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Apply Shu-Ha-Ri to Agile Transformation

Shu-Ha-Ri is a Japanese martial art concept, which describes stages of learning to mastery.

Shu-Ha-Ri roughly translates to-

Shu- Obey, Learn the fundamentals and techniques. This is the first step of learning/adopting, the student learns from the master. Learning the technique their masters teach them.

Ha- Digress, Break the rule. This is the next step in the process, the student now starts understanding the principles behind the art. They would question their master about the techniques and learn from other masters, who might have different techniques.

Ri- Leave, Be the rule. This is the final step in the process, the student has now learnt from various masters and their techniques. Now the student doesn't learn from others but from oneself. Adapt and create their own techniques, learn from it and re-create.

And I have applied this in not only in my work as an Agile coach/Product Manager, I have successfully applied it to different aspects of my life as well.

I have learnt that Shu-Ha-Ri and the Agile mindset is in complete sync with one another. Agile gives you a set of principles to follow. As a Nascent team, you try to replicate the techniques of your Agile coach. But as you grow and are comfortable with the ever-evolving landscape in the IT industry, you learn from others and apply their techniques. And as a team, you would slowly progress to the last step Ri, when you are comfortable to experiment and learn from it.

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