As you may have probably known, Shuhari is a Japanese martial art concept that describes the stages of learning to mastery.
“When we learn or train in something, we pass through the stages of shu, ha, and ri… In shu, we repeat the forms and discipline ourselves so that our bodies absorb the forms that our forbearers created. We remain faithful to the forms with no deviation. Next, in the stage of ha, once we have disciplined ourselves to acquire the forms and movements, we make innovations. In this process the forms may be broken and discarded. Finally, in ri, we completely depart from the forms, open the door to creative technique, and arrive in a place where we act in accordance with what our heart/mind desires, unhindered while not overstepping laws.”
Guess what? ShuHaRi isn't just for martial arts anymore. Agile thinkers like Martin Fowler and Alistair Cockburn saw its awesomeness and applied it to learning stuff. And since agile is all about learning and growing, it's a match made in heaven.
Let's break it down:
Shu - Think of it as the beginner stage. You're like a sponge soaking up your sensei's teachings. No deep theories, just doing what you're told. You're like, "Okay, sensei knows best!"
Ha - Now you're getting fancy. You've got the basics down, and you're starting to think, "Hey, why not try this my way?" You mix in some ideas from other sources too. It's like you're adding your secret sauce to the mix.
Ri - Look at you, all grown up! You're not just following the rules anymore; you're making your own. You're like the master chef who doesn't need a recipe because you've got this down to an art.
Now, let's apply this to making your work processes way better.
I've put this concept to work, guiding my teams through reviewing their work processes and practices.
I've noticed that tons of teams go through the Scrum events like it's just a box to check, or they're sort of following what's been handed down.
But deep down, we all get that if you're not clear on why you're doing something, it's not gonna bring in significant value.
Alright, here's the plan:
First up, I kick off the session (could be a retro or a separate sit-down) by introducing the whole ShuHaRi deal. I usually use these images to help set the scene.
Step one: I ask the team to jot down all the processes and practices we're using. Then, it's time to categorize them on our fan chart. Shu means sticking to the rules, Ha is for breaking them a bit, and Ri is all about making your own rules.
Now, we've got the big picture in front of us. Next stop: figuring out what's doing great and what needs a little boost. Do we keep everything as is? Any practices we want to tweak? Usually, people lean towards Shu for answers, as most obviously unresolved ones are there, but honestly, you can find improvements anywhere. There's always room to make things better, no matter where you're coming from.
So, it's decision time: What stays, what improves, what new stuff do we want to add, and what could use a break?
Final step: Let's chat about next moves and key lessons. Focus on one or two things to really amp up. Polish up those practices and then take a peek back at your ShuHaRi fan chart – there might be more gems waiting for you there.
That's a wrap, my friend! Ready to level up? 🚀
Hope you found it helpful. )
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