Fike diehards, followers are more opposed to changing the status quo than they are opposed to adopting Scrum in particular. Unlike diehards, however, followers present passive resistance to the change. Dexter, a mid-level programmer at an ecommerce company was a follower. He asked questions like a skeptic but always with an undercurrent implying that he knew Scrum was a bad thing. Where a skeptic would ask, "How does Scrum work on projects where getting the user experience perfect is absolutely critical?" Dexter would ask, "Scrum doesn't work when getting the user experience perfect is critical, does it?"

I remember one conversation with Dexter in which he asked how many times I would be back to visit his company. "I'm scheduled back in July and October," I said. This was June.

"Nothing after that?" he asked.
"Maybe, but we haven't scheduled anything past October."
"Good. This will be done by the end of the year, then."

I was impressed by his enthusiasm, but I thought his timeline for adopting Scrum was a little aggressive considering the size of his company. "Well, probably not," I cautioned. "There will probably still be some work next year. Not everyone has even started running sprints. But you probably won't need me next year."

"Oh," Dexter replied, "I didn't mean it that way. I meant we'll be onto our next new process by then. After the Christmas shopping season is over, we always change our process."

No one had told me about these annual process changes prior to my first visit with this company, but considering the company's history of adopting a new process every January, it wasn't surprising that Dexter would take a wait-it-out approach to Scrum. In fact, many followers adopt this approach, reasoning that this change will be followed by some later change and they might as well skip a few along the way.

On his own Dexter didn't present a significant hurdle to a successful transition. But, have enough Dexters in your organization, and they can impede a successful transition. Fortunately, followers are not usually very vigorous in their resistance. They will put up minor, passive resistance, mostly hoping that the change goes away. In addition to some of the tools described already, there are a few more tools that can be useful in dealing with followers:

• Change the composition of the team. Some coworkers bring out the best in us; others bring out the worst. Changing the composition of the team will undoubtedly change the nature of resistance. Replacing a grumbling, always-negative saboteur with a skeptic may remove a follower's motivation for resisting.

• Praise the right behavior. Rather than focusing on changing the behavior of the followers, praise some aspects of appropriate behavior whether you observe it in a detractor or supporter. Followers will notice and resistance in some will weaken.

• Involve them. A great way to reduce the resistance of a fence-sitting follower is to involve her in the design of the new process. For example, you might ask a follower to join an improvement community figuring out how to do automated unit testing on your challenging legacy application or to work with others putting together a presentation for the sales group on how Scrum impacts your ability to put dates in contracts.

• Model the right behaviors yourself. Followers need someone to follow. Increase the odds that they follow someone who is exhibiting the right agile behavior by modeling those behaviors yourself. For example, given that collaboration is an essential part of Scrum, strive to demonstrate this in your interactions with others.

• Identify the true barrier. "ADAPTing to Scrum," determine whether a follower is resisting because she lacks the awareness, desire, or ability to use Scrum. Then provide the appropriate support to break through that barrier. If she isn't aware of the reasons for transitioning to Scrum, have a private conversation in which you share them. If she currently lacks the ability to be agile, look for an opportunity to pair her with someone who can help her learn those skills.

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


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