Was Gaudi an early adopter of Agile Scrum?

07 January 2009

I have just got back from a weekend in Barcelona where I visited La Sagrada Familia and spotted the following quote that suggests Gaudi may have been an early adopter of Agile Scrum:

When I arrived at Sagrada Familia, I was able to live together with a few of Gaudi's co-operators. The Master enjoyed rousing his co-workers, inciting in them amazement for beauty. He would show them the model in which he expressed his ideas and waited until he saw their eyes shining in admiration. Affection for the project was borne from discovering its beauty. He would then ask: "What would you like to do?" Some would answer: "I want to do this, but don't know how to" "Well then we'll do it together?" Gaudi did not submit orders: he was the worker who was followed. This is the reason he was addressed as Master. - Etsuro Sotoo

One of the key components of Agile Scrum is that the team is self organising and is able to choose their own tasks from the product backlog rather than having them assigned by a project manager. It seems that Gaudi was ahead of his time in more than just architecture even going so far as being addressed as (Scrum) Master.

Another quote from La Sagrada Familia that I am sure is relevant to most IT projects and may give some New Year inspiration to those of us wrestling with them:

All I have ever achieved has depended on circumstances: if helpful, it was to adjust to the circumstances, and, if as obstacle, in order to struggle; they are always useful as they manifest the true revelation of Providence. - Antoni Gaudi

Happy New Year everyone!