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The Tale of the Pig and the Chicken

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Have you heard about The Tale of The Pig and the Chicken? It goes something like this. 

Chicken and Pig discussing bacon and eggs

The pig and the chicken catch up for breakfast; they are making bacon and eggs. The pig then realises he literally has more skin in the game than the chicken. 

Pig: “You only have to lay an egg. I have to die for this!

Chicken: “Talk about commitment!”

So this story is about COMMITMENT versus INVOLVEMENT

In Scrum, the idea is that the Scrum Team is like the pig in the story; they have skin in the game, they do whatever it takes to deliver the product. The stakeholders are like chickens; they are involved, they consult on the project and are informed of the outcomes. But it’s the Scrum Team who are committed to delivering the product, deciding how much work they take on, and are accountable for the outcomes. 

Work out who is committed and who is merely involved in your situation.

  • Are all the Developers contributing to all the Scrum Events?

  • Is the Product Owner a chicken in disguise? Only turning up to events when they have to and not being present? Or are they committed to seeing their vision delivered? 

  • Are the stakeholders getting more involved than they should? The Product Owner needs to manage the stakeholders which can be tricky. The Product Owner needs to make the decisions, not the stakeholders. They need to make that clear to the stakeholders and have the ability to say ‘no’ when they have to. 

There are limitations to the story as, for example, some stakeholders will have monetary investment in the product or project so they definitely have commitment. But it comes down to trust and allowing the Scrum Team to run and deliver the product in the best way that they see it. 

You may find this useful in your Scrum Team, but don’t let the team start naming people pigs and chickens, or use it as a divide between the team and others. It shouldn’t be taken too seriously but might be useful in initially understanding roles.

RedAgile are Australia's leading Agile Scrum training provider certified by the Scrum Alliance. As Australia's best Scrum training provider we offer Agile Scrum training courses and consulting services both online and in-person. Our training portfolio includes: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) as well as our new Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) courses.

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