On another blog I posted the following:
That’s true. Ha is to question the norm. After you have gone through the training and expense of the Shu stage.
When you get to Ri they don’t make any money off of anyone, whether it’s’ aikido or scrum.
So, the thing is, can one bypass the “Shu” stage of endeavours that are non worthwhile, without spending any time or money?
To me, the answer is yes.
To Agile, Inc, the answer is heck no, right?
I’m not buying it — the notion that one cannot question an endeavor until one has spent shu amount of time and money on it. People could come up with 20 methodologies and force everyone through the shu stage before they are even allowed to question it.
Not only is the patrician, and outdated, it’s beyond the pale when it comes to telling the customer they are too ignorant to question anything until they have bought shu cars etc.
As you can see I’m not a big fan of the Shu-Ha-Ri concept. Not only is it fortune cookie level eastern thinking, it can fundamentally translated as: “Grandfather knows best. Grandfather is Ri. After you have kids and they are in college, you can be considered to be in the Ha stage, and after you are a grandparent you can be Ri. In the meantime, don’t question anything”.
Gussying it up in new age clothes doesn’t change it.
But it is a little more sinister than that — since you can’t question anything until you reach Ha stage, and you have to expend money and time to go through the Shu stage, it’s a convenient cover story to sell you product, even product you question and don’t believe in, unquestioningly.
I’m sorry, noone should be forced to accept anything based on the fact that they are a “beginner” in a methodology someone just created.
They could be quite advanced in general and can see through things.
Even Einstein was quite fond of “gedanken” (thought) experiments versus real world experiments.
Sure, it’s nice to have the real world experience, in anything and everything, but it’s nice to be able to think through things and avoid suboptimal paths.
Shu-Ha-Ri is a concept, that, in the software world, needs to be lain to rest for good.
If people want to apprentice themselves to some master on their own time, that’s fine, or they can apprentice themselves to cobbler or luthier.
As a business technique, it’s sole purpose is to suppress dissent and gather revenues, pushing as many of the sheep through the shu stage as their bank accounts can stand.
If you can’t compare two different concepts without trying them both, then what they are trying to do is get you to spend the money to try both. That’s all there is to it.