You people could help me by doing a better job and making fewer mistaks.1

Today, One Scrum Organization tweeted a somewhat snarky tweet to the Other Scrum Organization, to the effect that they, too, had “tens of thousands” of women who had passed their bar.

My congratulations to the women, of course. We need more of them in this work.

But my concern here is about One Scrum Organization thinking it’s competing with the Other Scrum Organization.

In other news …

Today, one Expert published something about how other such Experts had done something or other wrong. Which, maybe they had, maybe they hadn’t. I took it upon myself to write an article suggesting that they hadn’t.

Also noted …

Today, lots of people said things on Twitter about topics we care about. Some of these were not as right as they might have been. In some cases, I took it upon myself to reply with a question, comment, even, perhaps, a correction.

I do that a lot. Many of us do that a lot. We write or tweet about how screwed up this or that idea or group is, because they think, I don’t know, that iterations are bad or maybe they’re good, I forget which it is. We rail because “those guys” are trying to make a living and, I guess, are doing a good enough job of it that it threatens us in some way.

Well, hell, I don’t know.
– Me, probably.

It seems to me that when something could be improved, it’s good to try to improve it. When something is not so good, it’s good to call attention to it, so that it can be improved. In the programming business, in which I’ve been fairly successful, it often seems like what we do is remove errors from the program until it’s nearly good enough to ship. (That may or may not be the best model.)

Similarly, it seems to make sense to remove errors from the Internet in hopes of improving it. Unless maybe in a fit of actually having a clue you let yourself be daunted by the insurmountable fact that there are a lot of people out there getting it wrong, and many of them have a hell of a head start.

Surely it makes a difference whether:

  • You get a CSM or a PSM;
  • Your team has a Champion or an Owner;
  • Your work is done in iterations, or in continuous flow;
  • You use the well-known and obviously correct Extreme Programming technical practices, or you muddle around with half-assed programming techniques left over from the twentieth century2.

These things surely do matter. But they don’t matter as much as whether you’re doing this:

  • Working together
  • To continually improve your ability
  • To deliver frequent visible increments
  • Of working software
  • Selected by truly involved business people.

The details do not matter as much as just trying to do this thing at all. That’s the most important step, because it sets the people who do it on a different path. Our best target is the people who need help, not the other people who’re doing the best job they can helping.

That’s the important thing. So if you people out there would try to make fewer errors, try to stop sniping at each other, we all might have more time and energy to help those who really need it. I know I would.

Thanks!


  1. Yes. I know. Chalk it up to irony.

  2. Perhaps I got a little too excited there for a moment.