Agile teams are often configured to make use of a SME (Subject Matter Expert). A SME is typically someone not on the Scrum Team, who brings specialized knowledge, skills, or expertise needed by the team. The team doesn't have everything required, so we give them access to a SME. The SME's contribution may be in the domain, technology, or other skills such as problem solving. Sounds great, right? Not so fast…
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We all want to be productive, right? But when does our desire to be productive, and our mental model of what "being productive" looks like, get in the way?
Many of us work in environments where the question "when will you be done with X?" matters. Some of the examples I have seen recently are:
- The business team wants a certain set of functional enhancements as well as performance & scalability improvements. Can we get both done? Will one need to take a back seat to the other?
- A customer has a "deployment window" that we want to hit with a certain set of functionality. Do we look like we will make it? If not, what adjustments might we make?
- A customer wants an early warning if the cost of a project is likely to go over a certain amount.
Today I am reflecting on how difficult it is for individuals and organizations to deal effectively with uncertainty and ambiguity, and how the underlying belief in the possibility of certainty has such a strong hold on us. Examples of that desire for certainty that have appeared on my radar over the last few years include: