(6) – Craftsperson

Meme – Craftsperson

Craftspersons have the difficult job of creating the tangible results while the world thrashes around them. 

 Craftspersons must make something that works.  They create concrete results that function correctly and completely at a very detailed level.   Within the Agile Creative Team (ACT) model, the Craftsman role encompasses a wide range of positions, including.     

  • Technical Architects
  • Database Administrators
  • Developers
  • Security Analysts and other Specialists
  • Quality Control / Testers
  • Network and Hardware Specialists
  • Technical Writers and Trainers

These diverse roles are grouped together because they share key realities and challenges during execution of a complex dynamic initiative.

Concrete Deliverables – More than any other members of the team, the Craftsperson is responsible for a clearly defined work product.  They are responsible for producing measurable results that must meet specific requirements.

Change Sensitive – Because their work must be well defined and concrete … changes are a problem.   Others may feel exhilaration and energy from responding to change with adaptive agility by others, but as a practical matter change is difficult, time consuming and frustrating for someone who must deliver X by the end of the week. 

Specialized Work – The Craftsperson must specialize in both their skill set and in their daily work.  At this level of granularity, there is too much to be done for everyone to know and do everything. 

These challenges are genuine and valid.   Craftspersons are justified in pushing back on calls for them to happily embrace concerns outside their domain, thrashing change, or too many “talking” meetings.

 This is not to say that Craftspersons should be kept in the dark.  Communicate, collaborate, but recognize that there is a need to make something that works by the end of the week.  

One of the principal goals of the ACT team structure is to provide a design and environment that supports the needs of the Craftspersons, while effectively delegating to others the messy big picture challenges of dynamic cross enterprise collaboration.      

Takeaway:

Make it possible for the team’s Craftspersons to get real work done.

Good Reads: 

Brainstorming Questions

  • Do Business Innovation Architects and Action Hero’s isolate the Craftspersons from excessive change and thrash?
  • Are Craftspersons expected to assume Big Picture responsibilities that are difficult to perform well given their role?
  • Does the project team try to sell the “fun” of change to Craftspersons who are suffering from excessive thrash?
  • Do Craftspersons get to use their true skills?
  • Can Craftspersons on the project succeed at their job?

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