ArticleJune 20, 2023 · 3 min read time
As a parent with a nearly 2-year-old toddler, I've enjoyed rediscovering things I loved as a child. One of those things is the wonderful world of Barbapapa. These charming characters and their imaginative stories not only bring back nostalgic memories but also have some surprising connections to agile methodologies. It's like Barbapapa and agile were meant to be!
Barbapapa, the cool pink blob from the 70s and 80s, has captured the hearts of many people with their fun adventures. Recently, as I went back to the Barbapapa stories, I realised there are similarities between their journeys and the principles of agile methodologies. It's fascinating how these seemingly different things can offer useful ideas and lessons for working together as a team.
Let's explore how Barbapapa's ability to adapt, work as a team, and be playful can inspire us to improve our agile practices and achieve better results in our work.
In one story, a dog gets inside a picnic basket at the wrong time, and an eagle takes the basket to the top of a mountain. The Barbapapas quickly decide to rescue the dog! During their journey, they have to adjust to different environments and quickly deal with the challenges, such as having to share their snacks with a hungry bear family they bump into. This shows how important it is to be flexible and adapt to changes in agile development.
Like the Barbapapas and the dog overcoming challenges during their journey, agile methods emphasise responsiveness and adaptability to changing requirements.
Teamwork and collaboration
In another story, the Barbapapas and their friends are painting a fence. At first, each of them paints using their favorite colors, only to cause complete chaos in their town. Eventually, they work together and paint the fence in rainbow colors. This story represents the principles of teamwork in agile development. Each team member brings their strengths and ideas, but together, they can achieve better results.
Just like the Barbapapas joining forces to paint a beautiful fence, agile development emphasises collaboration, open communication, and making the most of different skills.
In the third story, one of the Barbapapa children receives a box of tropical birds as a Christmas present. However, these birds can't adapt to the French December weather, and heating the house for them requires a lot of energy. The story explores different attempts to provide them with the right conditions, but eventually, a mistake is recognised, and the birds are taken to a more suitable climate. This story shows the agile principle of learning from mistakes and continuously improving.
Even though they initially made a mistake in assessing the right climate for the birds, they learned from it and took corrective actions. Agile development encourages ongoing improvement and the ability to learn from mistakes along the way.
Shared vision and goals
In the fourth story, the Barbapapas are enjoying a peaceful vacation on an island when suddenly, they start arguing. Each of them has their own ideas and perspectives, causing conflicts. This story illustrates the importance of having a shared vision and goals in agile development. Agile methodologies stress the importance of creating a shared understanding and clarifying goals so everyone works together towards common objectives.
The story of Barbapapa's island reminds us of the significance of establishing a shared vision and goals for the team.
The Barbapapa family's adventures might seem like simple stories for kids, but they have important lessons for people using agile methods. Barbapapa shows us how adjusting to new situations, working together, always getting better, and having the same goals are crucial. When we use these ideas in our organisation, we can get better at dealing with changes, improve teamwork, learn from our errors, and work towards shared objectives.
So, when you read or watch Barbapapa again, think about the helpful ideas it gives and how they can make your agile journey better.