Kaisa Martiskainen: The danger of thinking you know the solution before involving customers, a case study for Agile teams

In this episode, Kaisa talks about a temporary team that was formed to solve a problem in their organization. The team was using monitoring tools that sent a lot of alerts, making it difficult for customer support to determine which alerts required action. Kaisa and her colleague wanted to try out Agile practices to address this issue.

However, one individual on the team almost destroyed it with their behavior. One person, who was an expert on the monitoring tool, sent a PowerPoint presentation with all the solutions without consulting with others. This person also declined meeting invitations and eventually left the company after becoming angry.

Kaisa highlights two anti-patterns: thinking we know the solution without involving the customer and pushing one’s own solutions without consulting with others. She also emphasizes the importance of changing the culture of action and including customer feedback. Ultimately, the team reached its goal after the problematic person left, and Kaisa learned the importance of involving everyone in the problem-solving process.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Kaisa recommends the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Lencioni as a helpful resource for understanding common issues that can arise in a team environment.

She also discusses the concept of System’s intelligence, introduced by Esa Saarinen (PDF Download), which emphasizes the importance of connecting engineering thinking with human sensitivity.

Kaisa also recommends “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay as a book that has helped her avoid an anti-pattern where her knee-jerk reaction is to immediately help someone without allowing the person to help themselves. The book provides seven questions that every coach should ask, which help to increase precision and effectiveness and allow others to take more responsibility. By asking these questions, sometimes people realize they do not need Kaisa’s help. This allows her to avoid being overly involved and helps people become more self-sufficient.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

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