Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What is an Impediment?

One of my team always says "Wish we did not have this meeting today" or "We are still waiting for our server rule to be created" or "Thoughts on how to get feedback sooner from architectural group" or "We are still figuring out whom to ask for getting rights for TFS server". Their comments made me think, how can I help them and what to do to raise their concern.

During this thinking process, I asked myself, are these impediments?

At present, we have mechanism to flag stories or tasks in Jira as blocker or impediments. We, agile coaches, get alert whenever somebody marks an issue as impediment. We all work our best to remove it as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Impediment for us is anything, which stops team from doing its work. 

What if we change the definition to, "Impediment is anything which is preventing our teams from achieving continuous flow as fast as possible." it can be anything like delay in getting new server for testing, getting feedback from other group, too many meetings complain etc... Most of the times team members do not specify them as impediment but these things effect our flow. Hence keeping an eye on them is very useful and can help teams a lot. 

Alongside, we facilitated a retrospective called Angel retrospective. We asked team members to wish for one thing which will help them in achieving their goal in most effective and efficient way. We collected their wishes and it was starting point for our impediment list.  
I am still working on finding techniques and methods to collect impediments and work on removing them.

Let me know your experience

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