You are a Scrum Master. Your team consists of introverts not participating in the meetings actively. What would you do?

14-March we organized Agile Pub Quiz in Kosice, Slovakia. One of the rounds we do is to trigger discussion about specific real-life cases. The round is called “Do you think like an agilist?”, where people can compare their responses with

  • each other,
  • skilled agilists,
  • made-up persona.

You can find the personas here:

and the meeting notes here

We created this forum thread to carry on with the discussion.
What is your point of view?

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Had to leave the meetup shortly after the quiz part, so I caught only the beginning of the discussion and from what I have heard this topic has taken the most of it. The point of this question was to expose the CorpoRat persona’s answers or, in other words, try and guess which answers were provided by the real Agilists.

I think most of the people, including identified option D as the go-to solution for the situation, but few people argued for the option C to be considered as a valid option.

Here are some paraphrased arguments I remember and my opinions on them:

I think it is rude to have the camera off…

This is a fraction that appeared in multiple arguments, so I decide to pick it separetely. Here I would say that labeling behavior “rude” is a matter of either a cultural or a personal belief, which can’t be just generalized and instantly extended to anyone around. Management decisions and policies should be driven by increasing effectivity in production, not extending personal beliefs to other people.

It’s just switching on the camera, what’s so difficult about that

I remember this one being put in the discussion by a woman casually looking better than most of the developers I know put together, definitely used to make herself presentable, possibly looking forward to switching on the camera on any call. Introverts don’t function like that and for them “just switching on a camera” might be as complicated and confusing as for you “just spinning up a server” … talk to the person privately and understand them before you simplify their worldviews enough to cause an unnecessary (and expensive) interpersonal problem

It is rude towards the customer / other team members that we all have our cameras off except one guy on our team…

I already discussed the “rude” part above, so here I will focus on the “towards others” part. If you are on the meeting and you start forcing someone to do something instead of dealing with him privately, you are just making everyone else uncomfortable + driving attention to something that is definitely not the agenda of the meeting and so wasting time and energy of everyone involved.

Bottom line is that as an agilist you are supposed to avoid producing waste, which also means separating one issue from another and for each of them find the time and place in which they can be resolved effectively. When it comes to people, private conversations (hence D option) are definitely the first step to avoid chain reactions that can end up in a way too expensive outcomes.

I was just thinking about this topic again and thought about asking chatGPT.

Specifically I asked

As a scrum master should I force my team to have their cameras on during online meetings?

Here is the output:

As a Scrum Master, it is not your role to force your team to have their cameras on during online meetings. While having cameras on can help with engagement, communication, and building rapport, it is important to respect the preferences and needs of each team member.

Some team members may not have access to a camera or may feel uncomfortable with having their camera on. It is important to understand and respect these reasons and create a safe and inclusive environment for all team members.

Instead of forcing team members to have their cameras on, you can encourage them to participate and engage in the meeting in other ways. For example, you can

  • ask for verbal feedback or input
  • use chat or polling tools to gather input
  • provide opportunities for team members to share their thoughts and ideas asynchronously

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the goal of online meetings is to facilitate collaboration, communication, and progress towards the team’s goals. Encouraging participation and engagement, while respecting the preferences and needs of each team member, can help achieve this goal.