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Are Your Team Members Resourceful Thinkers?

7 July 2016

Robin Hackshall
Enigma Consulting and Solutions

The Scrum Guide states, "Scrum is not a process or a technique for building products; rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques."

The Scrum Guide describes the roles that people might assume, the events that they need to attend, and the artifacts that should be produced. However, because Scrum is a framework, there are no guidelines provided as to how the development should be undertaken. All that is provided are characteristics that the development team should have, including the ability to self-organize, be cross-functional, and have the skills necessary to be able to deliver items from the product backlog.

Cutting across these characteristics is a further skill that development team members should be able to display: being a Resourceful Thinker. A Resourceful Thinker has the following characteristics:1
  • Has a go at something new
  • Suggests ways to solve a range of problems
  • Has a go at something that might not work
  • Thinks of different ideas and possibilities when solving problems
  • Improves learning by imitating others
  • Is tenacious when things get difficult
  • Draws inferences and makes deductions from a range of sources
  • Gives alternative solutions or explanations
  • Links ideas from different topic areas to solve problems and present findings
  • Perseveres even when the solution is not readily available
  • Is always prepared to explore more than the first possible solution to a problem
  • Adapts and applies learning to new situations
Many of these criteria are traits that I would expect members of a software development team to exhibit. For example, improving learning by imitating others could be called pair programming, while a ScrumMaster might look to ensure that team members have a go at something new to prevent individuals from becoming silos of information.

However, these criteria were not defined for software development teams. The pupils at my daughter’s school are currently being assessed against a number of criteria for different behaviors, including those of a Resourceful Thinker, with the aim of empowering their learning. Other behaviors that are being assessed are Self-Manager, Effective Participator, Team Worker, Reflective Learner, and Independent Enquirer.

So, if a group of 5- to 11-year-olds are able to exhibit these skills, a software development team should also be able to display them.

1. © Focus Education Ltd. 2014.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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