Agile team - rockband metaphor

I've been thinking about proper metaphor about traditional (aka waterfall) and
adaptive (aka agile) process and came to this - lets think about rock band.


You can create neat studio album using random people. First you will record drums, then bass. After that you can try different guitars...

If guitar sounds badly you will try to fix it or use something else. Then you will do mastering and mixing, adding effects and creating a nice cover. In a couple of month you will have album with clean sound and neat content, great cover.

The key is that here you should pay more attention to the process. You need to have a good plan (lyrics and music). This going to be lengthy but you will be fine even if bus guitarist decides to leave in the middle of the process - just arrange a replacement. In music it works fine, but in business time plays against you and plan may not be relevant.


You with your band are on a stage. You did have a time for soundcheck but was drinking beer instead. So you are here and you just need to start rocking. In the process strings going to burst, occasionally singer will forget lyrics and sometimes guitar will play something different from what was expected. But song is going on and you have only one option - continuously adjust in order to keep rocking.

You going to screw things if guys in your band see eachother for a first time and haven't had a chance to get to knew each other. Process much less relevant here - in one band the guitarist going to lead and others need to adjust, in the other it would be bass guitarist. However these people should able to work effectively together and have certain level of skill and trust.

This metaphor is helping me to coin two most important factors of being Agile:

One is to adapt plan to the reality.
If front-man suddenly starts to sing refrain others needs to follow. If guitar gets broken, show still must go on.

People and they ability to work together is more important that process they follow
Which means that you should probably pay less emphasis to the certifications, skillset, trainings and Agile conference participation record, but more how these particular people can work together.


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