The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Forget Rugby…instead…Football!

Posted by kenhoward on October 9, 2009

ScrumN Iowa Iowa Football and Rugby as an analogy for project work has been around since Nonaka and Tekeuchi introduced them in a Harvard Business Review article in 1986.    Since that time, Scrum has become part of the defacto vocabulary of Agile project teams.

In his blog “Pagan Tuna”, Herb Bowie offers a brilliant updated analogy that addresses the combined invidual and team behaviors on a project.   It doesn’t hurt that his football analogy coincides with the feverish enthusiasm at the beginning of a new football season.   Check it out here.

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One Response to “Forget Rugby…instead…Football!”

  1. Petri Heiramo said

    While the “Pagan Tuna” blog did raise very good points regarding how teams should behave and act, comparing them to American football (I use the full name as I’m not an American 🙂 ) is a bit dangerous. Anyone knowing the game knows how tightly it is coordinated by the coaching staff and that the game decisions are very much at the hands of a single individual during a given game. Also, most people have a single role that they very much stick to (like the kicker, all he does is kick the ball).

    Compare that to the team play needed in for example these rugby goals – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heoO_5MvZ0w – I definitely feel that rugby is much more appropriate mental framework. As far as I know, there are people with different strengths in a rugby team, and they use those to the team’s advantage, but each player is first and foremost a team member, a specialist second.

    However, it is good to keep in mind that no single allegory will ever describe something fully. 🙂

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