Scrum Bestiary – The Pig

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 – 4:00 AM

Pigs give bacon...Rounding out the Scrum Bestiary with its original two protagonists… the chicken and now the pig. Both the pig and the chicken come from Jeff Sutherland’s original sketch about who does what in a Scrum daily standup meeting.

Pigs are the heart of Scrum. They’re the ones who actually do all the work because they’re committed to the project. From their perspective everyone else is a hanger on… and they’re probably spot on. They’re the ones actually sitting in the team room and getting things done when nobody else is on the hook to deliver.

How to spot a pig. They’re the ones always in the team room. Remember… if you’re not in the team room then you’re not on the team.

Pigs say things like:

“Why don’t you just leave us alone to get on with the things we committed to.”

“Give me a prioritized list of stuff you want done and be around to answer my questions.”

What to do with a pig. Be a good swineherd and look after your pigs! They’re the people who going to get your project delivered and nobody else. Don’t disrupt them with other random work or by trying to split them between projects. The business needs allow them to commitment to the project and reward them for helping their team deliver.