Get Shit Done Together
I grew up playing competitive sports such as basketball, football and baseball. Towards the end of my career I’d settled into two sports, tennis and wrestling. A coach once told me the only excuse he wanted to hear from me is the reason I expect to win. It’s really easy to say I’m feeling sick, or I’m distracted or the weather sucks, but at the end of the day, that does very little to help you come out victorious. A good coach will tell you through adversity you build resilience. And if you’re off your game you have to dig deep and find another way.
In fighting sports such as boxing or wrestling the need to adapt to succeed takes on a whole new meaning, because if you don’t, you don’t just lose, you get hurt. The more I hung around fighters, the more I learned to respect the humility, work ethic and discipline they represented.
Over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of learning a lot about Agile development. Almost exactly a year ago we decided to rally around Scrum. Being self-organized seemed to be a great way for team members to grow. Being cross-functional naturally breeds efficiency. Having discipline around process enables you to scale faster.
Unless you are the most organized software company that does zero customization or support, there will come a time when you’ll have to step away from your processes and simply Get Shit Done Together. Your game plan (sprint planning) doesn’t matter. Your working agreements don’t matter. Your roles don’t matter. 80% of all companies fail in the first couple of years, so trust me, none of that shit matters if your start up ends up in the dead-pool. This is where I like to think like a fighter. The best fighter is truly agile. The best Product Owners are truly agile. The best Scrum Master is truly agile. The best Team Members are truly agile.
I am a believer that a good self-organizing team will find a way to fulfill their mission. Maximum efficiency comes from putting the right people in the right position to succeed, working your asses off, and being humble enough to accept there are times you have to pivot. Does this mean a Scrum Master might code, or test and write some epics. Sure, why not
Process is excellent. But, it’s just a tool. One of many in fact. And while you will generally be more effective and efficient by following it, sometimes you got to throw it out the window and Get Shit Done together.