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Re: [XP] Motivation to Complete Stories

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  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
    From: Steve Bate To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 161 , Apr 1, 2005
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      From: "Steve Bate" <steve.at.technoetic.com@...>
      To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
      Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 9:26 AM
      Subject: RE: [XP] Motivation to Complete Stories

      >> From: yahoogroups@... [mailto:yahoogroups@...]
      >> > An example that has come up several times recently is the conversation
      >> > around points vs. hours for estimates. One repeating argument against
      >> > hours for estimates goes, "...but if I tell them how many hours
      >> > we actually program then they'll tell us to work more hours so I'll
      >> > estimate in points so they won't tell me to work more hours." I
      >> > think this is untruthful and manipulative. Choosing points for
      >> > estimates to avoid a difficult discussion is ineffective in the
      >> > long run, even though it might avoid the appearance of
      >> > conflict at the moment.
      >> Um, Kent. Have you quit thinking? The arguement you're using as an
      >> example is a non-sequitor. There is little to no relationship between
      >> how one does the estimate and whether management is going to ask
      >> for debilitating amounts of overtime. That's a characteristic of
      >> particular manager's or organization's mindsets, and has nothing to
      >> do with the actual facts of the situation, or the observed fact that
      >> it's a counterproductive strategy.
      > I've seen the same discussions and arguments that Kent describes. I
      > agree with you that this particular argument against time-based
      > estimating is fallacious and I didn't get the impression that Kent
      > felt otherwise.
      > You recently mentioned using points to avoid being a scapegoat
      > in a culture of blame. Although your point was a bit vague, you
      > appeared to me to be saying that using time-based estimates was
      > like painting a target on your back. Maybe you can provide more
      > information, but the claim that points will protect us from being
      > a target in a hostile culture of blame also seems fallacious. I
      > haven't had experience with using points for that purpose. Do you
      > see it as a short-term or long-term solution? What are the benefits
      > and risks of this strategy? Are there more productive options we
      > could try or is this the best that can be done?

      If someone is really after shifting the blame, there's little you can
      do other than have the Pearl Harbor file ready, and a venue to
      use it.

      However, using points gets around some of the more common
      obstacles. In an envionment where everyone has always used
      time based estimates, bringing in point based estimating gives
      a chance at a new start. That can clear the air enough for something
      to get done, and maybe also clear some of the ineffective
      organizational programming at the same time.

      There's a meme that says make one small change at a time
      and measure the results. That works well for science and
      some other fields, but it doesn't work well for ineffective
      organizations. One small change at a time allows the
      organization time to assimilate the change into the current
      culture. Make a big change: change everything. Think in terms
      of a Lean Kaizen event.

      > Steve
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    • Ilja Preuss
      ... Good point, thanks! I suspect that, again, this isn t black or white, but that there is a balance somewhere. Need to muse about it... Regards, Ilja
      Message 161 of 161 , Apr 22, 2005
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        extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com wrote:
        > Ilja,
        > Sometimes it feels nice being around people who know my
        > quirks and are willing to cut me slack around them. But, I
        > learn more and grow around people who expect me to manage
        > myself and my reactions.

        Good point, thanks!

        I suspect that, again, this isn't black or white, but that there is a
        balance somewhere. Need to muse about it...

        Regards, Ilja
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