People resist changing to Scrum for many different reasons. Some may resist because they are comfortable with their current work and colleagues. It has taken years to get to their current levels in the organization, to be on this team, to work for that manager, or to know exactly how to do their jobs each day. Others may resist changing to Scrum because of a fear of the unknown. "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't" is their mantra. Still others may resist due to a genuine dislike or distrust of the Scrum approach. They may be convinced that building complex products iteratively without significant up-front design will lead to disaster.

Just as there are many reasons why some people will resist Scrum, there are many ways someone might resist. One person may resist with well-reasoned logic and fierce arguments. Another may resist by quietly sabotaging the change effort. "You think no documentation is a good idea? I'll show you no documentation," the passive resistor may think, proceeding to write nothing down, even bug reports the team has agreed should continue to be stored in the defect tracking system. Another may resist by quietly ignoring the change, working the old way as much as possible, and waiting for the next change du jour to come along and sweep Scrum away.

Each act of resistance carries with it information about how people feel about adopting Scrum. As a change agent or leader in the organization, your goal should be to understand the root cause of an individual's resistance, learn from it, and then help the person overcome it. There are many techniques you can use for doing this. But unless the technique is carefully chosen, it is unlikely to have the desired effect. To help select the right technique, I find it useful to think about how and why someone is resisting. We can group the reasons why someone is resisting Scrum into two general categories:

• They like the status quo.
• They don't like Scrum.

Reasons for resistance fall into the first category if they are actually a defense of the current approach.This type of resistance to changing to Scrum would likely result no matter what type of change was being contemplated. Reasons fall into the second category if they are arguments against the specific implications of beginning to work in an agile manner.Tables 6.2 and 6.3 provide some examples of different reasons for resistance and how each would be categorized.

Categorizing how individuals resist is even simpler: Is the resistance active or passive? Active resistance occurs when someone takes a specific action intended to impede or derail the transition to Scrum. Passive resistance occurs when someone fails to take a specific action, usually after saying he will. Combining the two general reasons people may resist Scrum with the two ways in which they will do it leads to the standard two-by-two matrix.

TABLE 6.2 People may resist Scrum because they like how things are today.
Examples of Liking the Status Quo
I like who I work with.
I like the power or prestige that comes with my current role.
This is the way I was trained to do it and the only way I know how.
I don't like change of any sort.
I don't want to start another change initiative because they always fail anyway.

TABLE 6.3 People may resist because they don't like Scrum.
Examples of Not Liking Scrum
I think S c r um is a fad and we'll just have to switch back in three years.
Scrum is a bad idea for our products.
I got into this field so that I could put headphones on and not talk to people.
Scrum doesn't work with distributed teams like ours.

Each quadrant of matrix is given a name descriptive of the person who resists in the way indicated by the labels on the axes. A skeptic is someone who does not agree with the principles or practices of Scrum but who only passively resists the transition. Skeptics are the ones who politely argue against Scrum, forget to attend the daily scrum a little too often, and so on. I am referring here to individuals who are truly trying to stop the transition, not people with the healthy attitude of "this sounds different from anything Eve done before but Em intrigued. Let's give it a try and see if it works."

Above the skeptics in matrix are the saboteurs. Like skeptics, saboteurs resist the transition more from a dislike of Scrum than support for whatever software development process exists currently. Unlike a skeptic, a saboteur provides active resistance by trying to undermine the transition effort, perhaps by continuing to write lengthy up-front design documents, and so on.

On the left side of matrix are those who resist because they like the status quo. They are comfortable with their current activities, prestige, and coworkers. In principle, these individuals may not be opposed to Scrum; they are, however, opposed to any change that puts their current situation at risk. Those who like the status quo and who actively resist changing from it are known as diehards. They often attempt to prevent the transition by rallying others to their cause.

The bottom left of matrix shows the followers, who like the status quo and resist changing from it passively. Followers are usually not enraged by the prospect of change, so they do little more than hope it passes like a fad. They need to be shown that Scrum has become the new status quo.

Source of Information : Pearson - Succeeding with Agile Software Development Using Scrum 2010


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