Scrum 201: Desire

Any sports coach knows the Team must have desire.

In my classes I talk to people about how much improvement they expect to make in 1 year, with 1 team.  Often their expectation is in the 20% range.

I use Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”  So, I usually think  100% improvement in 1 year is realistic for a specific team.

As a coach or a SM, if a Team is going to achieve hyper-productivity, the Team must want it.  To some degree, they must believe it is possible.

So, the question becomes, how do you get them to have the desire?

This is not an easy thing. In fact, you cannot make them have desire.  But, if there is something inside them, you can draw on that.  You can blow on that ember of desire, and make it blaze.

Sometimes you can give them a challenge to be the best team in your company, or your state, for example. Or to be better than they are today, and prove that with metrics.

In Lean, this idea is expressed in a Lexus ad, with the motto: ‘the relentless pursuit of perfection.’  Establish a vision of perfection. Usually we know even this vision is not perfect, or later we see it is not really perfect.  But it motivates us; it gives us something concrete that seems within our grasp.  We use the vision of perfection to build the desire.

Little’s Second Law: People are remarkably good at doing what they want to do.

So, if you can help them build their desire, in a concrete way, then they can start to make the changes that can drive tremendous improvement.


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