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In my very surface-level, western understanding of Chinese philosophy, Agile seems very much like Taoism and Scrum is like Confucianism, in several ways.

The Agile Manifesto describes a set of ideals but gives no true set of instructions to follow, to do so would not be the Agile way. More than anything, it prescribes an attitude around which you should generally approach things.

Scrum conversely gives rules for how things can be organized and executed in a functional organization. It gives little room for flexibility. Any problems you have with Scrum, the first reaction should be "how are we following the rules wrong?".

Similarly, Tao and Agile are ideals for the individuals (and small teams), Confucianism and Scrum are rules for getting things to work functionally within a society/company.




The comparison may be very apt. After all, a key tenet of Taoism is that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. It may very well be that an Agile development process that can be fully specified and documented is not truly Agile.


Somehow I'm reminded of "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" but I'm not sure which side it supports.


Sounds like Theodore Sturgeon's description of the difference between morality and ethics in his classic "More than Human":

Morality is society's rules for individual survival.

Ethics is the individual's rules for society's survival.




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