An Elephant and a Monkey Metaphor
In a village, there lived an elephant. He knew where to find foods needed by the village and had massive strength to bring back foods plenty enough for several days. Alas, things began to change, villagers wanted different, rarer ingredients for their cooking. Around the same time, there was a monkey whose speed was faster and memory was better. He satisfied villagers with his speed of bringing back exotic foods even though he occasionally risked himself of finding way back to the village. With his relatively much small body, he, however, could bring foods back only enough for one day. He needed to maintain his intelligence and speed to gratify the villagers every day. Unfortunately, his life also changed. The village grew largely he had so many requests to serve. As luck would have it, the weary monkey and the discouraged elephant met one day. They worked together and employed what each had best. They finally appreciated the entire village again.
–Story from Balancing Agility and Discipline by Richard Turner
In fact, the metaphorical story intends to show a balance of applying agile and discipline methods, which is a good idea, but I wonder how long the monkey and the elephant can continue to satisfy the villagers where their demands increasingly change and grow to serve their illimitable wants. This is not an excuse of inertia but we are serving what we don’t need. We need a rapid development approach to respond to rapidly change requirements according to emerging demands in high competitive markets. Those demands are unnecessary for living but because of capitalism. Every year a company has to accomplish its objective of increasing the company’s top line. How far can we manage and reach the target? How much do we need to accelerate processes of consuming natural resources and destroying environments before realizing scarcity? How about we stop or slow down growth of our unnecessary demands? Perhaps we and our children don’t need to work so hard but still are able to enjoy life.