Agile Idea from Hollywood Movie!!!

One fine Sunny day in Apr 2018, I was seating idle and clueless in my office. The other day I was given an assignment of leading 3 scrum teams as a Scrum Master. “Congrats…it’s very simple…what you need to do is just have 3 scrum boards in Jira and you are done” was some of the pep talks my new reporting manager gave me. “They don’t have any issues as they are very happy” — he proudly added.

The 3 teams had a historical background of not being vocal, not highlighting key issues, always followed orders from leads/mgrs in the team, some sensible ones were often quiet or unheard deliberately. The icing on the cake, there was no past retrospective data I could look at. (the last SM didn’t last long more than a week). More importantly, these were already considered as the best team in the Organisations.

That day later in the evening, I saw a movie “ Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.

Frances McDormand won an Oscar for this. She played Mildred Hayes who is grieving the rape and murder of her teenage daughter, Angela, seven months earlier. Angry over the lack of progress in the investigation, Mildred rents three abandoned billboards near her home and posts on them: “Raped While Dying”, “Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?”. The billboard soon becomes the talk of the town and everybody comes to know about it including wider coverage by the media.

I started my next day as normal rituals. My Organization had an unutilized whiteboard on the wall (just towards the entrance of the washroom), but exactly where my whole teams use to sit. Realizing nobody in the office, I took a marker and wrote the below text!!!

Why wait for a retrospective, let’s talk now

and quietly went to the cafeteria.

I called my reporting manager and informed him about this. “I know them for the last 2 years, nobody will write anything as the project is green and no one has any issues” my manager yelled. He added, “this is not going to work”. I said I have a plan ‘B’ if this doesn’t work but said to him that I can’t disclose now.

That entire day people going to the washroom stared at the headlines.

One day…two days……no comments!!!! the third day…saw something!!

Somebody wrote, Need proper acceptance criteria from product owner in user stories”.

I intentionally read that loudly…people around came and shared their opinions. Most of the negative but some positive. Kudos we entered the “brainstorming Universe!!! Soon, I had few more comments on the board. I took the photo, and sent it to my reporting manager, and said, “things we need to fix”. I added plans of action for all these points.

Thank you, Frances McDormand. You are a gem to give me such an Idea.

The same reporting manager asked me what was plan B had been this idea would never work. I said to him “Had anyone not written anything on board, I myself would have written the first point anonymously”:)-

Is there anything that inspired you from any movie while doing Agile???

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Satyajeet Bhosale @Satya

Satyajeet Bhosale @Satya

No BS Agile Coach!

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