Parenting and Agile Team – A Case of similarities

There are only three things you need to be a good parent – patience, patience, patience. What about love, affection, attention and other such things, you’d ask. Sure, that’s important as well. But while those things, in most cases, come naturally, patience is something that needs to be cultivated. The lack of patience leads to stress. Stress leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. And anger leads to bad parenting.

Now think about this in terms of developing a matured Agile development team and you’ll realise where this column is heading. Parenting and developing a good matured – self-disciplined Agile team are both long-term processes. The immediate effects of any decision that you take are rarely satisfying, but the long-term results can be copacetic if you have the patience. Ironically, you need to be patient to cultivate patience. And that is not easy. The developing teams, much like your children, will behave erratically. They’ll do things that are out of your control. The more you try to be patient with them, teams as well as children, the more they’ll make you lose your patience. It’s a vicious circle.

But there’s no way around it. If you lose your patience, you lose the chance of enjoying the fruits of your efforts. Somewhat similarly, to young one who would behaves like an angel on some days but on other days, they won’t eat her food properly, will throw around their stuff when one has guests over or just be unrelentingly stubborn about something they wants. Such instances are when parents easily lose their patience. But scolding or smacking the kid is hardly the solution. Just the way stopping your teams when the process will fail.

These are decisions that are taken under the influence of impatience. They’re almost guaranteed to fail. I know children aren’t going to become the best-behaved young one in the world if I scold them, but they might listen to me if I calmly keep telling them why they should or shouldn’t do certain things. Whereas Agile teams are expected to have a mind of their own (as they are supposed to be self-disciplined and self-managed), which makes it even more futile to lose your patience with them. Just stick to your approach and plan and you’ll be set to meet your goals and objectives. The agile team’s misbehaviour won’t matter in the long run, but any decision you take after losing your patience will.

But there’s no way around it. If you lose your patience, you lose the chance of enjoying the fruits of your efforts. Somewhat similarly, to young one who would behaves like an angel on some days but  objectives. The agile team’s misbehaviour won’t matter in the long run, but any decision you take after losing your patience will.

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