Are Your team members Resourceful Thinkers?

The Scrum Guide states,

“Scrum is not a process, technique, or definitive method. Rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques”

Scrum Guide, P3

The Scrum Guide describes the roles that people might assume, the events that they need to attend, and the artefacts that should be produced. However, because Scrum is a framework, there are no guidelines provided as to how the development should be undertaken. All that is provided are characteristics that the development team should have, including the ability to self-organize, be cross-functional, and have the skills necessary to be able to deliver items from the product backlog.

Cutting across these characteristics is a further skill that development team members should be able to display – resourceful thinking. A ‘Resourceful Thinker’ has the following characteristics (as defined by Focus Education Ltd.):

  • Has a go at something new
  • Suggests ways to solve a range of problems
  • Has a go at something that might not work
  • Thinks of different ideas and possibilities when solving problems
  • Improves learning by imitating others
  • Is tenacious when things get difficult
  • Draws inferences and makes deductions from a range of sources
  • Gives alternative solutions or explanations
  • Links ideas from different topic areas to solve problems and present findings
  • Perseveres even when the solution is not readily available
  • Is always prepared to explore more than the first possible solution to a problem
  • Adapts and applies learning to new situations

Many of these criteria are traits that I would expect members of a software development team to exhibit. For example, improving learning by imitating others could be referred to as pair programming, while a Scrum Master might encourage team members have a go at something new to prevent individuals from becoming silos of information.

However, these criteria were not defined for software development teams. The pupils at my daughter’s school were assessed against a number of criteria for different behaviours, including those of a Resourceful Thinker, with the aim of empowering their learning. Other behaviours assessed were Self-ManagerEffective ParticipatorTeam WorkerReflective Learner, and Independent Enquirer.

So, if a group of 5- to 11-year-olds are able to exhibit these skills, a software development team should also be able to display them.

A version of this post was originally published as an article on the Scrum Alliance website on 7th July 2016. Read the original article at

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