Create an Adaptable Life: Vol 4, #3: How Do You Flex?

There’s a discussion on LinkedIn about an agile team with a deaf developer. The respondents–many of whom are fully hearing–are debating what they could do. There are plenty of opportunities:

  • Make sure everyone faces the deaf developer when speaking.
  • Have a hearing/sign language interpreter.
  • Use dictation software so the software writes down everything you say.

These are interesting ideas. And, they all involve having the deaf person flex to the hearing people.

What if we turned that around? What if the hearing people behaved as if they were deaf? How would that change things?

  • They could use some form of messaging software instead of standing at a board.
  • Maybe they could all learn sign language and stop talking.
  • Maybe they could eliminate standups and many other meetings altogether.

I like standups for many reasons. People recommit to each other. Depending on the kind of board you have, you might see all the work in progress and decide to work differently. The standup provides you options about what to do next.

I have also seen standups that stink, to put it mildly. They become blame games. Or the stories are so large, it’s not worth getting together every day. Or the team is so large, people don’t all know each other. There are many other ways for standups to fail.

Yes, it’s easy to consider ways to flex when you are in the minority. When should the majority flex, even as an experiment?

When you consider flexing how you work, what do you consider, the minority or the majority? Up until now, I’ve been considering the majority. I might have to change my mind.

More Learning With Johanna

I’ll be leading the Influential Agile Leader with Gil Broza in April and May next year. Registration is open now. See my calendar page for all my workshops and speaking dates.

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