Last Sunday, early morning onwards I was not at my best, due to a minor a discomfort at my chest. By evening i was lucky to be inside the coronary care unit of the Medical trust hospital, Kochi, where the pain aggrevated (thanks to smoking, and other life style related stuff). The pain was severe. While at the helm of pain, all I could see was the ’emotion less’ face of the duty doctor, and his team of around 4-5 nurses surrounding my bed. They went ahead with their business (they are so used to such scenes), and as a result I am still alive. While recovering inside the intensive care unit, I got amble time to observe the team work of the staff inside the intensive care unit. Even if I am trainer of project management (especially agile project management), I have never ever experienced this kind of an agile – self organizing team behavior. They quickly established a very special relationship with their clients (the patients in critical condition). They never called the patients their names, instead called them Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunty…..It was a wonderful experience. The team members, most of the time used nick names or the local ‘vada’, ‘vadi’, ‘poda’, ‘podi’ – to greet each other. Initially it looked very unprofessional to my corrupted mind. These very same terms could have created trouble in a so called professional set up, where as here it was working very well for them. The team’s goal is always to save the life of their patients….so these shallow formalities did not matter to them. The focus was always on;
- Saving the life of the patient
- Comfort of the patient
- Speed of operation
It did not matter, who did what. Someone was doing what ever is necessary. Of course, they had some very light weight management processes to facilitate this like maintaining the patient’s diary – and at the same time, there was no dilution to the medical procedures.
To me, the doctor in charge of the intensive care unit looked like a very efficient SCRUM master. He was not allocating work. He used to just mention the situation, and what is the course of action….then someone from the team did it. There was absolutely no work allocation. There was no role definition among the team members as well. I am amazed by the team work inside the ICU.