Back to Shows

Agile Santa Claus

Today, Santa's advice is: When you introduce something new (e.g. new role), you should also give it a new name:

🎄 People identify with the name of their role

🎄 It creates confusion if you keep the role label but change the job description

🎄 Give the role a distinctively different name

Call something what it is and if it's something new, don't call it like it's ever been called before. So for example if one of my elves has a new role. It's the pipeline facilitator role for the Legos that we make. Or we buy from Lego but you know let's not go into the whole copyright thing. It's a role that's never existed before, and so we give it a new name, because people identify with the name of their role, and if people have been doing the role for a long time, they'd say: "I've been a project manager for a long time or a product manager for a long time." I have internalized inside my head what that role is. I've internalized inside my head what a project manager is for example, when we're building new toys, what does a project manager do, and when a few years ago we switched to agile, we made the mistake instead of changing the name from project manager to Agile Release Train engineer or something like that, we kept the old name, and guess what we had problems, because we had super duper experienced elves who are magnificent project managers, but we'd kept the label but changed the description, and that creates confusion, like "but, but my project manager used to be this job and now it's this other job" but it's got the same name. It's like having an apple and an orange and saying okay we're now gonna call the orange an apple. I'm just going to put the apple word on it. I go into the street and ask people what that is, even with the word apple on it they're going to say it's an orange. This is a really common trap. People go it's easier if we don't change the roles. Actually it's easier to administrate. It's much harder to execute, order of magnitude is harder to execute. So when you're implementing these new roles, the roads are transformation to agile whether it's a new role in your agile organization already. Give it a new name. Distinctively different name. Thanks for your time, we'll be back again tomorrow with some more interesting thoughts. I've invited the penguins in they're going to help us with a few as well, so uh we'll see how it goes. Talk to you soon.

About the course

Agile Santa has agreed to exclusively present his wisdom and advice with humor to all agilists in the world this year via




Beginner / Intermediate



Last Updated

Dec 24, 2022

Meet your Expert

Peter Pedross

CEO & Founder PEDCO AG, Chief Methodologist Applied SAFe

Creator of the product Applied SAFe. Started to program for money at the age of 14. Ex-professional sportsman with a passion for software and a knack in engineering. 30+ years working experience with 50+ publications. SAFe SPC since 2011, Agile (XP) since 1999. Happy father and married to a wonderful woman.

Meet your Expert

Silvio Wandfluh

Head of Product, SPC5

Silvio is a certified SAFe® Program Consultant and as Head of Product at Rentouch responsible for the innovation of

Meet your Expert

Shane Harrison

Business and Agile Leadership Coach

Shane is a business focused change agent, specialising in enterprise level digital Lean/Agile transformations. More than 17 years consulting experience across a variety of industries from pharma to banking Shane is a specialist when it comes to context and culture-specific transformations.

Meet your Expert

Ian J Franks

SAFe® 5 Program Consultant & RTE

Ian has a deep knowledge of Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, and 30 years’ experience in international IT Transformation Programs. He is a successful PO, SM & RTE and as a Consultant/Trainer he coaches his clients develop a strong Agile Mindset that delivers real change and measurable improvements.


Sign up for a free 14 days trial today

Sign up