Agile – Remove blockers to flow free


During development process in agile method, you might have heard about “blocker” in the stand up meetings. Most of them just say as a part of the process during there turn.

What different ways you would approach to tackle this blocker?

I would like to tell some of my experience from various organization.

  1. Some teams would take it to the next level and proactively talk to the concerned person to resolve issue if related to the infrastructure or some third party related issues, fair enough simple and straight forward.
  2. Some would talk to the project managers or scrum master to discuss further.
  3. Few cases when there is a blocker, all the developers would get together and discuss on that blocker immediately after the stand up.
  4. Some just say there is a blocker in the stand up and sit on there own and keep struggling to resolve the issue, and would not approach for help.
  5. Some would procrastinate and move on to another task.
  6. Some would take a shortcut to fix the issue.

which one of the above would suit the best while you are working in a agile development team at your organisation? I know you would say depends on the type of blocker based on that you would take one of the above choice.

I have seen for most of the blockers in the project, can be easily and quickly resolved if you opt for option 3 for developers. Because someone has an better idea, or must have worked on it before or may be they understand much better in that area.

I think many of us are willing to take option 4. Issue with option 4 is we don’t know how long it would take also you might not know if it’s the right choice as you might approach dead end of that solution. Also people start googling for the issue which you might not find appropriate answers.

Option 3 develops collaboration between team members, many would think that it could be a silly question to ask, as the other developer might think I don’t know the answer for a simple thing. Lots of question comes to your mind, end of the day people forget they are solving problems in a software for an organization, not solving there personal problems.

Also scrum master or project mangers needs to encourage this culture so that it saves time and increase productivity and the knowledge is shared between developers. So when the similar issues re appears all the developers would already know the solution.

In the picture above the water is blocked by the rocks, and slows down the flow. Think of removing this rock first before you move further to the next sprint as a team. Don’t forget you are working in a team. The more number of rocks in a sprint, it would slow down the entire team.

GeniusLead follows Option 3 as one of the core principle.

– Deepak Roy




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