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If the Shu fits…

Blogging doesn’t come naturally for me, I find it hard to find topics to write about that I think other people will find interesting. Why would anyone read something I wrote? Imposter Syndrome hits us all in different ways I guess. So I am following the advice of a dear friend who said ‘just do it’…

Now you may have stopped reading already, but for those that haven’t, I’d like to take you on a journey of Shu-Ha-Ri. I’d like to start a series of blog posts that begin at, well, the beginning. What are the things that experienced agilists take for granted as ‘duh, obvious’ and so don’t even feel the need to discuss them anymore? What did we learn in our days of trying out the ‘Shu’ that is just second nature now? Lets see where this journey takes us and who knows maybe we’ll get a deeper insight into the basics by exploring them again, Alistair Cockburn phrased this recently as Kokoro.

So lets start at the beginning with what is Shu-Ha-Ri-Kokoro?

Shu: Master the basics. Follow the rules. Understand the fundamental building blocks which everything is built upon.
Ha: Break the rules. Now you understand the basics you know when you can break the rules for the benefit of the context in which you find yourself. You first have to understand why the rule exist before you break it
Ri: Create the rules. This stage is when you start creating new rules and patterns for others to potentially follow.
Kokoro: Focus on the basics. Where you are so advanced that you decide to just focus on the basics all over again and potentially gain a new level of understanding.

So I’d like to start with a blog about some Shu practices, knowledge and experiences that we would expect all experienced agilists to be aware of, and here is where I’d like your input dear reader, help me craft the backlog. What do you think fits into the Shu level of agile thinking? Please leave comments below to help me prioritise on topics for upcoming blog posts.

Looking forward to the journey!

2 thoughts on “If the Shu fits…”

  1. Hi Kevin, great article, thanks for sharing and please keep blogging! I would like to know more about how to help a team discover which framework or practices would best suit their needs, without having all the knowledge on Agile practices and techniques during my ‘Shu’ phase. Some companies and managers forces teams to use Scrum or a specific framework, but this can sometimes work against the team and it creates more challenges than the team needs.

    1. Thanks Rozelle, great question! I’ll definitely add it to the backlog and write a blog post around this subject.

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