Return of the Jonah

Back in 1997 I finished my army duty (serving 4 years instead of 3, since I became an officer) and I had a little over six months till I started University. Most of the discharged soldiers like me go off to a few months of hiking in South America or in the far east. I flew to the US to learn the Theory of Constraints. I took part of a TOC Academy, where a few students from all around the world spent around 5 months to learn TOC and become instructors of TOC. (TOC talks about looking for the bottleneck, the weakest link, and exploiting/eliminating this constraint).

The first part of the course was a Jonah course in which we discovered the thinking processes suggested by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Once we finished this course, we were certified Jonahs!

As a Jonah, you master the thinking processes and are able to help others put their intuition into developing a solution to their problem. You probably know where I am going to – the comparison to a Jedi was straightforward.

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It’s true that the Jedi’s powers are much greater, after all, a Jedi can talk people into changing their minds and be blind of their presence. But then I thought that a Jonah can also talk people into changing their minds – the only difference is that the Jonah does it for the interest of the person he is talking with, and not his own. So actually, a Jonah is almost like a Jedi with no self interest. (Maybe if Jedis were more like Jonahs, the Emperor would have left them alone :-))

This was 18 years ago; before the prequel; before Jar Jar Binks.

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I came back to Israel, started my studies in the University, and discovered the joy of coding and software and have been involved in software since then. TOC was never part of my career, but it is always part of my way of thinking, and I am waiting for the chance to bring some of its insights into what I do. TOC is also one of the ancestors of Agile, and at least in my view, part of the Force.

Continue reading “Return of the Jonah”

Star Wars and Agile?

Some of you must be thinking – what the heck is he talking about? What does Star Wars has to do with Agile?

Well, at first it came to me from the term of “Master”. This term is usually not very popular in hi-tech. You usually don’t have a Master role – you have leaders, mentors, managers, directors, even champions, but the first time I heard of a Master as a business role was in the Scrum Master course I attended almost 6 years ago. I thought to myself that right after the certification, I will be able to come back to the office and use (again) the ultimate phrase “Now I am the Master”. Again I say, since a few years back I got my masters degree and could use the phrase at will.

Why is this phrase so important? Well, that’s easy – it’s the phrase just before Star Wars became (at least for me) Star Wars – the first time that a lightsaber dual took place, and from that moment on, young children like me couldn’t stop imagining what we would do with such a weapon. It’s true that looking now at the film, this dual seems very amateurish. But back then, WOW!nowiam

So that’s it? The term Master is enough to bring Star Wars and Agile into one world?

Probably not. I intend to continue and write here exactly why I see Agile and Star Wars as two worlds that can live together. But I am also not the only one. Below you can find a list of interesting and funny websites that found the connection as well.

Enjoy! Continue reading “Star Wars and Agile?”

Hello world!

Hi everyone.

This blog comes to share some thoughts, feelings and ideas that come to mind when taking on the task of an “Organizational Scrum Master” in a super interesting startup company in Tel-Aviv (details soon to be revealed).

My name is Omer Meshar, and I am leaving clicksoftware after 15 (fifteen!!!) years in its R&D division. I am setting off to a journey into the unknowns of a bright young startup company, going to act as an internal agile coach. I am also a fan of Star Wars, and can’t wait till the 7th episode will be finally released (a little shy of 5 months from now, but who’s counting?).

I will try to bring into this blog my view on Agile, with some cross over links to Star Wars and the Force. I am sure it will be a lot of fun, and hopefully very insightful.

May the force be with me!

Omer