One responsibility of Scrum Master is to influence teams, stakeholders and the entire organization to embrace Scrum. They are also responsible for helping stakeholders understand which of their interactions (with the Dev. Teams) are helpful and which of them are not. But helping people change their old behavior is challenging. When we are unsure about something, we are wired to look at what most other people do, and then to accept the action as correct action. It turns out that we use “social proof” as one of the tools to make decisions when we have insufficient information. Unfortunately, this has been exploited by sitcoms (remember the canned laughter?), media, politicians, and the advertising industry.
How can a Scrum Master (or an Agile enthusiast) use “social proof” to help others embrace Scrum? Here are some ideas that you can try
- Encourage and accompany team members, Product Owners and any interested stakeholder to local meet-ups, conferences and events. Many of the local meet-ups are free, plus they offer free food !!
- Organize guest lectures and invite an internal coach / Dev. Team member from a different team / an executive, who is an Agile advocate. Ask the guest to share his perspective and how they succeeded. Corollary to this, ask the team members to volunteer to other brown bag sessions to share their success story with other teams.
- Share videos, white papers, and case studies. Scrum, now has crossed the chasm, and there are numerous case-studies available on all types of industries where Scrum has succeeded.
- And last but not the least, the most powerful tool the Team has is to recollect its past successes, with its customers and stakeholders, after adopting Scrum. Humans have an evolutionary bias towards forgetting positive experiences easily and to remember the “not so positive” experience without any difficulty. Helping teams recollect past successes not only creates bonding among team members, but also increases the positivity within the team.
What other “social proofs” have you used to influence teams, stakeholders and organizations embrace Scrum?