Book Club Food For Thought

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We loved hosting our first Agile in Nonprofits Book Club video chat on July 17th when we discussed Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.


If you weren’t able to attend, or are just learning about the book, we thought you might enjoy reading some of the comments from the discussion to help inspire your own Agile and Scrum focused learning and adaptation.


“Pull the right lever.” Why do you think that Scrum emphasizes focusing on improving team performance as opposed to individual performance? 


Our book club participants shared some great ideas about why, including:

  • Everyone is clear that they are working for one common goal;
  • Team performance highlights how everything we do impacts the community;
  • People don’t have a chance to not be held accountable for anything;
  • Situations can be so much better when people work together instead of there being ONE HERO; and
  • Holding each other accountable in a team makes situations so much better and have a better outcome – better support for each individual as well.


What does the quote “Be known for what you do, not how you are referred to.” from the book bring to mind for you?


Our book club participants shared their personal thoughts on the quote, including:

  • Show what value you bring to the team;
  • Be known not for your outputs, but for your outcomes;
  • Be known for your impact, not your activity;
  • It’s not about who is who and what’s your title, but rather it’s the impact; and
  • Trust that your work has value.


“Heroic efforts should be viewed as a failure of a plan.” What situations have you found yourself in where heroics were rewarded or highlighted as a positive? How could the situation be approached differently? How can you avoid that situation in your current role/organization?


Our book club participants loved this question and had numerous stories and takeaways from their personal experience in a heroics required scenario:

  • With no plan there’s no success;
  • The big picture question is did you have a plan and something went really wrong or did you not have a plan and everything went really wrong?
  • Regardless of industry or job title, working late wasn’t a sign of commitment, it’s a sign of failure; 
  • Daily Scrum meetings to help keep people on track and working towards that goal to prevent getting into situations that require heroic actions;
  • Some organizations seem almost addicted to the heroic situations;
  • An organization needs a serious intervention if the type of heroic effort is exactly like a past one! The pattern shows that their methodology needs to be evaluated.


Interested in professional development? Our team offers trainings every month! These include 2-hour webinars, half, full, and multi-day sessions, along with a handful of on-demand webinars. We also offer full credential courses including Scrum Master and Product Owner. 

Need a custom training for your organization to introduce Scrum or help credential your whole team? We offer private trainings as well. Learn more about the professional development we offer here.


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