Brad Pitt on Agile – MoneyBall Agile Transformation Master Class

The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

Could Baseball really have anything in common with Agile?

Well up until Brad Pitt’s portrayal of baseball manager Billie Bean in Money Ball (I would have said no)

But when you look at this film, and its correlations between any organisation taking on Agile you will soon agree that Hollywood has again produced a 90 minute Agile masterclass.

We follow the trials and tribulations of Oakland & Billie Bean who have a limited budget, limited time and a dream to win. Sounds like a few projects I know, there is a classic scene where Brad Pitt goes to ask for more money, and is advised you have to work with the budget you have. (this is where the creativity kicks in & Oakland go Agile)

Of course there is the moment in the video clip below that also illustrates perfectly the fine balance and separation of duties between iteration manager (IM) & project manager (PM). (watch out for Brad Pitt saying “I never watch the game”)

The principle of Agile workshops are clear to see as well. Highlighting the importance of stakeholder participation in the early stages so that everyone involved in the project is there, despite the project manager’s (Brad Pitt) table manners.

There is a strong sense of iteration management & release planning in this moment when they are reviewing the players refered to as an Island of Misfit Players

There is a championship moment available for any organisation willing to take the leap into Agile, it’s a practice that is clearly working not just in Baseball, but in Financial Institutions, Software Houses, Telecommunications even Lonely Planet Guides.

Fear is one the biggest things faced by the organisation when going Agile.

Agile training is one of the keys to getting the organisation ready and helping people emerge themselves into the principles of Agile so that if the ball is thrown from them in any direction hopefully in time they will relax into the concept of “fail fast early” and be able to adjust adapt get on with the winning rest of the game.

This week we had a group so comfortable they even took their shoes off..

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