Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Pigs and Chickens

So you are in an emerging agile team fighting against the ingrained waterfall style development that has existed for years, you are still in the early stages of getting everything working and feeling right, suddenly people are being referred to Pigs and Chickens but has anyone actually explained to you why? Well, it all comes from a story that Ken Schwaber started in the early days of Scrum, it goes something like this:

A chicken and a pig are brainstorming...

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!

"The real issue for a Scrum is who is committed to the project and accountable for deliverables. The committed get to talk at the daily Scrum meeting. They are the pigs and their butts are on the line. We could call them contributors if we don't like pig terminology. " - Jeff Sutherland

"People who are not committed to the project and are not accountable for deliverables at the meeting do not get to talk. They are excess overhead for the meeting. They might be called eavesdroppers if you don't like chickens. Whatever we call them it should have a negative connotation because they tend to sap productivity. They are really suckers or parasites that live off the work of others. Sorry to be political incorrect but others should come up with a euphemism that conveys the right balance between being "nice" and communicating clearly that eavesdroppers must minimize their impact on the productivity of the team. " - Jeff Sutherland

Read more on this in the following article by Jeff Sutherland which explains things in a little more detail: scrum pigs and chickens, also J.D. Meier has an interesting idea on how to turn chickens into pigs.

No comments: