Animal Farm. Reading After High School. Real Life?

Think about the last time you read a book.

Non-fiction?  Fiction?  It really does not matter.

And this book you read… what did you DO after you read the book?

Did you put it back on your book shelf?

Did you even finish it (smile — you see, *I* start a LOT of books!)

And there it gathers dust until one day… for some reason… you got the urge to pick it back up again.

Started at the beginning.

Or maybe a few pages back from where you left your bookmark.


What did you learn after re-reading the same book again?


Think.  Really Think. [challenge ON my reader!]


What if you read a bunch of books on a topics after using Google to search for “Scrum.” [Note: Page 1 baby!]


What if you read a bunch of cool blogs on the topic of Scrum (like or my personal site at


Did nothing with that information.


One day, you took a class from someone experienced who tied together the real-life version with the book version of the topic.


You went back and read the “books” again.

What happened?

Was it the same experience or were you able to read it from a totally new perspective?

Please share via comments…. I am looking forward to continue learning with you!

Thank you,

- mike vizdos


  1. Damn, you’re good.

    Ok … how about a metaphor for taboo / willful ignorance? Kinda the flip-side of this paradigm, when something’s dead obvious … the elephant in the room that isn’t explicitly operational until/unless you actually bump into it.

  2. Ben,


    And when you bump into it… then what?

  3. First time I’ve heard about Scrum, and attended SCRUM workshop, everything we learned in the workshop seem pretty common sense and simple to execute. However, having no experience, I had no real good questions to ask, and no real insight into various challenges of SCRUM. I had lengthy slides from the workshop, which I put away somewhere in my drawer after the workshop was completed.

    After practicing scrum with my team for about a year, I realized there must be some fundamentals I (and the team) is constantly overlooking. It seemed we were constantly battling one thing after another, and in no way nearing the high performance SCRUM was to bring. As a beginner scrum master, I began to doubt my team’s ability and my ability to adopt scrum successfully. To help with this, I wanted to learn about typical challenges other teams go through when adopting scrum and how the teams pull through them. I searched for some SCRUM books, and remembered the booklet of slides from the work shop. I pulled them out, and going through it second time, I was truely able to understand and see the needs behind the scrum funadmentals which my team and myself have forgotten and have deviated from many times.

    “Individuals and interactions over processes”, “Working software over extensive documentation”, and lastly which I think is most important, “responding to change over following a plan”.

    As a scrum master working with scrum team, one of the hardest thing to adapt for the whole team was changing from planning, monitoring, and controlling, to embracing changes and responding to them. We’ve come a long way, but there is still a sense of discomfort with embracing changes that I see in my team members. The key thing to remember is to respond to changes in a way that it does not distrupt the work within two week iteration, sometimes taking advantage of the two week planning cycles, to put things off until next planning cycle if needed. Still, it’s easier said than done with business priorities that can change very fast.

  4. Preeeeezactly!
    Received wisdom is that at best you’ll burst into flames. More likely you’ll be exposed as not just a bumbling fool but an imposter, a fake, a fraud and an incompetent one at that.
    Sooooo, since there’s no hope of any positive outcome … I mean, really, what to do except ignore?!

    (Didja read Roots? (I am of an age … I did the book review for CBC Radio … ah-lah, youth!) There’s a scene where the new-born is brought outside and held up high to face the star-filled sky and told, “Behold, the only thing greater than yourself!”
    That ain’t us.

    stay well

  5. p.s.1 the obvious cliche is “The Emperor’s new clothes”. I mean think of the existentials: crows, throngs of people praising the material and the cut while buddy’s up there starkers. To contradict that?! The fable is antique, but it anticipates any number of impecably replicatable social psych experiments in conformity.

    p.s.2 Real nice blog functionality. But “edit” would be nice.I know, I gnohw, it’s a pain to implement … but taipoez distract.


  6. well, up in Canada you’d start by *apologising*, LOL …

  7. I “read” a lot. well audio books, but they count in my view. i always finish, and often reread if the book is good. I could go on and on about good books, but wanted to address the main point here, which is mentioned in a great book called “made to stick”.
    The idea is that “abstract” is the language of experts. As we gather concrete experience, we can reference it much more powerfully in the abstract world. But the abstract isn’t really meaningful without the concrete.
    I believe this is part of the issue with reading a book, but not having the class/job experience/etc.
    When Ben says “taboo / willful ignorance” he has a story. Probably a bunch of stories (…and my sympathies :-) but if you have yet to have your stories, the impact just isn’t there for you.

  8. I read all of ken’s books on scrum.

    Then i read all of the agile books i could get my hands on for about a year (xp, crystal, tdd, bob martin, peter schuh, etc etc)

    then i joined a team that said they were ‘agile’

    then i was sad.

    then i read kens books again.

    then i was excited again.

    This is hard…. really hard.

    I can’t wait to read those books again (I’ve lent them out to my project manager and team members)

Speak Your Mind