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Slicing the elephant into Carpaccio…. is that even legal?

Learn fast

Don’t “fail often and fast” but “learn fast” should be our focus and what we communicate. Customers don’t like to hear you are planning to fail and even so you what to do it fast! Alistair Cockburn thinks that reducing risk and I tend to agree. Getting knowledge of all the uncertainties which of many there are in the category of the unknown  unknown.



Jeff Pattern argues that “You need to leave the office to learn what you don’t know!!!! Go where the people you’re helping work.” Well, Alistair argues that the people at the jobs don’t know that they need and don’t have time to figure it out, so you will only be in their way.

I believe that you should go to GEMBA (go see the forest) and you’ll learn more than staying home but don’t leave it with that. If possible get collaboration between developers and business people at a minimum of organizing daily coffee in a relaxed environment for giving a change of making an informal room for sharing knowledge.

Reality is often not agile friendly! Using an indicator of how agile friendly a business is will help you making decisions. Just set a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 if like pivotal labs – really agile in the hole organization and a 1 for a an public organization that are extremely political and where trust is something you use to gain personal advancement in their carrier. 

Coming back to Learning fast surely potentially helps covering Risks like business risk, people related risks, Technical risk and Cost schedule risk, but it’s not given by itself. You need to slice it. Slice it into the right small Carpaccio slices though the 7 layer architecture (vertical) and NOT horizontal.  
Coming back to teams that are Learning fast surely helps mitigating like business risk, people related risks, Technical risk or/and Cost schedule risk, but it’s not given by itself. You need to slice it. Slice it into the right small Carpaccio slices though the 7 layer architecture (vertical) and NOT horizontal.   
So Alistair Cockburn did a whole three hour exercise learning to slice the Carpaccio. Surly everybody knows how to eat an elephant, which is to eat it in pieces.

BUT slicing the elephant into Carpaccio is that even legal? Well as long as we don’t loses or job or go to jail it’s just what we as a fast-learning-risk-reducing-super-professional-CMMI 5-software producing company NEED to do.

Enabling slicing incremental business value part into less than a hour’s work is very provoking as we are many who strive to get a user story into the max of 3-5 days and every day’s work described into at a max of a day’s work and even this is hard. How can we produce Value in less than an hour? Why is that so hard? What is preventing me of doing this? Resistance at my team, misunderstanding of the agile  concepts, misinformed agilist, lazy people  or is it just due our lack of knowing  that this is possible. Now we know. Now we know!

Check out Alistair Cockburn’s blog where you’ll find the Carpaccio slicing exercise.
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If you don’t know Alistair Cockburn – you must know this! He is the one how rented the ski cottage where the agile manifesto was written. He is in the agile movement almost from the start and invented the agile way of working called “Crystal Clear”. He has been in the inner circle of the agile many years and an often speaker at agile conferences. He has an agile angle that is worth listen to.

Today he was a guest at Systematic as a speaker. I’ve concluded my learning of today. 

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