Developers vs Managers – Part A

One of the pitfalls that we were almost waiting for *not* to happen was developers vs managers confrontation. In our first group we had two developers who were a bit out spoken and their managers were little relucant to leave them for the sessions. The developers seem to have understood the Agile ideas like “the team is the manager, SCRUM Master has no direct authority over the team, estimates can go wrong” a little wrongly. Worse of all, their managers instead of helping them understand these issues – went into a me vs you debate. The result: both the developers have given interviews at a competing firm and the HR department is exercised. The CEO is concerned that managers are getting stressed out because of developers and the developers don’t know why they were taught some things when no one is going to implement it. The classic tussle had started:

1. Project Managers were saying “you don’t need us anymore.”
2. Developers were saying “voa! you don’t know how to manage or don’t understand Agile.”

Our solution centered around talking to all involved separately and on one-to-one basis to understand their view points. We also understood that we need to reorient some aspects of our lessons to emphasize Humility and Teamwork as part of an overall theme. And importantly, we need to let people understand that Agile viewpoints and that “we are not going to solve their problems – they have to figure a way out.” We are there to coach them, help them understand and help them talk – the talking and the walking needs to be done by the team.

Let’s see how this one unfolds.

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