how to know when things aren’t going well

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why isn’t it always this obvious?

i worked at the place the above picture is from not too terribly long ago.  there had been some major product upheaval, toes were stepped on, and teams were redistributed.  people were not happy.  one guy took the time to type and print a 2 page list of all of the bad things that had happened in this particular sprint.  we all knew things were going poorly.  within four weeks that entire scrum team had quit working at the company and moved on to other jobs with varying degrees of happiness.  sometimes its very obvious when things aren’t going well at a company.  i’m finding that is rarely the case though.

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2 thoughts on “how to know when things aren’t going well

  1. On the good side that day was one that said “No one has quit, yet.”

  2. donperk says:

    I think I may have written that “good” comment…

    As the manager of that (now non-existent) team it’s a hard pill to swallow. I know that I’d pretty much done everything I could to avoid a retrospective board that looked like that, but the ball still has to drop in my lap at the end of the day no matter what the outside pressures were. As I recall, the scant good comments were directed at the team and how each person on it continued to do their best despite the things going on outside of the team.

    More to the point of Nathan’s post, though, transparency is a powerful thing — it’s sad you don’t find it in more work environments and often have to suffer the surprise of finding an over-ripe corpse in the reception area. At least in our situation, we saw the initiation and progress of the disease. There were no surprises — at least, there weren’t any for us.

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