Friday, December 4, 2009

The Chicken and the Pig

I came across this interesting concept while attending one a training on Agile/Scrum.

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A number of roles are defined in Scrum. All roles fall into two distinct groups—pigs and chickens—based on the nature of their involvement in the development process. These groups get their names from a joke about a pig and a chicken opening a restaurant:

A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, “Hey, why don’t we open a restaurant?” The pig looks back at the chicken and says, “Good idea, what do you want to call it?” The chicken thinks about it and says, “Why don’t we call it ‘Ham and Eggs’?” “I don’t think so,” says the pig, “I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved.”

So the “pigs” are committed to building software regularly and frequently, while everyone else is a “chicken”—interested in the project but really indifferent because if it fails they’re not the pigs—that is, they weren’t the ones that committed to doing it. The needs, desires, ideas and influences of the chicken roles are taken into account, but are not in any way allowed to affect, distort or get in the way of the actual Scrum project.

The Pigs are the ones committed to the project in the Scrum process—they are the ones with “their bacon on the line.”

Interesting to relate this with relationships. A date is a chicken, while your spouse is a pig. If you screw up, the date is only involved and can shrug shoulders and move on. While the spouse is committed and takes the fall too. I am wondering where would a live in partner fit in this schema of things.