The Pathway to Heaven is Paved with Thoughtful Questions

Project management methodologies offer ideas for consideration, but should not be treated as law.

Developers walking in lines towards a torana
Image generated with AI by DALL-E.

In my most recent koan, a developer is mystified because his team is doing everything right, yet isn’t getting anything done.

The team is clearly dealing with a lot of overhead. Even if the developer exaggerates when he says there is no time left to work, we all know what an excess of meetings does to our mood and energy.

Then why does the Master say that his team is doing nothing wrong?

Because their following the book is exactly the problem.

Dogma says that there must be a Daily Scrum. It really depends. The goal of the Daily Scrum is to replan the sprint. If the team is humming along fine and there is nothing to replan, there is no need for it.

The same applies to Product Backlog Refinement. Most teams I know have this meeting every day, with the whole team present, a huge time sink and distraction. The same work can be done much more effectively by a product owner and developer working async, away from the rest of the team.

At E-accent, we only scheduled the meetings that we needed. If tasks allowed us to work mostly independently, we’d scale back. If we felt we missed out on social interaction, or tasks required more collaboration, we’d scale up. It really is that simple.

Project management methodologies should never run on auto-pilot. They are here to help us, but they can’t be allowed to get in our way.

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