In the world of product development, having a singular focus is generally recognised as one of the keys for success. Having a Product Vision, Product Goal, or Sprint Goal spring to mind as common ways focus is practised.
Unfortunately, in real life, we are asked to do lots of stuff by lots of people. It’s just the way it is. Fortunately, there are many ways to handle this depending on the complexity of the requests themselves.
It’s very normal for teams who are not used to autonomy and self-management to find comfort in being told a process to follow. Part of that might be asking for best practice on what to do in certain scenarios. You’ll even find best practice agile being touted online too (I won’t be linking to any of these but use Google if you’re interested).
Quelle surprise, I don’t believe there is a single best way to do something for every team and situation. Agile isn’t grounded in process but in mindset – process can change based on what we learn by actually DOING STUFF.
One of my favourite parts of being a scrum master is working beyond the team with the wider organisation. Doing this you get a huge amount of exposure to things that might be impacting value and, subsequently, an opportunity to build an end-to-end picture of why.
I heard recently, not for the first time either, a statement along the lines of “we take the bits of agile that work for us… and leave the rest”. All this does is remind me of the Key and Peele Continental Breakfast sketch, and this situation would be funny if it wasn’t so commonplace.
This is a common mindset and, in my opinion, stems from a basic misunderstanding of what Agile actually is.