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Expectations (workshop) in a fuzzy Agile world

When talking about roles in an Agile team, we’re generally discouraged from making explicit roles on people, as we expect everyone to ‘be a team’ and be cross functional, t-shaped individuals (or simply, ‘team members’). We also have defined roles which are difficult to define, particularly here at Spotify, we have roles like Product Owner & Agile Coach… But what does one expect of a Product Owner? What does my team expect of me, the Agile Coach? Particularly at Spotify, we have pretty fuzzy roles because we believe that if we constrain them, we will potentially constrain our capacity to add value in our roles. That is, if I tightly define my role, then I will feel constrained by these rules and won’t think outside the box about ways I can add value to the business.

Expectations Workshop Guide

Prep:

  • Write up 3 columns / 3 rows for the 3 roles (see pic)
  • Provide sticky notes, sharpies
  • I provided a sample list of responsibilities to get people thinking outside the box (click here to see some examples)

Workshop:

10 mins

  • For each column, everyone writes on stickies what they expect of that role
  • For the first column (PO), we start with what the team expects, then the AC, then finally the role in question, the PO. Each person(s) goes up and explains their sticky note then puts it on the wall.

10 mins

  • Discussion. Facilitator (myself) asks the question “How does their expectations match your reality? What is similar? What is different? Do we need to change anything about how we work?”

** Do this for each column, this took 60 mins in total (i.e. 20mins x 3 roles, you could do this with other roles too, just be conscious of the time it takes)

10 – 15mins

  • Final wrap-up & discussion. What did we learn? Is there anything we’re going to do differently now? How do we feel about these expectations?

 

Read More, including results & insights:

Expectations (workshop) in a fuzzy Agile world

 

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