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Submitted by mrstevegross on


 Hi folks! I run an Agile software development team. At our daily scrum, everyone is usually pretty good at reporting what they've been up to. Everybody, except me. I know I've been busy doing lots of "stuff" during the day, but it's hard to sum up. As a manager, I spend most of my time reviewing plans, sending email, checking in with different customers, attending meetings. I find it very difficult to sum this up in a meaningful way in the scrum, and as a result I'm worried that my team doesn't understand much about what I'm up to.

So the problem is: Does my team have a good understanding of what my job looks like? And if they don't, what can I do to improve their understanding?

I've got one idea, but I suppose it's a bit unorthodox. Could I have a shadow-your-boss day for each of my reports? The report would keep me company during a single work day, and I would take time to explain to him/her everything I was doing. Ideally, this would give them insight into what my daily life looks like.


What do you think?




jrumple's picture
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The job shadowing approach may work. I don't have any experience with it and can't say one way or the other. Your plan sounds very similar to the recent episode about Succession Planning (

As I read your introduction, the idea that popped into my mind was Accomplishments ( That is how do you write inputs for your annual review and how you write bullets on your resume.

You're already capturing what your accomplishments are over the year, month, week. Start with something that you're already doing and introduce them to your daily scrums. You don't need to invent some new, clever way of explaining your value to the team. Use the tools that you already have.

So getting better at any of the actionable steps in Manager Tools and Career Tools is practice. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not a goal, but a habit." After I listened to the Accomplishments episode, I updated my resume and reworked many of my bullets into Accomplishment Bullets. Then I decided that once a quarter was not frequent enough for me to practice this. My manager has me turn in a Weekly Activity Report (WAR). This was another opportunity for me to practice writing accomplishment bullets. Sure the first few weeks weren't great bullets. They were still better than previous WARs I had submitted. It didn't take many weeks before I felt pretty good about writting effective Accomplishment Bullets. I find that now all of my discussions with my manager about performance fall into the format of an Accomplishment Bullet.

Give it a try for a week or two. Use Accomplishment Bullets for your inputs to the daily scrum. I'm guessing that you'll quickly have good updates and your team will see the value you're adding to the team. You'll also have great bullets for your resume update and your annual review.

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