In my previous life I was a project manager. It was a small company and we didn’t subscribe to a particular management format. The one time I did have professional input (a 1 day course run by an independent, self-styled “management guru” who openly deemed himself unemployable) he was quick to slate both PRINCE2 and Agile.
From a distance both of them have unintelligble jargon which seems off-putting and makes them vaguely mysterious. Now, learning more about Agile Scrum as part of the bootcamp I attend, it feels more like the opposite.
All the little meetings I had to have now have specific names. There are rules and guidelines for what happens within them and the human side of the team is understood - ie. it’s entirely possible that a room full of people on a rainy Monday morning during a tough project might not want to communicate with each other. This is anticipated and planned for.
The management of a project in the past for me also involved managing the people; and that was not my favourite thing. In a small business you can become “HR” very quickly just by being a woman. [Opinion my own.] It was exhausting and distracting. This morning I spent learning about the role of the “scrum-master” in Agile software development teams; it wasn’t until the trainer spelled out that:
"The scrummaster has no authority over the other team members; their job is to make the environment as conducive to work as possible and allow team members to work to the best of their ability"
that I relaxed and realised that a) I wasn’t worried about having to potentially be scrum master at some point, and b) I was rather looking forward to having one.
Small businesses have many benefits in flexibility and cameraderie; but often a lack of budget, time, or insight into strong management practices. I think after I “graduate” at the end of the year I will be applying to large companies in the hope I can experience a more sophisticated management and working team style than the one I’ve come from.
Do you work in an Agile team? Do you recommend it? Or is there a previous job where you felt that they got it right in terms of management style?