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Do we need an Impediment List? Why “yes”

by Joe Little, 26 July 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from LeanAgileTraining by Joe Little. Click here to see the original post in full.

Yes, we need a public impediment list. Every Team does.


One argument against is that all impediments should be eliminated immediately.  Yes, if this were possible, this should be done.  But I think that thinking assumes an incorrect view of what impediments are.

Yes, it is true that some obvious impediments only appear from time to time. If if you only get small ones that appear at most once a day, then ‘fix it immediately’ is the right answer.  And you need no list.

But I think we should have a totally different attitude toward impediments.

As with Lean, we should give ourselves the ‘perfection’ challenge.  That is, we do not indulge in the fantasy that we will ever become perfect, but we challenge ourselves to strive toward perfection.  Or, more concretely, to become the best Scrum Team ever.

So, an impediment is anything that can be improved that might lead us to becoming the ‘perfect’ (best) Scrum Team.

And, of course, nothing around us, and nothing that we do, is perfect. So, everything needs to be improved.  Even Michael Phelps can swim a better race.

So, then the public impediment list really should be just the top 20 things we should fix. (If we listed everything, we might have 900 items, but in this work, it helps not at all to have a list of 900.  Just the top 20 will do for now, and that short list...

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