Key Similarities Between Agile and Cricket (Yes, There are Several)
What do Agile and Cricket have to do with one another? Surprisingly, quite a bit. There are several parallels between Cricket and Agile. Before we dive into them, let’s define what Agile is.
What is the Definition of Agile?
In the corporate world Agile refers to an approach to project management that is used in software development. It ensures agility, adaptability, and flexibility during software development. Teams implement the Agile method to navigate the unpredictable nature of software construction. However, Agile goes far beyond software.
“Agile’s emergence as a huge global movement extending beyond software is driven by the discovery that the only way for organizations to cope with today’s turbulent customer-driven marketplace is to become Agile,” wrote a contributor to Forbes.1 “Agile enables organizations to master continuous change.” The Agile Alliance described Agile as “the ability to create and respond to change.”2
A Few Ways Cricket and Agile are Alike
Cricket is England’s national summer sport. It is played with a bat and ball and involves two teams of 11 players that compete against one another. Believe it or not, Cricket has much in common with Agile.
Discussing the similarities between Cricket and business, IT professional Dev Prasad stated, “Players in both are imbued with a sense of mission and a desire to succeed. In Cricket, there are strategy and review sessions, teamwork is the key, and leadership is critical, just like in business.”3 These same parallels could be made between Cricket and Agile. In both cases, team players are mission-focused, and both Agile teams (which manage Agile initiatives) and Cricket teams take time-outs or “team huddles” to plan and review. Teamwork is vital to the success of Cricket teams along with Agile teams, as is strong leadership.
As far as direct correlations between players on Agile teams and Cricket teams, there are a couple. We’ll use Scrum, an Agile framework, for this example. A Cricket coach is the team lead, like a Scrum Master. Many Agile teams also include an Agile Business Analyst, which differs somewhat from a traditional BA. The Agile Analyst is like a Cricket wicketkeeper. Wicketkeepers must stay very active to ensure they take every ball that comes their way. Similarly, the Agile Analyst must stay on his or her toes to design and implement strategic-focused activities and ensure all communications with the product owner are effective and productive.
Understanding Agile is as Simple as Understanding Cricket
On Agile teams, the Scrum Master and Agile Business Analyst, along with several other key players, work together to deliver winning solutions. In the same way, Cricket players work together for the purpose of winning. That said, if you understand Cricket, you’ll easily understand Agile, and vice versa.
Are you interested in learning about the rise of Agile? Check this out.
1. Forbes. What is agile?
2. Agile Alliance.
3. Domain-b.com. Pitch it: parallels between Cricket and the corporate.