February 10, 2014

Agile Dishwasher Etiquette

Halfway through one of Storm’s Agile scrums and a discussion develops on dishwasher etiquette.

It arose because one of the team’s children introduced a new house rule about the dishwasher. The 9 year old insisted that various pieces of crockery should be put in certain positions and that knives and forks had to be placed in separate sections of the cutlery basket. Common sense you might think and two other team members agreed.

It quickly became apparent that in the various households, there was always someone who carried a torch for loading the dishwasher properly, much to the chagrin of their partners and kids.

But that wasn’t the real point of the tale.

When the child who invented the house rule calmly told his mother about the idea, he was met with a studied, “I will try dear.” When he tried the same speech with his sister, he was met with a pout, to which he quickly responded: “What do you think of this…”

In a political astute and shall we say Agile move, the child had quickly diffused the situation by bringing his sister into a debate, rather than giving her an order. A great example of how Agile can always beat the Command and Control management technique.

But you can rest assured dishwasher etiquette will not appear on next week’s scrum agenda, and the penalty has been paid for taking the meeting off on a tangent – an extra week of kitchen duty.

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