Project management lessons from the chicken and the pig

You may already know this story, but for those who don’t I hope this will provide an interesting distraction.

Mr Pig and Mr Chicken were taking a stroll through the farmyard one day and thinking about a life outside of the ranch. Mr Chicken says, “Hey Mr Pig, we should bust this coop and pig pen routine and get ourselves free, then we could live a new life and start a restaurant.”

Mr Pig says, “Nice idea, what do you want to call it?”

Mr Chicken replies, “I thought maybe ‘Ham ‘n’ Eggs’ would work.”

Mr Pig shudders and says, “Well, that sounds like some serious commitment from me, while you would only really just be ‘involved’ in passing.”


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This ‘fable’ is sometimes used to explain the differences in roles that exist between team members using the SCRUM Agile management system.

Pigs of course are totally committed to the project and “give their everything” to the cause of the work in hand. In the (human) world of scrum, these are the guys and girls that will produce detailed functional specifications for the project and get heavily involved in testing, project architecture and supporting documentation/annotations etc.

Logically then, the ScrumMaster is quite definitely porcine, swine-based and altogether porky.

The chicken division then (in human terms) is made up of stakeholders, temporary team members, supervisory managers and other individuals who will have smaller roles in the total project.

Although scrum chickens are sometimes referred to as “preening roosters” or “hopeless gamecocks”, they are still needed for the scrum project to exist in the first place. Otherwise it’s just roast pork and nothing else right?

You can read top tips for using scrum here on Computer Weekly.

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