My name is Scott Keith Thomas, Jr. and I live in Greenwood Village, Colorado with my lovely wife and amazing kids. I am a technophile, software developer, and crypto-anarchist. And this is my blog.
Why Fighting Chicken?
Early versions of the Scrum guide used the story of the “chicken and pig” as a metaphor to categorize individuals who are committed to the project versus individuals who are just involved with the project. The Scrum Master and the development team were committed to the project and referred to as pigs and the product owner, stakeholders, and shared development resources were involved with the project and referred to as chickens.
This metaphor was used to discuss and examine accountability in Scrum and references to “pigs” and “chickens” were used in almost every discussion of the Scrum framework, theory and principles. At some point in 2011 a campaign started to remove the “chicken and pig” from the Scrum lexicon. The metaphor was believed to be too divisive and offensive to some.
That’s Great – So Why Fighting Chicken?
In 2016, I took on a role at a company to build a modern software development infrastructure, develop a base-line application architecture using the latest tools, technologies, and techniques and help the organization become agile. From a technology consulting standpoint, this was the whole enchilada and this exciting opportunity could only start with one thing – the formation of this organizations first Scrum team. We wanted to blaze a trail for future teams and we were hell bent on forging the mold by which all future Scrum teams would be cast.
We had to act quickly to show the organization how efficient Scrum teams are. We wanted to demonstrate how we can tackle the most complex problems using the might of a cross-functional team. We all sat down to tackle one of the most difficult issues known to agility – what was our team name going to be? We worked feverishly combing the internet for Scrum team names. We didn’t want to be one of those lame companies that color coded their teams – team blue, team red, team green – BORING. We toiled with combining “ninja”, “narwhal”, and “sofa king” with technical words. Nothing was working. Then our most enthusiastic team member and aspiring software developer uttered “Fighting Chickens”. As that sweet name rolled off her tongue, I smelled the faint smell of burning toast. Is this a minor stroke that will leave me with a droopy lip, or did we just discover our team name?
The name was brilliant and complex. We all identified as a “pig” on the team, yet chicken was in our team name – ironic. Were we chickens that fought? Or, were we always fighting the chickens? At this time I was on a vegan diet, so was it even appropriate for me to encourage a meat-based team name? This all just added to the mystic of our new team name. Plus, while we were hashing out the details we said the words “Fighting Chickens” about 1,000 times and that pretty much sealed the deal.
Like most good things this role came to an end. Over time the team dwindled away leaving me all alone. The last team member in a team of one. The last Fighting Chicken.