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03 Jul 2010, 21:57
Brian Tarbox (18 posts)

Having reading all of the skeptic patterns I think you missed one near and dear to my heart: The Expert.

The Expert knows all techniques, has used them all before, and has more experience with them than you or anyone else could possibly have (5 years of IPad development, 10 years of Android, etc. My favorite non-work example is the dance school that advertised that their 16 year old assistant instructor had 17 years of ballet training.)

There is no presenting a new technique to the Expert because they’ve already done it. Either they dismiss for unspecified reasons, or worse they embrace it but with them in charge. When they butcher the implementation you’re not allowed to argue because they’re the Expert.

I encountered a self described Scrum Master who held daily 60 minute “standup” meetings that were so rambling that most people started bringing their laptops to do other work so that it wasn’t a total waste of time. When I suggested to management that we ban laptops from the “standup” meeting (figuring that would drive the meeting shorter) I was told that only the Expert could make changes to Scrum.

How should we deal with this this type of Skeptic? Thanks.

07 Jul 2010, 01:23
Terrence Ryan (4 posts)

I think that is a great observation, but in general it’s how they resist (or are skeptical with you) that matters. An expert such as you have mentioned might present as a cynic or a burned. It depends on if they are stating that they have experience with your tool or technique of choice. They might also be irrational, using their “expertise” as cover for resisting you.

In any case, treat them as one of these, and I think you’ll be fine.

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