This is a response to an Stephen Smith’s article called Tripwire Removal. I may flesh this out further over time as there are other ideas present as well (e.g. from Kanban). The original post should appear in the comments section of the web article once it’s been moderated.
Rule 1 resonates with me. On a job in 2012 I was not happy with the performance of one of the team members.
I was searching for a way to improve the situation. I think the biggest problem is that we didn’t swarm to help the guy out more and provide the knowledge transfer and the work was too big as well, i.e. could have been broken up further.
At the time, I approached management for assistance. I was quite disappointed with the response. I was expecting maybe to work with HR to work out a solution – I suggested this. The response was thanks for bringing it do our attention but no solution.
Later on the solution was to allow the guy to move to another team. I saw the mental anguish this caused to the guy (a nice guy) but at the time I felt relieved and then productivity could improve.
Looking back I could have convinced the mgmt and team to allow even more self organisation (we had it already) and allow more swarming behavior. Being in a place where this could be frowned upon we had swarm by permission. I think empowerment as Scrum/Agile suggests would have eased the problem, however this still would have created a feeling of some not pulling their weight – but hey you get that orders of magnitude more productivity between team members.
I sense a blog article coming on as there is probably more to say on this topic. For now I leave it somewhat superficial.
Apologies to all involved in this situation – we should try and do better. This means managers being leaders and seeking collaborative solutions and not being the problem solver – that’s part of it.