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The Director and The Developer

What did a group of directors for one of the world’s top brands have in common with a group of C developers from a different global brand? Both groups were working long hours while their management had no insight into what they were working on or when it would be done. Management asked for more updates, leading to more meetings and less time in the business day to focus on the actual work.

Two people on opposite sides of a large gear, demonstrating the two sides of the story

Fortunately for the developers, their management learned about scrum. Everyone from senior leadership to the most junior team member, from business to technology, received appropriate training. In six months the tech team finally completed a disastrous project and went on to deliver 100% of their quarterly commitments in only their second agile quarter.

Unfortunately for the directors, their VP didn’t get the message. They’re now all drawing unemployment (no joke!)

Is this an extreme example? Sure. But even if Company #1 chose not to reduce staff nothing was going to get better for the directors. Even as very experienced leaders they had no framework for making and meeting commitments, aligning those commitments with their leadership, or demonstrating value once it was delivered. These are the core concepts behind scrum.

  • Backlog refinement allows the team and stakeholders to review potential work, agree on what’s to be delivered, and determine which work should have the highest priority

  • In Sprint Planning the team agrees on the amount of work required to complete each item and pulls in as much work as their capacity allows – no more and no less

  • At the end of the sprint the team Demonstrates the value they delivered, it is accepted, and the value is recognized

Agile practices can benefit everyone. Who are you going to be, the Director or the Developer?


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