The Agile ScorpionAugust 16, 2013
A frog approaches a stream and sees a scorpion by the bank. The scorpion cannot cross the stream alone, so he asks the frog to carry him across the stream on its back. The frog is wary of the scorpion and says “You might sting me and I will die.” The scorpion assures the frog he wouldn’t do that because then they both would die. The frog agrees. Then halfway across the stream the scorpion stings the frog. The frog begins to sink. Before they both drown the frog asks “Why?” The scorpion replies: “It’s my nature.”
This Aesop’s fable proclaims a warning for all of those who are on their agile journey. Agile transformation is difficult enough. You must also watch out for scorpions. While change is hard for many people, the scorpions you may find, as in the story, have no intention of changing – but they won’t tell you that. They could take the form of a team member, a manager, someone from another department that “supports” your team, an external business partner, and so forth.
It is truly unfortunate that the agile change “paralyzes” some people, but it does. The level of change is significant. So if you detect a scorpion among those on the agile journey with you, you can’t afford to tolerate their dangerous nature. You will put your project and your agile transformation at significant risk. Let them go be productive somewhere else. You can’t afford to take the chance.
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