Measure less, do more
Scrum as a methodology is afflicted by taking inordinate metrics on the mundane, hoping to find logic and patterns in a stream of measurements and numbers. Often times teams are consumed with devising the means to measure productivity, velocity, veracity… all of which point to the distrust that is inherent in every organization i’ve worked with, to the natural order of self-organizing teams.
In physics, there’s a concept of the Observer Effect, wherein the act of observation itself changes the phenomenon being observed, and that’s entirely applicable to to scrum. Managers wanting to know exactly what people are working on, but the focus on smaller and more invasive measurements betrays a lack of trust that’s inherent to erstwhile big-design scenarios.
I’d advise organizations to focus on the hiring process, to bring in great people and then get out of their way as much as possible. I like the agile manifesto’s take on this: projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted.
That that to heart so that the next time you’re thinking of another metric you’d like from the team, think instead of whether you’d prefer the measurement to be done or the work to be performed. More metrics invariably leads to lower productivity.
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