So, (first question) are project managers a different breed? Are they motivated by extrinsic incentives (like salesmen) when all the management science literature tells us that knowledge workers are motivated intrinsically (I never have been sure I believed all that science but we hear it repeated often enough from many in the agile community)?
AgileManagement I was reading a post about project managers when this phrase leapt out and bashed me over the head, only where the author wrote "project manager" I saw "developers-who-don't-give-dam". It is an unfortunate fact of life that many developers display a 9 to 5, this-is-just-my-job, attitude (9-2-5-ers) that is at odds to the 'I want to always do things better and learn' approach required to be a member of a successful Agile team. There are several reasons why this attitude creates a problem:
  1. No refactoring done
  2. No effort to try and improve the team process and work smarter
  3. No ownership of any commitments made
  4. Abuse of the freedom that the Agile approach provides
So what can be done?
  • Discuss the issue with the person involved, in private. Obtain a commitment to change if possible. Tools that you should use (in not particular order):
    • Listen to fears
    • Offer mentoring
    • Explain the consequences to the team and the in individual.
  • Seek the removal of the individual involved. Note that they can be so destructive that it's worth getting ride of them even if they are not replaced
  • Present the concequences to management and the customer by re-scoping work to accommodate the slippage created by the 9-2-5-er.
Please note that I am not suggesting that succesful Agile development teams consist of sad lonely people who spend all their time at the office. However there is a work-life balance as well as a life-work balance and we need to be focused on the our work and the needs of the team.