The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Acknowledging a problem

This morning our little group had a wrap-up meeting for a sprint we had done together. All of us had entered the group with our own project. Our plan then had been to rely on each other to discuss our progress and give each other feedback on it.

For some reason, the sprint didn’t feel as effective as we had thought it could be. The sprint was a mix of shared reports, meetings and reflections. These steps remind us all of the ways we’ve been working in teams in our altMBA. Among the three, the “reflection script” is the one I’ve since been appreciating most. It’s a time we take to look back at how things worked out and what we can take out of it going forward.

Writing a final reflection script had helped me structure this sprint experience. It thus felt natural to share some of it during our wrap up call. Even knowing how speaking truths and sharing one’s experience can help a group I still was astonished to see how the dynamic changed.

We all had had a very similar experience during the sprint.

None of us had had the idea or the courage during the sprint to interrupt our “running” with a timeout to discuss the existing lack of comfort. It had shown itself in several places, but all of us had reverted to solitary reactions.

As I acknowledged the problem I had experienced during the sprint I felt that it transformed the atmosphere and tone in our wrap up call. As we all were sharing our experience without any idea of blaming, we found ourselves on a quest to understand and help each other. As we shared our experiences it appeared to me that culture had had no impact on the experience itself. Only reasoning and reactions differed.

The idea of “we have to move forward” had kept us from acknowledging the problem we experienced. As a result of effectiveness as a group had dramatically dropped.

We could have changed it.

I’m guessing that this group will be able to change it in future sprints.


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