Spider-Man: Agile Way Home

Serhat Önal
5 min readJan 4, 2022


First of all, SPOILER ALERT!
If you did not watch the movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home” yet,
I recommend you to not read below. It contains serious level of information about it.

You may have stumbled upon the term: Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or Frequincy Illusion.
It is a cognitive bias and basically can be explained as
after you have noticed/learnt something for the first time, you start to see that in everywhere.
Your mind has just found this new information interesting and is excited about that and it searches for patterns literally in everywhere.

I’m experiencing that for few years since I started to learn & think about Agility.
Maybe it shows that my mind still sooooo excited about it? :)
I see patterns in movies, books, family issues and even in shopping center etc. regarding serving leadership, power of cross functional teams and many more..

Last week, I was watching the latest Spider-Man movie to clear my thoughts, to get-away from the thoughts related impediments of our teams on the journey for Agile Way of Working.
However, my Baader Meinhof was again on duty :)

Reminder: Spoiler Alert!
In the movie,
somehow multi-universes get tangled up and
3 different Spider-Man and
5 Super Villains comes to the latest Spider-Man Universe.
Our team of 3 Spider-Man decide to cure those villains and invites all of them to “Liberty Island” in New York to do so.


  • Each Spider-Man is individually perfect in his universe: Beats aliens, kicks bad guys, saves the day, protects his city.
  • 2 of them have never worked in a Super Hero Team. No team work experience.
  • They are going to deal with the bad guys on the Statue of Liberty which is basically their “Kanban Board”.
  • Each Super Villain has lost against a Spider-Man before.
    And now Spider-Men have cure for all them. So there is no unknown / surprise “Issue Type”.

Possible Problems:

  • They invited all Villains to their Kanban Board to process.
  • They had to engage each one of them as soon as he arrives.
  • Peter Parkers A.K.A. Spider-Men did not have a working agreement.

Some time later, 2 more additional problems, related to above ones, became visible:

  • Minutes of fighting, kicking, flying, web throwing and struggling…. But there was no “Done” Super Villain.
  • Since there was no limit for “WIP”, they became exhausted about the workload. Spider-Men feel bad about themselves.

After a long fight, 3 Spider-Men come together and do a quick retrospective. They were open and vulnerable to each other. (Even they’ve just came from different universes.)

Peter#1 gave a motivational talk and suggested some solutions based on his old “High Performing Team” experience with Avengers.

I will put real sentences from that scene so there is no interpretation. :)

Peter 2: What the hell, is going on out there? I kept yelling at you, Peter2, Peter2..
Peter 3: I know, but I thought you’re Peter 2?
Peter 2: What? I’m not Peter 2…
Peter 1: Stop arguing, both of you! Listen to Peter 1. Look, we’re clearly not very good at this!
Peter 2: I know, I know. We suck. I, I don’t know how to work as a team.
Peter 3: Me neither.
Peter 1: Well I do. I have been in a team, okay?
Peter 1: I don’t wanna brag, but I will. I was in the Avengers.

Peter 3:
How is this helping?!
Peter 1: Look, it’s not important. All we gotta do is focus, trust your tingle, and coordinate our attacks, okay?
Peter 3: Yes. Okay. Let’s pick one target.
Peter 1: Right.
Peter 2: We take them off the board one at a time.
Peter 1: All right, let’s do this…
Peter 2: No, wait, wait, wait, wait! I love you guys.

They literally had a retrospective meeting and defined an action item and made their working process explicit.


  • They realized the loss of focus and saw the “Waste” because of unlimited WIP.
    Action: Limit the WIP (Work in Progress) to 1.
  • Even they are so good individually, they need to work together as a team.
    Agreement: “Trust” / “Focus” / “Coordinate~Sync
    (Any resemble to Scrum Values?)

One minute after from this meeting, their first “Done” item was delivered: Sandman was cured by Spider-Men team!

And later?

With limiting WIP, they also went with “Simplicity”. (Our old friend from Agile Principles)
They used “the art of maximizing the amount of Super Villain NOT done”.

Additional help came from friends, one of the super villains changed side and boom!
Their backlog had less items already without putting extra effort.

Basically, they were dealing with 5 Super Villains at the same time and they were able to:

  • Have a “Retrospective” in a real war state to talk about how they can improve.
  • Say: Lets “Stop starting, Start Finishing”.
  • Limit WIP”.
  • Have “Internal Team Replenishment Meeting” for selecting the next item from Pool of Super Villains.
  • Apply Agile Principle #10: “Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.”

Afterwards, I was thinking about our backlog items & working mode in business life.

  • What is our excuse to miss any of those points above? What was getting us away from “Let’s do something about it!”?
  • Our tasks are literally more dangerous than Green Goblin or Sandman and we cannot take any action?
  • Are we too busy?
  • We are trying to deliver something but are we stuck?

I really don’t know if I’m crazy enough to see those patterns
Agile way of working is literally so brilliant & simple and it is helpful for the team of 3 Spider-Man?

Some Links to look up if you are not familiar with any of them:




Serhat Önal

Agile Coach / Release Train Engineer