The Sorry Tale Of A Project Fail

A poem about the Scrum values of courage and openness

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels [cropped]

Welcome my friends, do gather round
For a grizzly a tale as can be found,
OK, not quite grizzly but still a tale
Of mistakes and woe and a project fail.

Perchance you’ll blanch when I confess
Our project seemed like a success,
We iterated and delivered,
At release sign-off I barely quivered,
Confident all would be impressed,
Imagine, then, quite how distressed
I was to find they did not care,
They behaved as if I wasn’t there;

Photo by Marcelo Jaboo from Pexels

When I returned to face the team
I tried to smile and make it seem
As if their work was well-received
But I could see they weren’t deceived,
We had done well yet somehow, sadly,
I’d failed my team extremely badly.

With time gone by I can look back
And see the places I lost track:
To start with, I was not courageous,
I found low-trust meetings were contagious,
The managers saw a Scrum Master
As a whip to make the teams work faster…

Add to that a weekly forum
Where we all maintained utmost decorum,
Dare to paint your project un-green
And you’d be seen to contravene
The sacred code of reporting status
And find your career put on hiatus;

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Such was the climate of cold fear
But that’s no excuse to be unclear:
A green project has no meaning,
In fact, it’s rather overweening,
If it means we all pretended
Until the project nearly ended,

When the truth bursts overnight:
Green flips to red in an almight-
-y mess of apparent sudden failure
Of the most catastrophic nature;
Remember it runs in both directions:
From red to green as we make corrections,

Our project’s red did dim to amber
Breathless to true green we did clamber;
But they didn’t care for I didn’t say
What really happened on the way;
I learned that it’s imperative
To tell an honest narrative.

Images created by Farah Egby using MS PowerPoint

These days, yeah, I get my ears chewed off
But afterwards my cap I doff
To higher-ups who appreciate
Knowing that I’m talking straight:

They get that it lets them plan, too,
And helps us to find the breakthrough
To mitigate the current risk
So we can deal with it in brisk
Efficient ways… or at least warn
The business of a looming thorn,

And, slowly, they begin to trust
We will not suddenly combust;
There’s power in transparency
To avoid mistrust and hostility,

It might not be all laughs and smiles
But it’s better when we share our trials,
For in the end, what’s truly tragic
Is believing that success is magic.

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels
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Software Agilist, Erstwhile Scientist, Music Dabbler and Amateur Human Being.

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