You might be curious to learn about the classic story of the Scrum chicken and pig cartoon.
Since the original publication of this cartoon series (September 11, 2006) I have made a few updates to the content of this page.
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The Classic Story of the Scrum Chicken and Pig Cartoon
This story is the first in an ongoing series to help explain what Scrum “is.”
What Scrum “is not.”
Do we get it correct all the time?
Probably not. And that is OK. The plan is for all of us to learn.
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!
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September 11, 2006