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Scrum explained over Dinner

A few weeks ago the writing bug bit me and I zeroed in on my favorite topic at the time Scrum! I have read a fair bit of literature about Agile/Scrum at this point and always wondered how creative I could get in trying to explain this without using a Software Development project as an example. Well here's what I came up with. A funny little post that tries to explain the Scrum process by breaking down a dinner party into a Scrum project.


Head Chef: Scrum Master

Waiter: Product Owner

Dinner Party: Stakeholders

Chefs: Scrum Team

Sprint: Dinner Courses

Product Release: Dinner

Product Inception/Birth of an idea:

The dinner party decides lets have dinner at Viva La Scrum!

Kickoff Meeting:

The dinner party arrives at Viva La Scrum and is seated at their table by the Waiter. The restaurant is an exclusive place where dishes are made to order so there are no fixed menus its all upto the dinner party. The motto of the place is “Give the customer what they want!”

The waiter walks around the table taking orders for the dinner from every person in the party. He can of course make suggestions as to what is a good dish based on his experience, but his primary job is to take down the order of the customers.

Sprint Planning:

He asks them what they would like served in the first course and each subsequent course. He also explains that at the end of each course they can choose to continue with the original order of change it as they felt proper.

Estimation and Planning:

The waiter walks over to the Head Chef and says here’s the order. This is what they would like for their first course. They want something new on their table every 15 mins. Is that OK?

The Head chef then takes the order goes into the kitchen and gathers all the chefs. He shows them the order and starts asking how long they think each dish will take to make. They discuss from among the items requested in the first course what all can be delivered in 15 mins.

Once he has this he goes to the waiter and says this is what they can get in the first course. While the waiter reports to the guests the chefs divide the dishes among themselves based on experience and speciality. They plan on what ingredients they need, what items to work on first and so on. Finally they get to work.

Daily Standups:

Every minute and a half the Head Chef asks for a status check from his team and also asks them if they need anything more to do their work, if anything is getting in the way of their work, etc..

Sprint review:

The waiter brings out the dishes that the chef and his team has prepared at the end of 15 mins. He serves it to the customers and eagerly listens to all the feedback that they have about the food. The chef and his team are invited to this but mainly only listen in.

Sprint Retrospective:

The Chef and his team get together with the Waiter and quickly talk about how they thought the first 15 mins went and if they had any ideas/suggestions for what to do better and how. Stuff like this ingredient is not good lets get a fresh batch of it, my dish went cold before the sauce was ready, the sauce didn't exactly match with the theme of the dish, etc..

What do Scrum Masters do?