Why Scrum can be compared to an airplan cockpit?
Every time I’m teaching Scrum to a new team, immediately before presenting the framework, I show this slide.
I love metaphors and showing a cockpit of a plane, helps me to explain and to focalize the attention of the attendees, at least on three major concepts regarding Scrum. Actually the idea is neither new nor mine. I saw it years ago, attending to a webinar on the internet. I did like it very much and I decided to use it on my own.
Embracing agile, scrum in particular, can be thought as a journey. It will bring you from one place to a completely and fascinating new one. But, as it happens for any journey, you should be trustful and patient, because during the trip you are going to spend time, money, mental and physical resources. So, remain calm and keep focused.
To travel means to make new experiences that let us change and grow as human beings. Traveling through agile is the same thing: you will find yourself changed and grown at the end of the trip, but be ready, then, to leave your old habits and wearing new ones.
Ah, I was forgetting, the whole organization is in charge to take such a journey…not only the teams.
The cockpit of that airplane, as you can see, is full of any type of visual indicators, which give immediately to the pilot any necessary information about the flight: altitude, level of fuel, pressure, etc. This set of information, immediately visible and available, helps the pilot to adjust the route and take quickly any necessary decision in order to have a safe trip.
Scrum makes large use of these visual indicators: the burndown and burnup charts, the task and team boards, the velocity trend graph, the impediment backlog, etc. This information is always visible and available to the team to help it see what is going on, taking the best choices.
Time-boxing, Efficiency, Transparency and Excellence
Finally, the plane, flight and the cabin crew, are good metaphors for, respectively, the workplace, a sprint and the team.
The Plane. An airplane is limited in its dimension and allows the crew to have direct contacts and communication. Again, we have lots of visual indicators. The same is of the workplace of an agile team: limited in space, where the team is collocated and full of visual indicators.
The Flight: the flight duration is somehow time-boxed as well as the other ceremonies the cain crew does during the flight.
The same is for scrum, everything is time-boxed.
The Team: every member of the crew has a well-defined role and clear responsibilities (transparency). Every team member has a strong specialization (excellence, cross-functional), but is available to help others in their duties (redundancy and strong collaboration approach).
Hence, is not important whether you are the pilot, the co-pilot or a cabin attendant.
The important is to get the flight and then, enjoy the trip!
Have a safe trip with Scrum.