Monday, June 8, 2015

Trust Your Team But Make Sure To Verify

#SridharPeddisetty, #Leadership, #Management, #Agile, #ScrumMaster, #AgileMethodologies, #AgileProjectManager #ProjectManager. 


One afternoon a wealthy manager was driving in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed by the sight, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one man "Why are you eating grass?" "We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass." "Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you" the manager said. "But sir, I have a wife and five children with me. They are over there, under that tree". "Bring them along," the manager replied. Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us also." The second man, in a pitiful voice then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and seven children with me!" "Bring them all, as well," the manager answered. They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to mr. Manager and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." The manager replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place; the grass is almost 1 meter high!"
Claus Langfred, a professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis did a survey to measure levels of trust, self-monitoring, and autonomy among 71 self-managing teams of MBA students. In his survey, he found out these team members trusted each other and tended not to monitor one another much. As a result, they had relatively low awareness of each other’s activities, which affected performance and possibly hampering processes and coordination. 
In an Agile world where we encourage the teams to be self performing, role of a manager is more like a servant leader role. Its an important trait for the Scrum Master or Agile Project Manager to trust the self performing team to execute and deliver on business value but verifying the same with stage gates is essential. Each stage gate could include exit criteria, which the manager can standardize for the team to follow. Each stage within SDLC could also benefit from using SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers) model for mapping the deliverables with strategic goals while focusing on continuous improvement. 
Trusting your self performing team is important but its essential to verify that team is performing to its optimal level as a unit and not showing just individual brilliances, which can be counter productive for the end results. 
Stephen Covey has brilliantly put that "Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. Its the foundational principle that holds all relationships"   
How do you trust your team but verify? 

Trust Your Team But Make Sure To Verify was originally published in LinkedIn