Why talk about Mindset?
In this ongoing life that we live in, we are always trying to master something, don’t you think? Master chef gets master’s degree. Scrum Master, like the master in Star Wars is also trying to master his art, and it can go on and on and on… I was impressed by finding out that you can take a course or a certification for anything. Think about something that you would like to do and there it is, someone has created a course about it.
In the agile world there is a certification for everything and I was wondering, is there an end to the journey somewhere? Certification to become a Scrum Master, the certification to become a better Scrum Master, Open Space agile certification, product owner certification, Agile practitioner, on how to facilitate, on how to design, but is it enough to go out there and train yourself in all of these without having the right mindset?
With the agile approach, you need to have a mindset. Your company or the organization you are working with needs to have a specific type of culture or the desire to transform.
Agility helps companies to improve their way of working. I perceive agility as an easier way to develop software in an interactive way and, in fact, it helps in the process of any other project.
To help you better understand what the agile mindset is all about, I find that Zen Ex Machina (https://zenexmachina.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/agile-as-a-mindset-agile-as-behaviour/) did it very well in this picture. I love how it all comes together.
To be able to apply agility we need to think from both hemispheres, the left and the right sides of the brain. Why? Because for a project to be successful, as humans we need to express our emotional and social skills but also have a technical and logical structure. Ask yourself if the company you are working for uses both sides or only one. I think our goal would be to help them develop both sides.
The other day, I was listening to a webinar on “Agile Scrum Master Anti-Patterns” and Stefan Wolpers, (https://age-of-product.com/webinar-scrum-master/) the host, was talking about a similar thing. He said, “Getting the Scrum certification but not having the right mindset needed is not enough”. One of the 12 anti-patterns he talked about is “The imposter “ (The Scrum Master imposter believes that this agile/scrum thingy is a fad—how hard can it be? After all, the Scrum Guide is just 17 pages, “I will weather the temporary decline in demand for project managers by getting a scrum master certificate”). I loved all 12 of them and they were an eye opener in some way.
As an agile practitioner, I see some of these anti-patterns going around and I ask myself, do I have some of them?
We sure need to be up to date on our specific specialty, like any doctor, but we also must be aware that agility is not a recipe that we can take and apply. We need to know our client, get to know our teams, train them and be open to try new things, to experiment and learn together. All these steps come together and are surrounded by a mindset.
We need to help people get out of their comfort zone, which is one of the toughest things to do. Have you tried getting out of your comfort zone? I have, and it is for sure challenging and scary, but it is totally worth it, you learn lots of things about yourself and see what you are capable of. I invite you to try it someday!