The Crowd is Silenced

kaplandj • May 17, 2007

Software Design

During my recent SCRUM Master certification training by Ken Schwaber I had a wonderful experience. Well two actually. The 2 day course was amazing; Ken is one of a kind. The other I’ll try to explain.

SCRUM training looks like a good business. 50 cocky IT folks (and me) packed in a room – all paying excellent money for the course. (I did the numbers – looks like good money for a few days of work).  The group was very self assured. They know it all and not a humbled one in the bunch. Nothing drives me crazier then folks talking just to hear themselves talk. And we had that in droves.

But Ken knows all this. And he played a little trick in one of his group exercises. He had us (in each of our 5 groups) put together a proposal for a ticket buying system for the Commissioner of the Baseball. He played the Commissioner. After 40 minutes of coming up with a plan based on some requirements, we had one member of the team present our plan. Each group said “yes” we can do it. No problem. No risks were ever presented. No group said no we “can’t” do it.

Ken admonsished the class for not presenting the risks. The cocky bunch fell silent. I guess you had to be there, but I loved it. I did raise my hand and ask Ken if anyone ever said “no” in all the classes he has given. He said fives times in thousands (actually he had the exact number). Amazing.