Views: Yours, Mine, and Ours

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Have you ever read something that bothered you, but couldn’t put your finger on exactly why? I found myself in that position after I read George Dinwiddie’s recent blog entry about Blocking.

Scott Ambler’s “blocking” doesn’t bother me. I don’t see that giving management the information they need, in the format they need it, a problem. If doing this allows the team to continue working on their tasks providing value (via working software) to the clients, I’m all for it. It sounds to me like part of a Scrum Master’s job: remove impediments.

The discussion on PERT intrigued me, but it turned out to be a red herring. PERT doesn’t manage a project. Neither does a burn down chart. People manage projects. It might be a product owner and a self-organized team. Maybe a PMP project manager. But it’s always people managing what gets done. At the abstract level, a PERT chart and product release schedule are more alike than different; a list of what needs to be done, and when we think we might finish.

I could argue with George’s comments about how pretending to do something but not actually doing it is a bad thing, or that the communications fail when we quite trying. But I’d be arguing just because I like arguing with George. I learn things when I do.

All Together Now

Finally I saw what bothered me, another example of insufficient views. The team has a view of what they need. Management has a view of what they need. Both sides have their view point. But because of some communication disconnect, my view and your view never become our view. The communication had reduced to a management/team, us/them mentality. In reality there is no management without a team, and no team without management. Like “mind” and “body” one needs the other to exist.

Remember the Prime Directive if you have problems finding “our view”. They’re doing the best they can, as are you. While it may be difficult to find “our view”, it’s worth the effort. You’ll learn something, they’ll learn something, and you’ll avoid the pitfalls of “apparent compliance”.

What’s Your View on this? Add a comment, or sent me an e-mail.

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