Once we understand what WoW is, next question that comes to our mind is where do we start? One simple way I have found quite useful is to separate facts from fiction (our opinions) by calling out what we think they are, followed by verifying them. For example.
I Know (fact) and ask ourselves (how do I know)
I (assume / believe / value) and ask why do I have (that opinion)
A real life scenario will make that clear.
Situation: Lack of self-organization
Team unable to take decisions though capable of taking
E.g. who will work on which task?
Team Member-1: Nobody told me which task to work on.
Q: Who is supposed to tell you?
A: I assume scrum master will tell.
Q: Why do you assume so?
A: I believe it is Scrum master’s responsibility.
Q: Have you asked her?
A: No, but I will check, and then ask the right person.
Team Member-2: I am new to this project.
Q: Did you ask other team members?
A: No. I know they also wait for the team leader to tell them what to work on.
Q: What if the team leader is not in office?
A: We wait till he comes.
Q: Don’t you think you could save time if team knew which items who should work on?
A: True. That is what we used to do in our previous project. Team leader would assign tasks in the agile tool.
Q: Have you suggested that in this project?
A: No, I believe this is the way this team works, so I should do the same.
Q: Would you like to suggest it to the team leader?
A: I assume he would not like a junior member of the team do so.
Q: Would you like to try it and see what happens?
A: That’s a good idea. If it works I will make a good impression on the team leader.
Team Leader: I am accountable for the results so can’t take any risk till the team matures.
Q: Do you know whether team is immature, or you are assuming it?
A: I know they are immature.
Q: How do you know?
A: I believe it takes years of experience to become mature, as I have.
Q: Do you think all those who have many more years of experience are more mature than you?
A: Of course not. I know quite a few who are not as good as me.
Q: So length of experience is not the only criteria for maturity?
A: Hmm, I guess so.
Q: How about allowing them to take some decisions which you think they are capable of? This may help them mature more quickly.
A: It may work, it may not. But too much is at stake because my promotion is being considered at present.
Q: So you value looking good more important than being effective?
A: When you put it that way, could be that is what is holding me back. On second thought, I think by helping the team become matured may actually help me show better performance and bag that promotion.
We can enroll our team members / peers to ask us such questions and in turn we can help them by asking such questions. After some time it becomes a habit and we start asking ourselves these questions.