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Re: seeking agitator

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  • dingbat99999
    ... And I believe many people here thrive on that. It is the lone hero mentality. Traditionally this organization has rewarded that behaviour, so why would
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 14, 2005
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      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Tobias Mayer <tobyanon@y...>
      wrote:
      > Yes. People are very often in a state of panic: "Fire-fighting".
      And I believe many people here thrive on that. It is the "lone hero"
      mentality. Traditionally this organization has rewarded that
      behaviour, so why would it go away?
      >

      There are apocryphal stories I've heard about shops where teams
      practicing XP were viewed in a negative way because they didn't
      exhibit the same "sense of urgency" as the other teams in the
      organization. When viewing that kind of situation from a safe
      distance, most people would recognize it as kind of strange.
      Unfortunately, people under stress don't always behave rationally.

      I think the only thing that can be done is to appeal to peoples pride.
      The message should be: any keyboard banging monkey can crank out large
      volumes of code to meet a deadline. It's the truly gifted development
      team that can make a deadline a non-issue.

      The other angle of attack is defects. It's highly unlikely that a team
      operating in the way you say is producing quality results. Track the
      amount of rework required to fix all the defects that leak out of a
      release and publicize it. I have seen teams change their behaviour on
      their own after being presented with evidence that their current way
      of doing things is creating extra work.
    • William Pietri
      ... Yes, I ve certainly had that discussion many times. There are three approaches I ve used to tackle that. One is to ask them, Efficiency on what scale?
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 14, 2005
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        On Tue, 2005-06-14 at 13:07 +0000, dingbat99999 wrote:
        > If you try to convince a team that an approach that looks for more
        > opportunities to deliver something to the customer, you'll likely get
        > an argument, usually concerning efficiency. People rarely include
        > rework in these discussions so an ad-hoc, just-code-it approach looks
        > like it's more efficient. Yet again, it's that counter-intuitive go
        > slower to go faster lesson.

        Yes, I've certainly had that discussion many times. There are three
        approaches I've used to tackle that.

        One is to ask them, "Efficiency on what scale?" What they're doing only
        appears efficient when they focus on their own work and in the short
        term. Because integration, manual testing, and debugging scale
        exponentially with the number of changes, it's only more efficient for
        coding, not for the whole process over the long haul.

        Another is to ask them to focus on business value. The goal of business
        projects is generally to be efficient turning dollars input into dollars
        output. If they look enough at the bigger picture, they can see that
        over-optimizing one part of the process can result in a net business
        value reduction.

        The third is to get them to try an experiment. If you both have
        competing theories about process, see if you can get the agreement to
        try doing things the other way for a couple of months. Make sure your
        evaluation criteria measure total cost, including code debt and negative
        value of both known and latent bugs. I just had another project go into
        production with under one bug per development month, which is a huge
        cost savings.

        William


        --
        William Pietri <william@...>
      • grahamastles
        ... I don t think the stories are all apocryphal. One of my clients, and old-style manager from a marketing background does that. He has one team on an old
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 5, 2005
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          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "dingbat99999"
          <bruce.rennie@o...> wrote:
          > There are apocryphal stories I've heard about shops where teams
          > practicing XP were viewed in a negative way because they didn't
          > exhibit the same "sense of urgency" as the other teams in the
          > organization.

          I don't think the stories are all apocryphal. One of my clients, and
          old-style manager from a marketing background does that. He has one
          team on an old technology and a broken product who do death marches on
          a regular basis, and a new team using java/struts/eclipse with XP.

          He does not credit Agile with the success, just the technology. And
          he complains that there is not the same sense of urgency and
          commitment in the XP team. Totally subjective. So whenever he feels
          under financial pressure, he complains about his XP team's relaxed
          working atmosphere. He does not realize how it is not relaxed, but
          quite intense and focused on quality and delivery. They are just not
          as frazzled as the others...
        • Ron Jeffries
          ... That s so interesting. Software development is a distance run. When you watch a really great runner -- or bike rider -- they are mostly just loping along,
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 5, 2005
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            On Tuesday, July 5, 2005, at 11:01:26 AM, grahamastles wrote:

            > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "dingbat99999"
            > <bruce.rennie@o...> wrote:
            >> There are apocryphal stories I've heard about shops where teams
            >> practicing XP were viewed in a negative way because they didn't
            >> exhibit the same "sense of urgency" as the other teams in the
            >> organization.

            > I don't think the stories are all apocryphal. One of my clients, and
            > old-style manager from a marketing background does that. He has one
            > team on an old technology and a broken product who do death marches on
            > a regular basis, and a new team using java/struts/eclipse with XP.

            > He does not credit Agile with the success, just the technology. And
            > he complains that there is not the same sense of urgency and
            > commitment in the XP team. Totally subjective. So whenever he feels
            > under financial pressure, he complains about his XP team's relaxed
            > working atmosphere. He does not realize how it is not relaxed, but
            > quite intense and focused on quality and delivery. They are just not
            > as frazzled as the others...

            That's so interesting. Software development is a distance run. When
            you watch a really great runner -- or bike rider -- they are mostly
            just loping along, no energy wasted.

            Tense, tired programmers don't do better work -- they do worse. But
            maybe they're more fun to watch or something, especially when they
            keel over and die.

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            He who will not apply new remedies must expect old evils. -- Francis Bacon
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