Chickens Kicked Out of the Scrum Pig Pen

Jeff Sutherland covers the familiar Scrum metaphor about pigs and chickens:

Chicken: Let's start a restaurant!

Pig: What would we call it?

Chicken: Ham n' Eggs!

Pig: No thanks. I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!

I got kicked out of the pig pen today! We just started our first official Scrum project today with the first day of the Sprint. Unofficially I’ve run two Scrum projects already though I’m working more from book/blog knowledge than deep experience with Scrum.

We have a fairly knowledgeable consultant on hand coaching us on the process. The best thing of course, the whole reason you hire consultants, is that she has a lot more experience than we do with Agile methodologies with several large clients. So I’m pretty desperate to get any help I can get, especially help we’re paying for.

I sent a friendly email to the Scrum Master for this pilot project asking if I could attend the daily Scrum with one of my employees as chickens. I was very explicit that we would just be observers hoping to pick up some tips and tricks, and that we would probably only attend 1-2 per week. After about 4 hours I got an email back explaining that it was the Scrum Master’s role to protect the team from distractions so they don’t want us to attend since the team is very fragile. Clever argument since it is a central role of the Scrum Master, too bad we hadn’t proved we would disrupt the team in any way.

I think our organization has a long way to go to get Agile. Right now we’re too scared to share.