YES, AND.........

 9897430 - a team of people work together to lift the words yes we can to affirm that by cooperating on a challenge, they can reach success and meet their goals

I love this line of thinking and collaborating! 

Yes = I accept what was said or expressed

And = adding to what was said, building on an idea or suggestion

When you put these two words together as a way to respond, you have truly engaged in collaborative thinking. It shows that a group of people are combining and refining thoughts and ideas into something better than an individual contribution.  If you will, it becomes a collective genius!

I must say, recently I have seen something different going on when teams use this ‘Yes, and’ technique.  The words remain the same but the thinking has reverted back to ‘Yes, but’ or even worse ‘No, but’!  Most often I have been witness to this in Sprint Planning and Daily Scrum.

In Sprint Planning sessions the Dev Team has been confronted with a Product Owner saying something like; ‘Yes, and I will still need to have that feature completed by the end of the next Sprint.’  Not really effective collaboration I would say. Or, during the Daily Scrum, a Dev Team member saying; Yes, and I am not going to be able to help with testing so the feature will not be ready at the end of the Sprint.  Where is the collective discussion on how it can happen instead why it cannot get done?

As a ScrumMaster, you have a responsibility to see the mis-use of collaboration tools such as ‘Yes, and’ thinking and to facilitate the group through a correction of the dysfunction. 

Want to learn more on how to facilitate?  Join Dee Rhoda, CSP, CS@ST, ICP-ACC  and Jens Ostergaard in a Certified Scrum Master course in Orlando, Florida on May 10 & 11.