Lose the Ego

Bye Bye Big HeadIt’s not about you, it’s about the product and the process.

One of the first things you need to do when you’re starting scrum is to lose your ego.  You need to remember that your success will be measured on the value the team outputs.

Product Owners need to be careful of their egos because although they get the final call on product decisions their opinions are not the only ones that count.  They need to take all stakeholders into account to make the right decisions for the product.  They can’t ever let their personal opinions or personal desires overtake what is best for the product.

In the Development team it isn’t about star players, it’s about everyone working together to become more effective.  Remember a team is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  If you feel like you are the star player being held back by a weak team then maybe you are, but instead of straining against the rest you should be holding back and working out how to help the rest of your team to keep up.  If a developer is focused on holding onto their star status then they’re not focussing on how to optimize the value of the team’s outputs.

But the person who needs the least ego is the Scrum Master.  The scrum guide describes the Scrum Master as a servant-leader.  The Scrum Master serves the others and does what’s best for the process.  They mustn’t get so wrapped up in their own solutions that they can’t admit when other’s solutions are better.  The Scrum Master also needs to be able to admit when the solution has actually become a problem and there’s a need to search for another solution.   Don’t get so stressed thinking you’re the one responsible for creating all the solutions.  Remember that scrum is built on self-organising teams.  Rather than a single point of failure, each person is part of a united front pushing the bounds of value creation.  It’s the value of the system that you should really take pride in, rather than getting wound up in your own fragile pride.

Finally, the main concepts of Scrum are Transparency, Inspection and Adaption.  These require openness and complete honesty.  You can’t do that if you’re too busy looking after your ego or too worried about bruising others.  If you can lose your ego then your progress into the world of scrum will be much less painful.

Related Books:

Ego Free Living

Carol Austin
Coach Agile Teams

Lyssa Adkins
The Scrum Field Guide

Mitch Lacey

Categories: Continuous Improvement

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