As published in Learning Solutions Magazine....

by Leonor Urena

FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Many years ago, when I was first introduced to scrum, I was so excited that there was a philosophy out there that considered an employee’s work life as something to enhance. I could not believe what I was reading: “Scrum will consistently enhance individual development and quality of life” (The Scrum Papers). Unfortunately, this failed to be true, but the failure has nothing to do with scrum. It has a lot to do with the way it is implemented. As an agile coach and trainer, I see development teams struggle to meet the demands on them. I have had calls where teams are described as totally unmotivated, as not knowing what they are doing, as unproductive, and the list goes on. Many times I am brought in to find the cause, but when I find it I can only apply short-term techniques, because teams are not given the time they need. I know that the lack of motivation, lack of cohesiveness, and lack of performance are the symptoms and not the root causes. The problem is not due to lack of will; it is due to a series of factors that influence performance. One of these is lack of soft skills, and while scrum and other agile practices can make some improvement if applied correctly, it will not change the makeup of your team. These soft skills need time to be taught and nurtured—time many transitions do not give teams. With the problem in mind, I searched for a solution. The need to do more to help the teams I come across every day drove me to design my first game.

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