Migration and Clarity

Massachusetts, my home, has experienced progressively warmer winters. One consequence is that many birds that used to migrate through Massachusetts now stop in Massachusetts for the winter.

The result is birds everywhere.

Ben, a farmer in the middle of Massachusetts, had been plagued by an overwhelming number of ducks, geese, and other migratory birds. They were in his fields, in his barn yard (mixing in with the chickens), on his porch, on his barn … just everywhere. But people here are hardy and Ben endured.

One day Ben had an early appointment at the farm co-op to discuss yields, planting and harvesting schedule, how to work around the geese, and so forth.

Ben tried to walk to his pickup truck to drive to the meeting. Even walking to it was difficult; Ben had to push, cajole, and eventually kick his way through all the birds. When Ben got to his pickup, the it’s bed was full of ducks, geese, and other larger birds. Ben shooed them out, but they had no place to go, so they got right back into the bed of the pickup. Ben went through several cycles of this before he realized he was late for his meeting. 

Ben took off down the road to get to the co-op meeting. As he didn’t want to be too late, Ben was speeding.

In Massachusetts, state police officers are euphemistically and fondly known as “Staties.” Well, one Statie was on the side of the road timing traffic. When Ben roared past, the statie took off after him, quickly pulling him to the side of the road.

The Statie got out of his squad car, hitched up his belt, and – as he walked to Ben’s truck – did a double take when he spotted the ducks and geese, which were hissing at him. The Statie got to Ben’s driver’s window. “What in tarnation are you doing. You were speeding, but you also are a hazard with all those birds in the bed of your truck.”

Ben told the Statie his story. He and the Statie got into a discussion of the change in migration and the results. The Statie told Ben how all the birds made it hard for the Staties to conduct work from their barracks. One hair-trigger officer even went out and shot several, before he was wrestled to the ground.

Ben was beside himself. He asked the Statie for advice. “What should I do, how can I continue running a farm?”  The Statie’s advice was blunt and he thought unambiguous. “I’d take them to the zoo!!”

The next day, the Statie is running his speed trap from the same place. He could not believe his eyes when Ben speeds past in the same pickup truck. The Statie pulls out, catches up, and pulls Ben over. 

The Statie is stunned. Bens pickup truck bed is still full of ducks and geese, all wearing small Red Sox baseball caps. The Statie comes up to Ben and asks, “What is this? Where are you going? What are you doing? Have you lost your f@*$)# mind?”

Ben responded, “Yesterday, you were right on. The ducks and geese loved the zoo so much that today I’m taking them to the beach!!”

How does this tale demonstrate Scrum principles? Which ones? How?

3 thoughts on “Migration and Clarity

  1. Hi Ken, my answer is empirical process control with a sense of humour 🙂 for sure! And collaboration, because he asked for advice!

    I would like to ask you for advice. There is a discussion going on about a scrum master being a technical or non-technical role. Many people (especially agile coaches) say that to be a good scrum master, you have to be a programmer first, you have to know programming languages. And they don’t mean just knowing the development process, flow, what is pair programming, refactoring, exploratory testing, and so on. They literally mean creating code or being able to test and read the code. Many people think that if you cannot, you cannot also be helpful to the team as a scrum master. What is your opinion about that?

    I’d be glad if you were my Statie on this one!

    • First and foremost the ScrumMaster is a change agent, instilling and helping people treasure each other, Scrum values, and to appreciate the universal power and applicability of emiricism.
      The rest, not so much..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s