Do you do Scrum? I would guess that 90% of Swedish programmers would answer yes.
Do you have retrospectives? Again most developers’ answer is, yes.
Will you empty the impediment backlog before the next retrospective? Silence.
This post is for those of you who remain silent after the last question.
The first improvement is to see the impediment backlog (or improvement backlog which I feel is a little bit more positive name for it) as the sprint backlog for the Scrum Master.
This leads to a changed attitude. No developer would allow non-concrete items in the Sprint Backlog. Developers want to know what to do, what the definition of done is and how the task should be demoed. The same should apply for the impediment backlog. The Scrum Master should make sure he/she knows what tasks need to be done and when the item is considered done.
If the item is about changed behaviour, like “We should be more polite to each other” it can be hard to find actions to take. Having a corner of “wishful behaviour” on the Scrum Board can solve this. My suggestion is to have a maximum limit of three wishful behaviours. If we have more we lose focus. As a Scrum Master, you can remind the team about this behaviour change and check if they feel the behaviour has changed or not.
Conclusion: only accept impediments with concrete action points!
Good luck Scruming