Bottlenecks for knowledge sharing within agile teams (India centric)
Performers Vs Non performers
Whenever I conduct the SCRUM workshops within India, one regular
question I have to address consistently is about 'What to do with non-
performers within the team?'. For me, the whole corporate system or as
a country itself, everything is tuned to protect the weak. Thanks to
the democrats and the communists. The entire system is built around
protecting the weak. Hence I am able to empathize with the project
managers when he is more worried about the non performers in the team
rather than the performers. We must understand the fact that SCRUM
teams must comprise of performers (mentally and physically fit).
Marcus Buckingham in his book 'First break all rules' says very
clearly that the best of the managers worldwide are biased towards
performers and in fact they spend more time with the performers rather
than non-performers. It does not mean that non-performers must be
ignored. They must get the support and the consideration they deserve,
and it must not be at the expense of performers. Let us all admit the
fact that corporate life is all about capitalism and capitalists not
Individualists Vs Team players
Since most of the management wisdom within India is borrowed from the
west, 'Team work is always promoted'. An Indian Psyche is always
'Individualistic' while whatever is promoted within the corporates is
'Team work'. So every Indian acts like a team player to gain
acceptance, while actually he is not. In India, even to get a seat in
a bus, we have to struggle, rather we have to compete. Naturally we
are tuned to compete with others, where as the organizational cultures
within India are blind copies from the west, which promotes team work.
What must be really promoted within teams in India is 'Team work of
the Individually competent'. First of all everyone has to prove their
mettle individually, and after that we can talk about team work.
Parenting attitude of the managers
Most of the Indians like to go to beaches, and at the same time
majority of the Indians do not swim in the sea. Thanks to the highly
protective parenting prevailing within India. The highly protective
parent do not allow the kid to experiment, rather they are driven
through the least risky- proven paths. This leads to lack of
innovation, poor risk taking and underdevelopment of potential and
skills. Once these kids graduate as managers, they also start
exhibiting the 'parental traits' while managing the teams, leading to
under development of skill sets. Actually they are damaging the teams
and at the same time they believe that they are building the teams.
This is very dangerous.
These are some of the burning points coming to my mind while thinking
of the cultural issues in agile teams within India. India is the
country where the maximum lines of software code is written, and at
the same time not many killer products have come from India ... may be
these could be some of the real root causes.