The Fifth value in Agile Manifesto

Last post 04:22 am November 6, 2017
by Aditya pandey
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04:22 am November 6, 2017

As Agile core Values implies:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

On the same lines I would like to bring into your notice ‘the fifth value’ , that I would see is as important to be recognized and is worthy of remembrance in our daily deeds of Agile implementation and planning. Thus, an essential ingredient of our way of life.

Let me set the plot by telling a classic Indian fable in order to demonstrate the importance of ‘the fifth value’

Once upon a time there lived four students. These young students completed their classes from ancient and top most university of the time – ‘Nalanda’. They have mastered different fields in science and art forms and now, after completing their ashram life, they are to set out to explore the world and apply their acquired knowledge.

Specialty of student one - he could play with any material and design and architect anything meaningful out of it. He is master of this art form.

Specialty of student Two - he could cover and structure / skeleton with beautiful coverings like flesh and skin to the bones.

Third student - could give life to any dead body.

Fourth student - is also a bright one, but he doesn’t poses any special power or mastery as other three did. He has developed good common sense and wisdom though, with average knowledge in various fields.

After receiving blessing from their guru they started their journey towards their respective homes. All were filled with excitement, energy, confidence and lot of enthusiasm to face and tackle the daily deeds of the world and probably changing course of events of this world.

On their way to their respective villages they had to pass through a dense forest. All decided to cross it together as a unit and later will take their respective courses.

All were discussing about their own specialties and knowledge they have acquired over the years. All were proud of themselves and are desperate to demonstrate their skills and potential to the world.

During their conversation while passing through the jungle their egos started surfacing. Though unarguably they have expertise in different skills, domains and had acquired certain special powers based upon the knowledge and guidance provided by their guru, but somewhere in the core they lack maturity and wisdom except the fourth student.

On their way they all started getting engrossed into silly brawls where each one bragging about themselves while the fourth one being quiet and observant.

Suddenly, they saw carcass of a lion, only decomposed disintegrated bones left. In a flash of the moment all three of them struck with the same idea as to demonstrate their expertise on the disintegrate skeleton of Lion in order to prove their dominance over others. Fourth student got alarmed and pleaded all three of them not to hatch this devilry as this is against laws of nature and design. He warned them that if you go against laws of nature only disaster will follow you. All three of them laughed at him and refuted all his requests and suggestions. Soon he realized that it’s futile to argue with other three and in the end he requested them to let him climb nearby big banyan tree, before starting their power show. All three felt pity upon him thinking of him as coward, impotent and unknowledgeable. After the fourth one climbed the tree, they turned towards carcass.

First Student with full enthusiasm using his knowledge passionately successfully integrated bones into robust and shining skeleton of the Lion. 

Second Student with no delay covered the skeleton with flesh, strong muscles and all sophisticated organs and body mechanics and skin of a Lion. Now it’s a Big Wild Cat, but dead.

Without thinking for a fraction of a second, the third student gave the dead Lion, the life.

All three of the students started dancing in joy and congratulating each other for their successful implementation of their skills and knowledge.  In a split of a second the Lion sprang back to life and roared loud as hurricane. In a moment their celebration came to a halt and fear for life rushed in. By the time they realized the situation it was too late, the Lion pounced upon them and killed them all. The fourth student could do nothing but to sit on the tree and watching Lion eating his friends.

Closing :

In this article, I have tried demonstrating imminent threats and hidden dangers, if knowledge is applied without wisdom and common sense. Gist is;

‘The fifth value’ :  Wisdom and common sense over knowledge and expertise.

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. Wisdom and Common sense are always preferable over Knowledge and expertise.

Happy Agile learning !!