you have a PHB.
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan de Boer wrote:The worst thing was that the team seriously discussed the matter of the burn down chart, even after the manager was gone. I thought it was irrelevant for our work, and just wanted to get things fixed, without getting into a dogmatic scrum discussion.


Again, this all depends on how much of your description is tainted by your negative bias. Taken on good faith best effort, a scrum team that stays to discuss and address problems or impediments to their progress is doing the right thing. However, if members who are not involved in the work are forced to stay and listen to the discussion without the chance or ability to contribute to it, then that is dysfunctional. I have to question your characterization of the discussion as being "dogmatic" though. What made you use that word to describe the discussion?
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan de Boer wrote:It feels like being in a factory with someone with a stopwatch behind me. And this should energize me and make me happy?


I think I have asked this of you a number of times before but have you discussed how you feel with the rest of the team? This is not a healthy environment, not the kind that promotes the feeling of openness and autonomy that you should have in a well run Agile team. This is why I harp on responsibility and ownership. When you have this on the team, you don't need anyone to watch you. You set your own timer and deliver at the pace at which you are compelling yourself to work. If there are gaps in the times that you set for yourself and the those that others are expecting the work to be done, then again there's a gap in visibility and transparency. Talk it out with your team and the product owners.
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Junilu Lacar wrote:I think I have asked this of you a number of times before but have you discussed how you feel with the rest of the team?



I think I answered that one time: In the beginning I did, but I gave it up, sorry. Thank you for the confirmation that the presence of the manager is not normal in a scrum team. I thought so. For the rest, just nevermind. Appearantly I am still technically capable enough to keep my employer happy, although I have a negative bias towards scrum. I am happy with that since I like the technical subject we're working on.
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan de Boer wrote:Appearantly I am still technically capable enough to keep my employer happy, although I have a negative bias towards scrum. I am happy with that since I like the technical subject we're working on.


Be that as it may, it's still an unhealthy situation for you as well as your team. I have seen this happen first-hand. The person becomes more isolated and is seen by the rest of the team as being difficult and frankly, a jerk. It may take a while but the isolation usually leads to the exile getting voted off the island at the earliest convenience. That's not a situation in which I would thrive nor wish to remain part of for very long and that's exactly what happened with the people I know who were in that situation.

Note: And I'm not saying you're being a jerk. You could very well have good reason to feel the way you do which would be even more unfortunate, IMO. I really wish there was something more that could be done to help you other than to tell you that you have to try to help yourself here or look for another place that fits your style of working better.
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Junilu Lacar wrote:The person becomes more isolated and is seen by the rest of the team as being difficult.



Why do you think I keep my mouth shut? I know that!

Anyway, since it is also according to you not normal that a manager joins the stand up, I will diplomatically refer to that in the next reprospective meeting.



 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Junilu Lacar wrote:And I'm not saying you're being a jerk. You could very well have good reason to feel the way you do which would be even more unfortunate, IMO. I really wish there was something more that could be done to help you other than to tell you that you have to try to help yourself here or look for another place that fits your style of working better.



Oh do not worry about that. And don't worry about calling me a jerk. I manage at the moment. I have asked to be placed in another team that more focusses on the physical processes and science, and maybe it will go better there. The fact that I am not impressed by scrum and that I am irritated by the what I called the 'religious' aspect of it, does not imply that I will be explicitly defiant towards it. I just let it flow off me like the wind. It does not energize me, as it claims, but it does not affect me that much either. For me, it's just another system of managing the workload.


 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan de Boer wrote:
Oh do not worry about that. And don't worry about calling me a jerk.


OK, cool. And, no, I'm not saying you're anything like that. Cheers!
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I mentioned it in the latest reprospective by the way. They basically agreed with me, though did not seemed to be as annoyed as I was. But I frankly do not that much uhm..'care' anymore. I like the rain when you have to bicycle home. Just accept it or find an alternative.
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry to hear that, Jan. Well, I don't think you can be faulted for just moving along and not letting it bother you too much. Keep Calm and Soldier On. Good luck!
 
author & internet detective
Posts: 39433
768
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was thinking of this thread yesterday when my manager asked me (as ScrumMaster) permission to say something at the standup. We have a well established tradition that the chickens don't talk at that meeting, only the pigs. And he asked rather than just doing it because he wanted to respect the team's approach. I wish I could give you some of that culture!
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah, it does not matter. It is far more than just this micromanagement. The reason that I do not speak anymore during the retrospective is that I conclude that scrum is not for me. It happens to me often that many people like a thing, but I do not. I am the guy screaming in the desert. My brain just works differently. For example those "head first" books, where they say your brain has to be stimulated to mark something? That does not work for me. I need clear texts and no distractions, sounds are a part of that, but also those playful ways of writing information in that book. Things that might stimulate others, frustrate me. Other people learn on the job, at school for example during an internship. I learned more studying by myself in silence. The way scrum works in a team, always 'connected', does not work for me. I am happy that until now I have been able to do my job that good, that they are at least not unsatisfied about me. I am not totally stupid, but what makes others work better, makes me worse. So scrum might be good for you, and the majority, it is just not good for me.
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Junilu,

If all goes well..from next week on I am going to be placed in another team. So I will see how much of my hesitation about scrum is about scrum itself, and how much is about not getting along with the team. I sincerely hope it will go better there and will do my utmost as always. The team is a lot smaller so I think I can get that little moment of silence for analyzing something that I need.

And about scrum, don't think I dislike everything in scrum. The daily getting together in the stand-up is good for me. The short release cycles to get end user comment are logical. Continues delivery and acceptance test are sometimes a pain, but I can see their use too. So although I am critical, I do not oppose everything in it just to be defiant.

Please wish me luck!

Jan.

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Posts: 39433
768
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good luck! We look forward to hearing about your Scrum life on the new team!
 
Junilu Lacar
Sheriff
Posts: 13675
226
Mac Android IntelliJ IDE Eclipse IDE Spring Debian Java Ubuntu Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good luck, Jan, I hope you will find yourself a better fit on the new team.
 
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand
Posts: 974
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well to give you some feedback then, and I am not sure if you would like my comment, but: There is not much scrum (life) in my new team. And well I am happy with that. My new 'scrum' master, is actually my normal team lead, and when he saw me reading the scrum/agile critical book "Agile, The Good the Hype and the Ugly", he compliment me on my choice of books. We are too small to do all the nitty witty of scrum according to my team lead, and we are more or less 'pretending' to take scrum seriously to please our general development manager. Everybody is satisfied with my work though. But I have even stopped reading the Bertrand Meyer book, I am not interested in scrum anymore, don't want to even hear about it.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Posts: 39433
768
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jan,
Thanks for sharing your experience.
 
Wanna see my flashlight? How about this tiny ad?
Enterprise-grade Excel API for Java
https://products.aspose.com/cells/java
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!