In the past, one of my dev teams had some disagreements on how product was interacting with them during sprint sessions and day-to-day as well there were some frustrations around who was owning the tools we were using for tracking teams epics, user stories, in preparation for backlog grooming, etc.
After many retrospectives and after pulling both parties aside to help guide and coach them in the right direction, myself and the dev team manager got in a room and discussed what could be done to move forward in the right direction with both product and dev on the same page.
After racking our brains, I remembered something very fundamental, it’s more about people over process which is called out in the Agile Manifesto.
To be exact, the Agile Manifesto prioritizes the following:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
It goes on to say:
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.
So we pulled all members of the scrum team (dev team + product + myself as scrum master) into a room to once more come together and collaborate. That is exactly what we did, we all knew we weren’t leaving that room no matter how long it took, until we all had a clear understanding of what we were going to do moving forward as a team to resolve our differences for the greater good.
Myself and the dev team’s manager were in sync and started the meeting off by reminding everyone whats the key ingredient for a team to succeed. I went to the white board and wrote:
Individuals and interactions > processes and tools
This really set the tone, as the dev team’s manager started off by diving into what I had written on the board. As we started to dive into frustrations over processes or tools or availability of one team member to another (all the nitty-gritty details), myself and the dev team’s manager would remind everyone that at the end of the day, people is greater than processes. A few hours later, we submerged from our meeting refreshed. The availability and communication between product and the dev team increased and we went on to be stronger and more collaborative than ever!