Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

Honesty is not only the best policy; in Scrum, it is the ONLY policy. There is a pseudo-phrase that is used in Scrum training to describe the appearance of Impediments: they ‘bubble up”. This only happens when Team members are honest — with themselves, with each other, with their ScrumMaster. The ScrumMaster is a facilitator and a communicator. It is the job of a well-trained and courageous SM to prod, poke, investigate, cajole, bribe, berate, beg, reward, entice, and otherwise convince both the Team as a unit and individual members to communicate impediments — no matter how large or small they may seem — by “bubbling them up” to the surface. The brave ScrumMaster then takes the Impediments and communicates them to the rest of the Team, the Product Owner; if necessary, the Business Owner, and possibly even the Stakeholders (read: Clients). Good ScrumMasters are always in jeopardy of having their heads ripped off because many times they are the bearers of bad news. Agility is also helpful in dodging thrown staplers, monitors, and other heavy, close-at-hand office items.

Honesty leads to Agility in this manner: the communication should be like greased lightning. Every employee at Achieve has seen me absorb some information and immediately turn around and start communicating it to someone else. Whether this is by walking into someone’s office, picking up the phone, crafting an IM or an e-mail, creating or refining an Unfuddle ticket, or driving between offices, you have witnessed the lengths I go to insure that communication is happening quickly, effectively, and honestly. Scrum — and I would suspect most Agile methodologies — completely falls apart if the channels to move information slow down or become clogged. Lack of transparency to the Client is the bane of Waterfall, where you work in a bubble on a project for a segment of time only to find out at delivery that this is no longer what the end user wants. It is better to confront a known Impediment than to pretend that there isn’t one or that there is nothing that you can do about it; ignorance is NOT bliss; it is cowardice.

The central strength of Scrum is that everyone is in the loop all of the time. Developers should raise impediments as they appear, not after they have been trying to solve it for an hour. Lead Developers should be ready to (and encouraged to) step in to team program around a thorny issue — after they tell their ScrumMaster that something has come to their attention in this vein. ScrumMasters should be central communication hubs that are constantly talking to the Team and the Product Owner to keep everyone appraised of progress and Impediments, all the while shielding their Team from outside interference. Product Owners should be speaking with their Clients daily in order to provide their feedback to the Team and to tell them of both good news and bad. This is colloquially known in Scrum as “swarming” and it is fantastic when it happens. Transparency may lead to Agility, but transparency comes from being honest.

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Hate It

Posted: October 18, 1993 in Poetry
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they hate that I’m a poet,
worse than the letters:
the dates, the blood smears,
the honesty, the colored ink screams
never voiced by my throat,
clogged with enough pride to make you puke,
almost – that’s the gimmick –
never quite enough to make you vomit,
just enough carefully measured mental phlegm
to keep you doubled over with nausea
at your own behavior and responses;
a petty dam of pride
bubbling in the back of your mouth,
behind your tongue,
on top of your trachea;
accelerating those damaging comments
like a slingshot, a gauss gun,
selectively scything the quiet honest ones.
whispering like a pool of rottten oatmeal
by creeping inside your ears and nose,
cutting off your heart’s conscience
from your mind.

why can’t I
just be another guy?
but I’m a person
with a snake-sharp tongue
and I’m a ripped flannel…
I shoot my mouth like a shotgun.
riddles and rhyming and rhythm,
not taken seriously enough to stay honest
just another number in the GTE phone list.
I lie and I lie and I lie
to convince you all
that the poet is just another human being;
that I am just another guy.

I thresh through these lines
like a dog wrapped in seaweed,
thrown with stones in the ocean:
I can’t breathe –
there’s all the smoke from the fires I’m lightning,
I’m telling the sheriff that I’m struck by lightning.
when does it all stop echoing ‘round in circles?
I think it’s just another dream.
I’m on a porch with a candle and a carpet;
there’s crickets all around
and I feel wonderful without the world dragging me down.
look, I see you don’t understand with a frown.

I can’t even repeat what I’ve said.
I can’t think of a poem I’ve written,
then read,
and thought that this is it, this is perfect!
I’ve even given up trying to rework it.
I don’t want to write for a living anymore
I feel like the homework that’s always lost to the dog
and I don’t remember whatever
I expected from myself anymore.
these fireworks of joy that I wished to paint the skies with
are nothing more than explosions
of white-winged moths from a log
that I’ve kicked walking alone in the woods.

Sorcery

Posted: February 8, 1993 in Poetry
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I have never felt power like this:
the strength to bear people’s friendship
without the artifices of forging my emotions
like the signatures of the dead
on a current document.

I find I’m liked for who I am
not everything I claim to be or wish I was;
pretense has always dampened the fires
that I was wanting to stoke;
I find the call is honesty and enthusiasm.

As soon as I found myself wonderful,
I couldn’t wait to show it of by being so –
no longer shivering in trying to be magnificent
so that I seem wonderful, I see myself
wonderful so everything I do from
my clear mind, my open heart, is wonderful.

The recognition of emotions for what they are
no matter how much they hurt in their true forms:
guilt or anger; shame, sadness; pain and love.
is a truth I must learn to find.

Emulation Two

Posted: January 5, 1991 in Poetry
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I grow somewhat sober.
Saddened jesters
never paint honesty:
tears, tears
over my bent wings,
fallen angels
plummet past sparrows.
fears, fears,
waking dreams;
dreams of
half-parted lips.
spilt milk from many things
ah, do you mean no?
oh, all my trust!