📬 The Backlog

📬 The Backlog is Thomas van Zuijlen's weekly newsletter on practical agility, with annotated articles on Scrum, facilitation, collaboration, and (product) development.

18 July 2022

📬 The Backlog #186

Why you should delegate outcomes rather than activities, how it pays off to define important terminology within your context, and where to look if you get stuck with root cause analyses.

  1. Working with a client where teams tend to get handed solutions to execute rather than problems to solve, I spoke with the heads of Engineering about what changes they might make in their role to bring about more ownership-taking in teams.

    In that conversation I used advice from a Claire Lew article. Quote: “When you delegate the outcomes and not the activities, you help employees not just execute for the task at hand, but equip them for every future task after that. You’re giving true ownership to your team.” 💡

  2. Michael Küsters is overdoing it when he uses the verb ‘destroy’ in a recent article’s title, How Equivocation destroys Agile. I guess “may hinder clarity in” might have been less sexy. Anyway, his point is this:

    “Equivocations make improvement difficult, because the thing we’re talking about may not be the thing we’re talking about. Let’s get clear first what we really mean when we’re talking about something, remove the equivocation, find a proper label that means what it says - and improve on the things that are hidden in plain sight by using the wrong words.”

    Right. Luckily for Küsters and the rest of us, DDD has a solution for that.

  3. Maria Wichmann wrote a LinkedIn post on how to get un-stuck in a root cause analysis. It’s an extremely niche thing to write about, apparently (10 likes at the time this newsletter is sent out) but to those of us that may face a drop-off in participant enthusiasm, Wichmann’s post is worth bookmarking or screenshotting or whatever it is you do to ‘save’ a LinkedIn post.

    She essentially proposes having a group perform a process retrospective. So if you’re familiar with having a group or team identify problems and think of approaches themselves, you’ll immediately see where she’s going. Still, an easy to implement and tailored-to-RCA set of steps. Keep!

Have a good week. Stay out of the sun and Scrum on,
Thomas van Zuijlen

PS —

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