Are you ready to learn Scrum’s Five Point Palm technique? It’s a super-secret mastery technique which is not at all part of Scrum… or is it?
The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique is the deadliest, most fatal blow in all martial arts. In the movie Kill Bill, this move was taught to Beatrix Kiddo by Pai Mei. Pai Mei would also train Elle, an enemy of Beatrix, under the same conditions. Except the latter would murder the master Pai Mei, vengefully failing to endure his path.
“No wonder you can’t do it, you acquiesce to defeat before you even begin”
— Pai Mei
There is more than one lesson in this narrative. Some organizations are like Beatrix, demonstrating courage, patience, and endurance. And others are like Elle, proverbially killing their master and abandoning the journey when the going gets tough.
It’s through this analogy I discovered a Five Point Palm technique for Scrum.
‘The Way’ of Scrum is empiricism. The Scrum Master promotes three mystical pillars of empiricism: transparency, inspection, adaptation.
Through empiricism, we base our decision-making on experience. It’s like backpacking instead of road-mapping.
In complex environments, we have to rely on our ability to adapt the plan to changing conditions. In complex environments, you will know more tomorrow than you do today.
When we lack awareness about what is going on, we are neither responding timely nor aptly. Opportunities are lost and value goes down the drain.
As a Scrum Master, it’s not just your responsibility to develop it yourself, you develop a shared awareness: transparency.
“Scrum doesn’t tell you what to do, Scrum shows what is going on.” — Maarten Dalmijn, Serious Scrum
Here is the first of five points of Scrum’s secret Five Point Palm Technique!
So, the first step is learning how to answer these five fundamental challenges:
- How to make the process visible?
- How to make the goal (and progress and impediments towards it) visible?
- How to learn about employee and customer happiness?
- How to promote a shared understanding of what is being seen?
- How to adapt to learnings faster?
Resolving these five challenges will help you develop a ‘Shared Situational Awareness’.
In general, when think about what we need to perform, we think of tools and techniques. As a Scrum Master, you will help develop a shared situational awareness by “making work visible”. This is visibility in the literal sense of the word.
“Significant aspects of the process must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. Transparency requires those aspects be defined by a common standard so observers share a common understanding of what is being seen.” — The Scrum Guide 2017
Resolving the first 5 challenges help you master the following 5 abilities. These bring you one step closer to learning how to master Scrum’s secret Five Point Palm Technique!
- Ability to visualize and ‘see’ the goal.
- Ability to experience and interpret the reaction of the audience correctly.
- Ability to detect and respond autonomously to changing conditions, anomalies, and impediments in the play.
- Ability to see and address the root cause, not just the symptoms.
- Ability to sense and create alignment between the players (rapport).
So draw together. Get your team together to co-create a visualization of the goals, processes, workflow, anomalies, and impediments. Help the team visualize the world beyond their cave. After all, they can’t picture what they can’t see.