Self-Organizing Team and Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz

‘Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore’ Dorothy exclaimed in the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz.

A team that is new to Agile might as well be exclaiming similar thing: ‘We have a feeling we are not in waterfall world anymore.”

Two different worlds being experienced by both Dorothy and the team.

Another parallelism between Dorothy and the team is this: Courage

Have you noticed — I am assuming that you have seen the movie — that just about every decision, every instigation and every act of courage is made by Dorothy, a teenage girl. She’s the one who decides, the one who keeps pushing, the one who accidentally kills the witch… despite the fear and self-doubt.

At every turn, she stands up despite of her fear, or sometimes because of it, and makes a choice. She decides that the mission is more important than the noise in her head.

The essence of Dorothy is within the team … a self-organizing team, that is. A team with fear in them and self-doubt. At every turn, the team makes a choice…and decides that the achievement of the iteration goal is more important than the noise in the team’s head.

The team and the product owner can work together towards achieving the iteration goal; with the scrum master removing obstacles along their way and protecting them from distractive elements… things that can potentially slow down or stop the team’s progress towards achieving their iteration goal.

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