I’m just going to put it out there- sometimes, ‘Directed Scrum’ can be okay.
One of the focal points of Scrum, and let’s face it- Agile in general, is the concept of the “Self-Organizing Team.” The generally accepted definition of Agile Software Development is:
Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. (source- Wikipedia)
There are 4 components to the definition, which are all stacked upon the last component- the team. The premise of the self-organizing team is that it has the skills, maturity, and wherewithall to organize, introspect, retrospect, and subsequently- improve. When this set of characteristics isn’t present, you just might be in need of a coach. Or, something a bit stronger, perhaps.
- Coach them. We do this for many other areas of life, so why should this be any different? A coach can be a powerful way of inducing best practices within your teams, as well as roadmap some improvements.
- Drive them. Remember, Agile doesn’t mean we throw documentation out, along with discipline and process.,- we simply align it to make things work. This can also mean, in the absence of the above, exampling it by driving. Of course this plan has to include a transition of ownership to the team.
- Align them. Certainly a last ditch effort for an established team, but either moving people in or out of the team to promote an alignment should be considered, especially if ‘getting started’ is proving overly difficult.
In some cases, a combination of all three approaches is warranted, but should definitely have a measured approach, resulting in the team being empowered, and set to be self-managing.