Modeling

Look out Heidi Klume, I’m taking up modeling!

OK, maybe I won’t give up the day job just yet…

Sometimes I think there is no better way to teach something than by doing it. By modeling the desired behavior. Sometimes people just don’t want to trust you. They won’t beleive it until they see it. Especially when you are trying to sell them a new process. Maybe that’s the way it should be.

It’s one thing to believe in a process and share the perceived benefits, but it’s quite another thing to demonstrate those benefits yourself. As agile practitioners I think we need to prove our case to our stakeholders and our teams. To teach by doing. We have to demonstrate what a high performing team looks like. Sometimes people need to see it first. Words simply do not suffice.

Getting down and dirty and working on a team also tends to be a cleansing experience for me. A lot of the B.S. that I sometimes buy into will not withstand the metaphorical blowtorch of a team struggling with real, messy, problems. That’s a healthy thing.

Modeling also helps to remind me that I like working on small teams. I like the commeraderie. I like the challenge. And modeling also reminds me, usually with a swift kick to the head, that process won’t solve all of the worlds problems. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether or not a team is agile – sometimes there are forces at play that agile development can’t help us with. In those cases, you may model and fail. Call it a learning opportunity.

So the next time that you feel frustrated that “they just don’t get it!” Maybe it’s time you tried a little modeling.

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