People never suck, only systems surrounding individuals do

Mainly just before my Agile workshops and presentations, I’m hearing often this same thing:

“When you have a great group of people, you can achieve great results with any methodology. So, why bother learning Agile stuff?”

This would, on other hand, imply that individuals in a group who fail, simply suck just as much as their failures. So, if you have been a team member during such failure (as I have been multiple times), then YOU suck too big time.

But, what does really make someone excel? Are some people simply born failures? Of course not! In my opinion, nobody sucks at anything. Just-in-case you might wonder: I love to work with people with little experience. Lack of experience and knowledge does not contribute much in failures and it is solvable. I have first hand experience from different customers with some amazing guys and girls who improved so much and become real craftsman within a short time frame.
There are two reasons why teams fail:

  1. Team members lack motivation to do their job well, they are not appreciated, challenged, goal is unclear or unattractive and they have not enough influence and therefore don’t feel responsible.
  2. Environment in which team operates is full of impediments.
Main goal of an Agile / Scrum introduction is to address these two issues, so great results can be achieved. In order to be effective and make everything concrete and tangible, we do need a simple framework as Scrum with underlaying (Agile) values. Agile and Scrum help create environment where people can be creative and fully exploit their potential.
On other hand, I must say we have today so many Agile coaches with certificates preaching their very extensive knowledge of Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, and so on. It seems that quality is measured by amount of Agile methodologies and practices they know and introduce, instead of references from real world significant improvements, and by helping people become happier in their work.
Real results are all that matters and not how well you are doing Scrum or Kanban!

3 thoughts on “People never suck, only systems surrounding individuals do

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