Saturday, December 26, 2015

TWEAK: Knowledge

Creating great products requires the right environment, the right people - but also the right knowledge. In an ever evolving world, knowledge is not something you can "have", but something to continually strive for. On the quest for mastery, knowledge needs to be taken with special consideration. For each domain, you should see if your team is "struggling to keep up", "well in the loop" or "forerunner". While not everyone can win the race, it is a good idea to invest effort into getting ahead of the game.

As a Scrum Master, you should encourage everyone to broaden their knowledge regarding:

  • Technical ExcellenceRegardless of whether it is Java, CSS, JavaScript, Databases or virtualization technologies - the team must be keen on their technical skills.
  • Engineering Practices
    Testing, Refactoring, Emergent Design, Automation and many others are all essential to build the product right - all of these are easy to learn, but extremely difficult to master. 
  • Product Domain
    Developers who are only technical experts will build the wrong product, unless they actively strive to understand the domain of the product they develop. Low hanging fruit may be out of your reach when you can't make the right connections.
  • Agility
    The ideal of infinite Return on Investment requires responding to demand without any delay. Every step you take to be more agile will pay off - but what steps are available to you?
  • Organizations
    The team must take steps to actively shape the organization in a positive fashion. To do this, they must understand well how their organization and the world around them "ticks".
Since "knowledge" itself is so broad, there is no definite way to approach broadening knowledge. You may read books, share experiences with your team or others in the organization - build up Communities of Practice, join Special Interest Groups or whatever you see fit. You need to make sure is that people are thirsty for more knowledge. You can't "push" knowledge. People must want it.

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