90+ ‘Rudiments’ of (agile) collaboration

Part I — Ouverture

I am working as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master, mostly with teams learning how to deliver products using Scrum or Kanban as their frameworks to work together. In a podcast done lately, we borrowed the term “rudiments” from a drummer’s formation program to create the term “scrum rudiments” (in episode 7 of the podcast ‘daily of the month’, the podcast has been done in the German language). I’ve been asked in this episode to contribute some of my views on how to learn Scrum and, what the major things a Scrum Team and a Scrum Master do, might be. Working truly together with people of your ‘network ‘, collaborating, is one of those pieces. So I would like to share some ideas we talked about in this podcast and elaborate on them further.

See “networking” as a small pebble to build a house on, as a ‘rudiment’ of co-operation, a form of musical notation to create true common spirit. In your network, you will find people deeply interested to work on the tasks for solving the common issue, which is the assumption behind it.

In what context is networking helpful? How to be done? Are there downsides? These additional questions I will reflect on in this article.

Part II — ‘lick’

The lick is an instrumental phrase used in jazz and rock music. It can be felt like musical “words” or “sentences” played on instruments, which are used, among other things, as a kind of vocabulary and for learning improvisation.

Our ‘lick’ would be then systematically giving and taking impulses to and from others as a request for co-operation.

Context: I consider networking useful as one of the most basic foundations in ‘agile’ collaboration. Whenever a new or unclear challenge might be given to me, my team or any group I feel being part of, discussing and finding out about its core and content, as well as any circumstances to be considered could be done more effectively with the help of my network. We share and explore from the angles of our knowledge and experience the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ as far as our current understanding of any complex problem allows. Having different backgrounds and joining forces helps a lot to come to more clear, better, and inspirational insights of non-trivial problems. Thus, avoiding personal ‘blind spots’ and thought traps. Coming to better ideas for the design and operational realization of experiments. To get better feedback from reality about the nature of any suitable solution, the approaches to find them, the architecture of, and inspiration to find new answers.

Part III — Jamming

For any challenges, there’s psychological safety needed mostly. Studies show (see here), that there are several factors in any group of people needed to perform better in problem-solving. Having a broad choice of skills ‘networking’ helps to choose the right people. People are ‘the right people’, when we trust them, when — within our circles — we can count on their special pieces of knowledge, creativity, or powers to come up with a suggestion or solution. People that are available at the moment we’re reaching out. As more people are available and willing to help me in a case of need, I’m directly increasing my powers of doing by having a larger network.

Part IV — Finale

As every good thing has to come to an end, let’s talk about some final thoughts and considerations about networking: limits.

Summed up:

  • networking with others, sharing the same or additional interests to what is important to me is technically easy,
  • it can be learned, initiated, and done anytime,
  • it is valuable as a means to reach personal and team goals,
  • it should be done ‘wholeheartedly’, listening and contributing with respect, openness, and focus, the basic agile values,
  • it enriches your thoughts and insights, views, emotions, and your potential to accomplish difficult endeavors,
  • it is not about me, but about ‘us’, giving and taking whatever might be needed,
  • the extent to what I consider it valuable and helpful can be defined by myself, so it ‘flows’ with whatever my personal circumstances allow for,
  • it can be done by anyone.



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A Wittler

A Wittler

I’m working as an freelancing Agile Coach, have done priorly some consulting in Health Care and worked long years in Banking. Following my interests mainly.