Why Differences Matter

May 26, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Consider talking to a 5 yr old about tools. Perhaps you start with a claw hammer. You tell her how she can drive nails in boards with it. Then she sees a screw & says “that’s a funny looking nail, can you drive screws in with a hammer?” You say “no, for that you need a screwdriver.”

In reality, one can drive a nail with a screwdriver & even screw in a screw with the claw of the hammer. But clearly one is better for different uses. Tools have different intention that are readily apparent in the physical world.

This, unfortunately, is not true in the software world. Scrum & XP are based on different propostions, Scrum focusing on a framework, XP on its practices. The "side-effects" of these differences, while significant, are hard to see both because software development is a complex system & the work itself is not visible. The same is true about the differences in approaches at scale.

The intent of discussing differences includes understanding where an approach is better and being able to learn from the different approaches.

By considering frameworks, methods, etc., as tools, we can can both have a larger set of options to solve our challenges while avoiding the observation "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Al Shalloway

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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