You don’t know javascript: this is a now famous claim for a very popular language everybody pretended to know about. Same for Agile / Scrum. You don’t know Agile is a series of talk on what you probably don’t know about Agile.

In this episode, we’ll talk about the true origin of Scrum which has been a well kept « secret » since its inception.

Links I referenced in Episode 1:

1. @jeffsutherland: « Toyota uses the Deming PDCA cycle for everything. So does Scrum. »

2. The Secret History of Agile Innovation by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland and Hirotaka Takeuchi

Have Fun and Keep Learning ūüėČ

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Lepine: Hi, Samir! It’s been such a long time since I knew you as a trainee. What have you been up to?

Samir: Hi, Lépine! It’s great to see you again. I’m now the co-founder and CTO of my startup company : Serious Entertainment. And you ?

Lepine: I’ve been consulting¬†for twelve years within various departments of Big Corporates.

Samir: Really, wasn’t it too boring compared to startups you’d known in the Nineties 2000s?

Lepine:¬†Not at all. It’s been a pretty amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot actually

Lepine: … about the Mammoth species.

Samir:¬†Sorry, I’m laughing.

Samir: But sounds interesting, tell me more about them!

Lepine:¬†Well, as you know Mammoths had been facing extinction once‚Ķ and now they’ve been threatened again by FinTech, InsureTech and all other BlahBlahTech

Samir: So what do they do…

Lepine:¬†They’re trying to lose weight so as to become¬†more agile.

Lepine:¬†Can you believe it? And so I’m now Agile Coach and Product Owner and sometimes accidentally Scrummaster.

Samir:¬†Seems obvious, ¬†I remember you’d always been preaching Deming’s P. D. C. A. in Software Project Management. Scrum seems to be close to this method so you’ve beeing doing Agile without the name since I’ve known you 2 decades ago.

Samir:¬†We’re also doing Agile in our company.¬†

Lepine: So happy, you remember Deming. Actually, this is the best kept secret of Scrum co-founder Jeff Sutherland, Scrum extensively uses PDCA without explicitely relating to it at least in the widely distributed guide.

Samir:¬†That didn’t prevent me to recognize PDCA in Scrum. Did Jeff Sutherland ever talked about Deming PDCA ?¬†

Lepine:¬†Sure he did. in a chapter of his live seminar I attended years ago. ¬†If I remember well, it was untitled: « what Deming did teach to Toyota that Toyota now teaches ». Unfortunately someone borrowed the training guide from me but forgot to give it back before leaving.

Lepine:¬†Netherless it’s not worth paying for hearing not more than what he also twitted when answering to LancerKind:

Lepine:¬†« Toyota uses the Deming PDCA cycle for everything. So does Scrum. »

Lepine:¬†At last, you can read the story in Hardvard Business Review « The Secret History of Agile Innovation » recently published in April 2016.

Samir:¬†I’m so happy that you confirmed this to me. I have sometimes difficulty to convince people that Agile should be as simple as that.

Lepine: Yeah but… making things simple is complex, making things complicated is easy.

Samir:¬†You’re crushing my brain, what do you mean?

Lepine:¬†You didn’t understand just because I quoted myself. If you prefer this is what Antoine Saint Exupery said:¬†

Lepine:¬†« Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. »

Samir: I try to understand. This makes me now remember what Bruce Lee taught: 

Samir:¬†« In Jeet Kune Do, one does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity‚Ķ¬†

Samir:¬†It is merely simplicity: the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. »

Lepine:¬†I really love Bruce Lee’s philosophy. In fact, you could study all Grand Masters in any discipline, I’m rather confident they all converge on the same viewpoint. I like to call this « Fractal Thinking ». If you master some other domains, this way of thinking will help you a lot to learn other disciplines.¬†

Samir:¬†Then how would you express Scrum « fractally » with PDCA ?

Lepine:¬†I’d say Scrum is simply 3 nested PDCA.

Samir: Bravo, this is straight to the point.

Samir: Bruce Lee would have clapped his hands !

Categories: Agile Conservations

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