One of the things I like most about Scrum is that it makes people, well, personal. It allows people to be themselves.
One of the best suggestions I ever heard for living was: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Might I be a touch sarcastic? Still, I also mean the message quite straightforwardly.)
Of course, as a teenager, I chuckled about that word ‘love’, until I read about agape and caritas. (These are Greek words for other aspects of of the English word love, aspects that ‘we’ in general seldom think of. You may want to Google those words.) Then I realized that behaving well, on a personal basis, with other people is more serious, or at least complex, than a Hallmark card. It is sometimes quite simple, but other times quite complex or complicated.
Let me be more clear. Some think of being personal as mainly an emotional issue. How do we feel about the other members of the team. But notice that I have made it now a question of action: how do we act toward the other members of the team.
I think Scrum, in a small way, forces us to practice this suggestion every day. This is a good thing. We don’t have to be aware of it, we are not ‘trying’ to be good, we just learn, without being precious about it, how to act in a better way towards other people. In my experience, there is a lot to learn.
A person recently described a teammate in this way:
Now, this may or may not be a very accurate description of this person. It does sound a bit contradictory (aren’t we all!). And the person making the description may not be totally unbiased. My feeling is that some members of some teams would not be totally comfortable with some of these attributes (to the degree they recognized them). But my main point is that we have to get to know our teammates personally.
This is a wonderful thing.
In these days, it seems to be that ‘things’ sometimes have the upper hand. And people are no longer important. While this is what people are thinking often, it just is not true. People are always more important than things.
People are the more important.
It is for people that we build new products. It is with our new best friends that we struggle to build something wonderful.
And Scrum does its little things, and somehow, at least within the team, we start to see again for the first time how compelling people are. Weird and wonderful. Usually it is mostly a lot of fun. And more personal.