Agile Notes (No. 50)
After Party i.e. The Parking Lot
Hi everyone! Welcome new subscribers! Thanks for reading. We continue with Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka. We are staying with Chapter 9: The Organizing Tools.
The “Parking Lot” - a term we have all heard a thousand times. How many times have you put something in the “parking lot” only to never talk about it again? [Digression] When running daily meetings for Scrum teams discussions would happen spontaneously after someone gave their update. As Scrum Master, I got good at channeling these discussions to “the parking lot.” After the Daily, whomever needed to stay behind were welcome to do so to talk about their Parking Lot issue. Soon, these post-Daily sessions - the “After Party.” [/Digression]
Tabaka provides 2 Rules for putting items into a Parking Lot:
Parking Lot Axiom #1: Never put a topic in the Parking Lot without asking the permission of the team.
She offers this advice: “Never let anyone else decide on his own to move something to the Parking Lot. No one team member owns the Parking Lot… The TEAM [my emphasis] owns the Parking Lot/After Party. She also goes on to offer a corollary: “Never take anything out of the Parking Lot without getting the approval of the team.”
Parking Lot Axiom #2: Never lean an item in the Parking Lot past the close of the meeting; no meeting can end if any items remain in the Parking Lot.
No one ever thinks about the Parking Lot. Tabaka continues to grow on me. There is power in the simplicity of it all. Facilitation skills are some of the most important tools in a Scrum Master’s bag. Her approach to the Parking Lot keeps the focus on the Team and further supports the idea that the Scrum Master is not there to take charge and make decisions. The Team needs to be doing that for themselves.
I’m starting to really like the simplicity of it all. It is very back-to-basics. Today’s topic is no exception. Reviewing the Parking Lot, Mike? Really?? Yes. Really. It is SO easy to forget stuff. It is easy to start thinking that something so simple as using a Parking Lot is above you and your skills.
But it isn’t. It is a great reminder to keep your “Beginner’s Mind.” In fact, this whole book is a reminder of learning and RE-learning.
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