The Importance Of “WHY??”
Anu Smalley

Human Beings are a curious species. 

From the time we are young we want to know WHY?

Why is the sky blue?  Why can’t I have more dessert?  Why do I have to eat my vegetables?

As we grow up and move into our professional lives we tend to leave this curiosity behind.  For career survival and sake of time we tend to follow trends and orders without really knowing why or to what end.

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This brings to mind an an old story about three bricklayers:

Each one of them was asked what they were doing.  The first man answered gruffly, “I’m laying bricks.”  The second man replied, “I’m putting up a wall.”  But the third man said enthusiastically and with pride, “I’m building a cathedral.”  (Author Unknown)
Being able to see the big picture-  being able to understand WHY we are doing what we are doing motivates and inspires-  helps us bring solutions to problems rather than just doing a task.
Organizations and teams will often go through the motions of Scrum and wonder why (pun intended) their teams are not morphing into high performing teams, why their agile transformations seem stalled, and so on.  We have lost the curiosity to ask WHY when it comes to understanding and working within the Scrum framework.

Teams often attend Scrum events like Sprint planning without understanding the real purpose and true benefit; the WHY.  They have lost sight of the Inspect and Adapt mechanism that Scrum events enable.
Bring the WHY back into your teams lives!!

Help them understand WHY Scrum will work, help them understand WHY Scrum events will help them transform, help them understand the Inspect and Adapt mechanisms of Scrum.
Helping teams understand the WHY will help them in multiple ways:
1.             It enables them to do the work appropriately and correctly
2.             It gives the team an understanding of their role in the organization
3.             It allows the team an opportunity to think of better ways to get the work done
4.             It allows the team to self-organize around the work

As a coach and a trainer I focus on helping teams and organizations re-focus and re-learn the importance of WHY.  When teams understand why they are tasked to do something, they need very little direction to figure out the how best to do it.


Anu Smalley

Anu has 20 years of IT experience as a developer, Project Lead, Project Manager, Development Manager, BSA, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Coach. Over 5 years formal agile experience as Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Coach and Trainer, with a focus on organizational transformation. Develop and deliver agile workshops and clinics to all levels of agile maturity.