Jem D’jelal: What’s your 800 pound agile Gorilla?

Reblogged with permission from Jem D'jelal, the original author of
 this content, as a contributor to Originally published 
on LinkedIn March 28, 2017.

Jem D'jelal Jem D’jelal Coaching individuals & teams to find “better” ways of working.

I know you have one.

You know, that “thing” you have strong feelings about.

It’s something which is unjust, contradictory to agile…. or just plain doesn’t doesn’t make sense.


You don’t speak about it.

Maybe your 800 pound agile gorilla is at work?

Your “ScrumMaster” is a complete jerk forcing Scrum down your throat using “servant leadership”.

Or it’s on LinkedIn?

Your Project manager friend has just added “agile” to all of his roles in the past 10 years & you’re not sure why it p*sses you off so much.

Maybe it was in your last agile meet up?

There were some agile “celebrities” talking on a subject which you disagreed with but you dared not challenge the “thought leaders”.

I’m sure you can think of a few 800 pound agile Gorilla’s in our industry.

Into the Jungle….

Last month I sent over 100 of my peers a survey to anonymously share their 800 pound agile gorilla (“Elephant in the room” was the wording then).

The responses came in 3 forms:

-Topics they’d like to see discussed or “called out”

-Statements which expressed a concern but they’re indifferent about a need for discussion

-WTF, what it says on the tin.

The List

  1. Business analysts & agile, does that make sense?
  2. How the f**k do you “manage” happiness?
  3. SAFe treats work like simple work, so it’s fine for manufacturing.
  4. Why are there so few females in agile key notes?
  5. Contract ScrumMasters get treated differently.
  6. agile leadership courses are another money spinner.
  7. ScrumMasters don’t need any technical skills so why do people keep saying they do?
  8. How can we take agile leaders seriously that have worked in consultancies all their lives?
  9. What’s up with agile architects if they write code?
  10. Why is everything in agile now about selling a course?
  11. It’s cringe seeing “thought leadership” worship
  12. The agile awards.
  13. Dev leads can be servant leaders so ScrumMasters are needed why?
  14. ScrumMasters becoming “coaches” over night
  15. People adding the word “agile” to all of their previous roles
  16. Academic agile aggressiveness
  17. The creation of agile “consultancies” from those who just got their CSM

Wouldn’t it be cool?

If you added to this list & we got together some sort of video cast, debate, pod cast – something which brings in people from different areas with different angles sitting down with the 800 pound agile gorilla?

We may not get black & white answers.

We may not get perfect harmony.

But may get insights through transparency & a fearless approach to questioning. (sounds a little like that “agile” stuff eh?)

I’m happy to facilitate that if you’re happy to help create a backlog.

Feel free to PM if that’s better for you.


Published by Marshall Guillory -

Information Technology professional, transformation leader, agile evangelist & coach, change agent, scrum master, servant leader and more...

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