“Master Yourself” Please respond to the following:
1. Consider the manner in which you usually react to conflict and determine your native conflict response behavior. Provide one (1) example that supports your conclusion. Note: This is a safe environment for everyone to share his / her personal experience. No personal attack is allowed.
2. Read the following transcript, “Agile Soft Skills”. Suggest two (2) real-world situations where you would use two (2) of the agile soft skills covered in the video and the textbook.
You can spend a lot of time talking about the various processes that are required for an Agile project to be successful. We’ve talked about creating a product backlog and setting up the iterations–the two-week, three-week, four-week, whatever the length of the iteration is. There’s a lot of interesting processes that make Agile successful, but one of the things that’s also very important is making sure that we can work well with people. So the soft-skills are also very important on an Agile project. They sometimes get overshadowed because of all the process stuff going on, but it’s definitely one of the major characteristics of an Agile project is how we work together in teams and how we work together with our customers. In fact, if you go back to the original Agile Manifesto from 2001, there were four overriding principles, and two of those have to do with people-to-people kind of interactions. So they have more to do with soft-skills on the process side.
You can imagine if we have an iteration that’s going to be two weeks long or three weeks long, you can imagine that if we have problems communicating with people on our team, if we have conflicts on our team, it’s going to be tough for us to be able to get our work done within the time frame that’s allocated, so it’s very important that as we work together as an Agile team that we really can collaborate and that we can mesh and create not only an efficient team, but also a high-performing team, and a lot of that high performing team is built on personal relationships and the ability to work together. There’s a lot of writing in the Agile model about being able to trust about being able to work with your project team, and that certainly is very important if we’re going to be successful.
For example, when we’re talking to the customer initially and trying to figure out how much work we can do in this iteration, we’re always going to have a natural tendency to have a conflict there. There’s going to be the customer or the product owner that wants us to do more work during the iteration than the project team typically feels comfortable to take on. So there’s a negotiation that takes place there. The Agile teams and the customers collaborate together, but there are also times when negotiation needs to happen–nothing wrong with that. We need to negotiate to make sure that we can end up with enough work that is sufficient and challenging for this iteration, but not going to overload us because that’s going to lead to all kinds of bad behaviors down the road as well. So, this concept of collaborating with team members and with our customers and also negotiating when we need to–very important in Agile projects.
We also need to be very good in terms of our adaptability. We need to be able to adapt to change. This is not just adapting our processes through the reflection or the retrospective that takes place at the end of a project, but we also need to make sure that we can adapt as people. As problems pop up and as we get different personalities involved in our project, we need to make sure that we can adapt our leadership and also adapt our personalities to be able to work effectively as a team. So all of these things, although they’re not focused on a lot with an Agile model, all of these are very important if we’re going to be successful. It’s going to be a combination of processes and people that make the Agile model work, and actually, when it’s all said and done, it’s the people that work on the processes, so we really need to make sure that we have good people skills, good soft skills, good collaboration skills, good conflict resolution skills, and good adaptive skills in order to be successful on our project.