•Imagine that you are an agile coach. Outline a plan that sets the expectations for your team when beginning a project. Provide a rationale for your response.
•Read the mini-case titled, “Agile Team Leadership”. Suggest the key actions that you would take to resolve the issues with Vos if you were Meijer. Justify your response.
Minicase: Agile Team Leadership
The team had just finished their daily stand-up when Martijn de Haan knocked on Janneke Meijer’s office door. “Can I interrupt you for a minute?” he asks.
Meijer looks up from the file she is working on and says, “Sure. Come on in.”
Meijer has been a product owner at Steenbok Industries, a robotics equipment manufacturer in Rotterdam, for several years. She has had quite a bit of success leading agile projects for the firm and is currently working on its newest product, a visioning system that automatically inspects manufactured pieces for defects. Steenbok recently opened a new plant on the outskirts of the city so several of Meijer’s team members transferred to the new facility to avoid commuting into the city. The team has recently assimilated several new members, but the team’s velocity has suffered.
de Haan, one of the Agile team members, begins, “It’s about Vos. I’m afraid there are some problems.”
Arne Vos is the Agile project manager for the project. Meijer and Vos had completed their Agile training together and had worked together successfully in the last few years, becoming pretty good friends in the process. Meijer was surprised to hear Vos’ name because Vos had always worked well with teams in the past.
“Since we’ve added the new team members, our progress has slowed down a bit—not a lot, but enough to be noticeable,” de Haan explains. “We’re still trying to merge the skills of the new people into our way of working, so things aren’t moving as fast as they have on other projects. I think the new people are afraid to overstep their boundaries and they’re being overly cautious about stepping on anyone’s toes.”
He pauses for a moment, and then begins again. “To try to help us catch up, Vos has been assigning work to the new people. We’ve regained some speed, but now the new people think that’s how our team works, so they’re waiting to be told what to do next, instead of stepping forward and asserting themselves. That’s slowed us down even further. I didn’t think Vos realized what was happening so I spoke to him about it. He said that he knew what he was doing, but the project was slipping and he was trying to fix it. He said that as soon as the project was over, we could teach the new people the skills they needed and get back to doing things the way we are used to. But in the meantime, he’s affecting how everyone works, and that’s ruining our ability to meet the schedule.”
“Why didn’t you bring this up in today’s meeting?” Meijer asks.
“I didn’t want to embarrass him,” de Haan says.
•Consider the manner in which you usually react to conflict and determine your native conflict response behavior. Provide one (1) example that supports your conclusion. Note: This is a safe environment for everyone to share his / her personal experience. No personal attack is allowed.
• Suggest two (2) real-world situations where you would use two (2) of the agile soft skills covered in the video and the textbook.
• Suggest at least two (2) strategies that an agile facilitator can use to coach his / her team during standard agile meetings. Suggest two (2) actions that an agile facilitator should exhibit and two (2) actions that an agile facilitator should not exhibit during the meetings. Provide a rationale for your response.
•Recommend two (2) ways that one can use powerful observations, powerful questions, and powerful challenges in order to help a team’s communication. Include two (2) examples of the recommended actions to support your response.