Shortest Time As “New Guy.” Ever!

Last week the VP and CTO of my division wanted to have a chat.  While not wholly unusual, it’s always a good thing when we chat!  Running out of time during the week, he suggested we meet for breakfast on Saturday morning.  (Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona, USA)  When the VP invites to Saturday breakfast, anticipation is hard to contain.

We had a long chat over pancakes about teams, change, Scrum and how things are going in our transition to agile.  There was lots of good and some areas where improvement is needed. (It’s great to have “C-level” support for our efforts.)

A few weeks prior to this chat, a new VHDL engineer was hired and joined a Scrum team on a critical company project.  The executive pointed out this engineer’s experience as an example of a benefit of Scrum.  Paraphrasing, he said:

Off and Running! (Photo by Gio JL on Flickr. Used under CC License)

Off and Running! (Photo by Gio JL on Flickr. Used under CC License)

He came on and integrated right into the Scrum team.  I think he became productive faster than any engineer in the history of the company.  He spent no time thrashing because the team just pulled him into the sprints.  I love Scrum because it provides a place to plug new people in.

His statement struck a cord as I realized he was right.  After less than a month, I no longer thought of this engineer as the “New Guy.”  It is the traditional title of the newly hired engineer, bewildered while trying to learn the ropes, culture and products.  The title wore off so fast, I didn’t even notice it was gone!

Of course, having great engineers on a functioning Scrum team also helped tremendously.  And, the Scrum framework was there to allow the new engineer to actually hit the ground running.

I love it when the benefits of Scrum are so obvious!

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