Since the original publication of this cartoon series (starting September 11, 2006) I have made a few updates to the content of this page. Nothing has materially changed since we started the series; if anything, I hope it adds clarification to the overall content! This story is the first in an ongoing series to help explain what Scrum “is.”
What Scrum “is not.”
Will we get it correct all the time?
Probably not. And that is OK. The plan is for all of us to learn.
Your comments are always welcome.
So, why are we using a Chicken and Pig? The story depicted above, as weird as it is, helps me — and others — explain two of the main types of people in Scrum.
I am amazed that the Human Resource Departments of many companies I consult with have not shut down this example; it is probably only a matter of time. This is still the best example I know of to explain the roles, and this is what our cartoon series reflects.
The basic premise of the Chicken and the Pig can be seen from the cartoon example above.
Here is an easy definition of the Chickens versus Pigs.
A Pig is someone who has skin in the game. My friend (and super awesome person!) Mike Cohn aptly refers to the people in that role as, “Having their Bacon on the line.”
Pig roles are considered core team members. Performers. People who “do” work.
A Chicken is someone who has something to gain by the Pigs performing, but in the end, really do not contribute day to day to “getting things done.” Their “eggs” are a renewable resource, and many get laid (eggs that is).
I get asked the following question by many people when starting to use Scrum:
“Can I be a Pig and Chicken at the same time?”
You cannot be a Pig and a Chicken at the same time.
This is something I work with middle managers who struggle with this on a daily basis. The concept takes coaching, and constant [gentle] reminders that they cannot be a Pig/Chicken. I call this a Pigkin… and it is something you do not want to see in any organization!
A video commentary of this cartoon can be viewed here (it was posted February 16, 2008):
We will examine this and other issues in this series, as this is fun to see happen (sometimes sad WHILE it is happening, but funny to imagine).
I do hope the simplicity of the cartoon above gets the point across. Remember it. It will serve us well in the journey ahead.
Please send comments, questions, criticisms, ideas, or whatever here.
If you’d like to learn more about me (Michael Vizdos), please visit MichaelVizdos.com.
September 11, 2006
May 1, 200
October 23, 2007
February 16, 2008 (with Video)
November 29, 2006