“If you say there’s an elephant within the room, you imply that there’s an apparent downside or tough state of affairs that individuals don’t wish to speak about.”

(Picture borrowed from sw.wikipedia.org)


Have you had an elephant within the room? We have, for positive. For us it was constructing a brand new GUI. That process itself is feasible to foretell, plan and finally execute. But provided that the GUI is a really central piece in our product, there’s tons of dependencies to it. So the impression a brand new GUI have on different parts could be very onerous to foretell, and “touching the GUI” turns into very dangerous. 

I used to be given the venture that ought to, amongst different issues, produce a brand new GUI. I had quite a few conferences with individuals from all elements of the organisation, however bought nowhere nearer to a brand new GUI. We simply went round in circles, till sooner or later I realised, the organisation deems it’s nearly not possible to construct a brand new GUI. I, as being the venture chief, was completely caught… 


I’ve a former colleague, his title is Alexander and he’ll quickly retire after a protracted and really profitable profession. Alexander is extraordinarily clever, an individual that you just come throughout as soon as, or possibly twice, throughout your complete work life. If there was a query, he knew the reply, it doesn’t matter what the query was about. I’ve learnt so much from Alexander, however possibly a very powerful knowledge is the one I’ll now inform you about.

How to eat an elephant?

Once, Alexander and me, had the next dialog:

  • Alexander: “Tomas, how do you eat an elephant?”
  • Tomas: “Well I’m undecided… Usually I don’t eat elephants.”
  • Alexander: “You eat it in items, Tomas. IN PIECES!”

This, for me, is essentially the most essential half in Agile! In the venture we now have addressed the primary piece that was deemed most vital, now we’re planning to work on the subsequent. I, because the venture chief, really feel assured once more, and we’re making progress! 


The studying from the dialog above, is that the one attainable method to assault an enormous downside is to interrupt it down into items, and to work on the person items. 

When you might have accomplished this for a while you might have both “eaten the entire elephant”, or a minimum of a lot that you’re happy.

All one of the best,
 Tomas from TheAgileist

P.S. I’ve by no means eaten an actual elephant, and I by no means will… 🙂 D.S.

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