Why Differences Matter

November 17, 2017 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Many people hold that we should not be comparing things but can learn  by finding the similarities.  The thinking behind this appears to be that judgment is included in the comparison.   Sometimes that may be true.  But looking at differences can be a way of understanding as well.  Comparison without judgment is also possible.  For example, if you want to learn about falcons and hawks, and ask an expert, she might say something like this:

"Falcons are smaller birds than hawks which are generally large but with shorter wings compared to falcons. ... Falcons have a notch on their beaks while hawks have a simple curve on the beak. 3. Falcons grab their prey with the beaks while hawks use talons on the feet to kill prey."

This answer mentions differences between falcons and hawks but it is not judging one as better than another.

We should not assume comparisons imply judgment.  Even when they do, what is the learning available.  For example, seeing how Scrum and Kanban are different may lead to ideas for both Scrum users (e.g., incorporate Kanban ideas into Scrum) and Kanban users (e.g., incorporate Scrum ideas into Kanban). Of course, I believe we should come from Lean and just use Team-Agility, but that's another story. :)

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With over 40 years of experience, Alan is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, SAFe, Scrum and agile design.



        

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