Once upon a time… A chicken and a pig were talking about opening a restaurant together and the chicken suggested to call it “Ham-n-eggs”. After consideration, the pig exclaimed: No thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!
This fable was included some years ago in ‘The Scrum Guide‘ but due to wrong usage and controversy, it was removed after 2011. However, I like it. It represents how in a project there may be people who are committed and responsible of the outcome they produce, and other roles who are only involved and informed on how the project progresses.
In Scrum, I would say the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and team members are ‘pigs’, while customers and other roles are ‘chickens’. Basically, pigs build the product, they are ‘performers’, people who ‘do’ work. On the contrary, chickens do not really contribute day to day to getting things done. And of course, as in nature, nobody can be a pig and a chicken at the same time. Be careful not to do it as it’s likely your project will suffer.
Finally, as Mike Cohn stated, people in the role of pigs are those who ‘have their Bacon on the line‘. Therefore, are you a pig or a chicken?