As per my understanding, Shu Ha Ri is a powerful testimony that tells “To follow any methodology by thinking farther and functioning under it.” It doesn’t instruct to cut off your ties from the practice you are following. In reality, it can enhance your capabilities as Leaders or Change agents being in sync with the main approach. I believe the concept can be highly compatible with Lean - Agile Framework in many ways. Read the complete blog to know how!
The Code of Shu Ha Ri
The Shu Ha Ri concept has been derived from the ancient Japanese martial arts and details the phases to achieve “Personal mastery”.
The three stages of Shu Ha Ri a novice needs to follow
Shu - The disciple first gets introduced to the traditional methods. He practices those techniques without having any second thoughts. It's just about following the instructions of the teacher and remembering each practice or ceremonies thoroughly. Things like What’s the primary solution for a certain obstacle; which move you make in which condition etc. Here the student doesn’ t have to think about the hidden theory behind the methodology. In the case of complexities, the student is advised to follow one technique after another.
Ha - After the basic practice, the student starts to pay attention towards the theory behind the practice and assimilate his learnings with the practice. This is a stage in which each one of us goes through, at some point of time we all start questioning on ourselves or the day - today behavior we are practicing.
It’s also the stage where the student goes beyond the illusions by separating right things from wrong by his own decision making. Even sometimes he learns different things from other resources and tries to understand the relations and differences deeply.
Ri - Now, he doesn’t need the practice to be taught from anyone. He understands it perfectly and learns the lessons from his own experience. He thinks beyond the learnings given by the teachers and tries to come up with methods that are his own and new for others. He surpasses his previous generation. Now he is in a stage where he can be a coach or mentor for his colleagues or the upcoming next generation.
Shu Ha Ri and Scrum Mastery
Every Agile geek knows “Agile methodology is the set of Principles and Practices.” We value principles than anything and practice them as the absolute necessities for the Lean - Agile transformation.
As a Scrum master, the Shu Ha Ri lets you teach the stages of Personal mastery to Scrum teams. In the Shu stage, the team is taught with Scrum techniques, practices and ceremonies. Things like facilitating daily Stand up, Sprint planning, Demo - retro, Story writing, Helping to determine Acceptance Criteria, Resolving team problems, attending Scrum of Scrum meetings etc. All the members of different Scrum teams become habituated with the daily activities of Scrum master and follow the rules likewise. (P.S. My conversation with our Scrum master on Scrum activities)
When the team is immersed with the Scrum principles, the Scrum master gives the induction on “Why do we need to follow the ceremonies in a proper way?” He makes the team understand the Agile Framework, Scrum teams, and their values. The Scrum master also guides the team in their many queries and questions. When the team understands the given concepts, they start to accustom with the culture and the work on their own ways.
On the final stage of Ri, the team becomes much more self - organized and self - managed. Here the Scrum master must make his team more and more confident in their skills and let them explore the unknown domains and challenges. He also needs to work with the team, motivate their dreams and coach the team in the course of achieving the organizational Vision. As a coach, he also gets the new experiences every time he trains a team.
A Sneak - Peek to Toyota’s history with Shu Ha Ri
In the book “The Toyota way to Lean - leadership”, I learned many things. Toyota has long unsevered history with Shu Ha Ri. Toyota’s slogan “Coaching with learning” is similar to Shu Ha Ri -- The interdependent relation between the coach and the student.
The book says “how both Lean and Shu Ha Ri have the common goal of self - development before coming into the real work. It’s actually quite intriguing how both of these are so compatible and similar to each other. When Agile says the whole story, Shu Ha Ri divides the story into short clips for better understandings.
Temenos Vision model and Shu Ha Ri
This is something I have been experiencing in my journey with Temenos + Agility. Like Shu Ha Ri, we are quite the believer of personal mastery and Self - awareness. Our Vision model’s each symbol prioritizes the Vision, people, practice, principles over anything. We believe “A person’s self - transformation can move an organization into the way of mass transformation.”
To know more read the following blogs
P.S. My next publish “Determine the level of your Agile Leadership with Shu Ha Ri”.. Have Fun & Keep reading!