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InfoQ Homepage Presentations The Golden Circle – Why How What

The Golden Circle – Why How What



Jean Tabaka challenges the audience to reflect on what Agile practices they are employing, how they are using them, ending with the questions “Why have their organization chosen to go Agile?


Jean Tabaka is an Agile Fellow with Rally Software Development in Boulder, Colorado. Jean is a Certified Scrum Master and Practitioner, a Certified Scrum Master Trainer, and a Certified Professional Facilitator. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of "Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders".

About the conference

GOTO Aarhus is the enterprise software development conference designed for team leads, architects, and project management and is organized by developers, for developers. As software developers and architects ourselves, we wanted to craft the ultimate conference. The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community, staged in an intimate environment needed to support as much learning and networking as possible.

Recorded at:

Feb 03, 2012

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Community comments

  • Interesting subject..

    by Essam Badawi,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Please notice that he draws the circles from the view of ‘selling the product’, so he puts it in that sequence; ’why-how-what’. On the other hand,in my perception, when it comes to the ‘product development’, the sequence is a bit changed to ‘why-what-how’, to reflect the real sequence in development process: (with the same intellectual meaning of each circle)

    1- the vision,
    2- the needs or requirements, and
    3- the specifications

  • Re: Interesting subject..

    by Essam Badawi,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Although it has a bit different perspective (it's about forms of knowledge and leadership), but the following is found so relevant to our 'why-what-how’ conceptualization:
    Aristotle identified three forms of knowledge:
     Episteme = universally valid scientific knowledge,
     Techne = skill-based technical know-how, and
     Phronesis = a true and reasoned state of capacity to act with regard to the things that are good or bad for man.

    If episteme is ‘know-why’, and
    techne is ‘know-how’,
    then phronesis is know-what-should-be-done.

    Example: because no universal notion of a good car exists, episteme cannot answer the question “What is a good car?” That will depend on who is using the car and why, and it will change over time. Techne is knowing how to make a car well; phronesis is knowing both what a good car is and how to build it. Thus phronesis enables managers to determine what is good in specific times and situations and to undertake the best actions at those times to serve the common good.

    [The source is: Harvard Business Review (HRB) - The Big Idea: The Wise Leader by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi]

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