The Three Stooges & Agile

As I kid I loved watching the Three Stooges. However, even then I was a bit of a skeptic. It didn’t quite feel real. An elegant women in a beautiful dinner dress throwing a dinner party for a dozen or more guests. At one point she is informed by her staff that there is a problem with the house’s plumbing, a leak has sprung in a pipe in the basement.  [image from labeled for reuse]

Being an intelligent and self-actualized woman she immediately takes charge. Requesting a phone book she quickly looks up ‘plumbers,’ finds a perfectly respectable looking listing for professional plumbing repair, and she dials the phone. An intelligent sounding corporate representative accepts the call, reassures the woman that they can handle the problem, and says they will dispatch the plumbers right away.

Of course, they company sends the Three Stooges. Incredibly the clearly successful and intelligent woman does the most unbelievable thing when she answers the door. She sees The Three Stooges and she invites them in to fix the plumbing.

“Nobody would let the Three Stooges in to fix plumbing,” I would say to myself in disbelief, “this is ridiculous.”

Later, after I had grown up and hired a few repair people myself I learned better. Yes. Yes, you really do invite the three stooges in to fix your plumbing—all of the time! I’m pretty sure Curly installed the network in my office.

Given all of the information at hand, hiring the Thee Stooges appears to be a perfectly rational thing to do, “Please come in Larry, Curly, and Moe.”

Large organizations trying to hire Agile coaches have the same problem.  It is highly likely if you need a coach you don’t actually know how to select one.

The problem isn’t that Agile coaches are not useful. They are very useful if they actually know what they are doing. I’ve never seen a large organization become Agile without using coaches. However, if you don’t understand Agile how do you pick your coach?

Is Curly fixing your plumbing?

By Tom (Thomas) Meloche –

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