The new A-Bomb: The ‘Agile’ Bomb: dropped by Agile Agent Bull

Beware of Agile Agent Bull.  He is armed with little knowledge and is dangerous.  He presents a great risk to your Company and can cost you thousands…

Be sure you recognise an Agile Agent Bull as soon as you encounter him.  He can take many guises, and may take a stealthy attack by using trusted charm offensives, like supplying your teams with endless donuts and squishy brownies to keep everyone sweet and cover up his incompetence. He may strut about with a cool air of confidence in an attempt to deceive the team into believing he is experienced.   Do not be fooled, these are rehearsed tactics.  BE STRONG! You must resist.  The cost of not outing Agile Agent Bull early on is much more expensive than a whole year’s supply of Krispy Kreme.

What can happen if you have an Agile Agent Bull in your organisation?  Well the impact can be literally nuclear because the aftermath of an Agile A-bomb can take a company months, even years to recover and pluck up the courage to take on another ScrumMaster.  Agile Agent Bull is a liability and we must engage our Intelligent Teams (IT) to seek out the enemy before the A-Bomb is dropped.

What’s Agile Agent Bull’s profile?

1)      He can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. Bull by name, Bull by nature.  Agile Agent Bull tells everyone he is a Certified ScrumMaster, and that he knows about Scrum and Agile.  Yet, when the team ask what they should do in terms of process in a certain situation, he doesn’t have a clue, or worse, gives some terrible, inappropriate direction. A direction that could cost the team dearly. He doesn’t know what he is doing. A ScrumMaster is an expert and knows what he (or she!) is talking about.  They can be asked anything and will have the knowledge to know how to deal with the question at hand.

2)      He can’t make good decisions.  The team need a strong ScrumMaster to turn to when they don’t know what to do in terms of the Scrum process.  As an expert, the ScrumMaster must be able to evaluate the situation, and know how to use Scrum to help the team get through.  He makes great decisions based on what is best for the team.

3)      He shies away from leadership.  Agile Agent Bull is weak.  He doesn’t lead the team and leaves them to their own devices.  He doesn’t tackle threats to the team such as a rebellious little scamp on the team or identify sloppy self-organisation.  He doesn’t have the tough conversations with managers.  He is a wet blanket.

4)      He is a bad facilitator.  He lacks the ability to add value to Scrum Ceremonies.   He lets the stand-up go on for half an hour and allows other meetings to constantly drift off-topic, making long meetings longer.  He does not hold quality retrospectives, impacting the team’s ability to continually improve as a learning team.

5)      He lacks discipline.  He spends his time avoiding matters rather than thinking of ways to tackle them.  He does not protect the team and doesn’t champion Agile to change the culture of the organisation towards its approaches.

Be warned!  Agile Agent Bull is out there.  Be sure to recognise him and diffuse his ticking A-Bomb.

1 thought on “The new A-Bomb: The ‘Agile’ Bomb: dropped by Agile Agent Bull

  1. Thing is, you gotta wonder what stops us as Agile practitioners (dev, QA, BA, SM’s etc) actually putting on those who have the sexy terminology down but not the mindset or behaviour. When it’s a ‘senior’ bod who has inherited the title SM or CSM in my experience – you have to be willing to loose the fear of loosing that contract to call ’em out and stick to your guns when they try to use ‘authority’ to shut you up! Good read 🙂

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