The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work

Hand Crafted Sausages – a Metaphor from Josh Kerievsky

with 2 comments

Reflecting on the Rally Agile Success Tour in Los Angeles, I discussed the “sausage syndrome” as one of the more painful issues between the Agile champion and his/her executive(s):

The “sausage syndrome”: “Don’t bother me with details how you do the software – just get it done” seems to be the attitude of numerous “business executives.”  I must admit I still don’t get it. Software is becoming pervasive on an unprecedented scale. And, software is becoming bigger and bigger component of just about any product in which it is embedded. Ditto for software as part of the business process. What is your recipe for success if you (as an executive) don’t get down and dirty on such a major component of your business?!

Joshua Kerievsky and I discussed the metaphor during an elevator ride in Agile 2009. Josh’s pointed out how delicious hand crafted sausages are. Moreover, he emphasized how intentional and thoughtful a good chef is about the ingredients going  into such sausages.

I used this metaphor in a teleconference I had earlier today with a CEO contemplating a large scale rollout of Agile. He chuckled and enquired about the right kind of beer to go with the sausages. Caught empty handed (was “Pilsner” the right answer?!), I promised an answer no later than my next elevator ride with Josh..

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Written by israelgat

September 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Upper level execs shouldn’t be involved in the nuts and bolts of software development process and practices. Instead, they should be clear on what they expect software development process and practices will give them.

    Sometimes I suspect they don’t know what’s possible. That’s why I created http://blog.gdinwiddie.com/2009/08/18/diy-projectprocess-evaluation-kit/ to help them consider what questions are useful and important for them.

    George Dinwiddie

    September 5, 2009 at 11:17 am

    • I often run into situations in which an executive simply does not know how to relate to Agile. Knowing what really make Agile so effective, what the executive owns/does not own in the Agile process, what his/her deliverables in the Agile context are, and what behavior(s) enhance Agile usually suffice to “convert” an exec to Agile.

      Israel

      Israel Gat

      September 6, 2009 at 10:35 am


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