Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [XP] Re: All this talk on accountability

Expand Messages
  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
    From: banshee858 To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      From: "banshee858" <cnett858.at.hotmail.com@...>
      To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
      <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
      Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 10:03 AM
      Subject: [XP] Re: All this talk on accountability


      >
      >
      >>
      >> >
      >> >Reflecting on my original post and some of Kent's comments
      >> >recently, I still fail to see where parties other than developers
      >> >are held accountable.
      >> >
      >> >- If the customer is mad that the development team did not deliver
      >> >because they choose the wrong stories, when is the customer held
      >> >accountable for their selection?
      >> >
      >> >- If the development team did not deliver what the customer wanted
      >> >because the customer did not understand the concepts of velocity
      >> >or yesterday's weather, when is the customer held accountable for
      >> >not doing their homework?
      >> >
      >> >If I am going to be accountable, then it is only fair that equal
      >> >parties opposite to me are accountable for their actions as well.
      >> >
      >> >
      >> They are, but it is accountability that you don't see in the team
      >> room. Typically, customers are accountable to the rest of the
      >> organization for the progress of the project.
      >>
      > I agree that is true. However, are you implying that while I may be
      > accountable to Jane, Jane is not accountable to me?

      Good point. That sounds more like a setup for "kick the cat."

      John Roth
      >
      > Carlton
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
      >
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
      >
      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • banshee858
      ... That what it sounds like to me, but there must be something more I am missing. Perhaps this (a new way of thinking about accountability) is a reason why
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 1, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        >
        > >> They are, but it is accountability that you don't see in the
        > >> team room. Typically, customers are accountable to the rest of
        > >> the organization for the progress of the project.
        > >>
        > > I agree that is true. However, are you implying that while I may
        > > be accountable to Jane, Jane is not accountable to me?
        >
        > Good point. That sounds more like a setup for "kick the cat."
        >
        That what it sounds like to me, but there must be something more I am
        missing. Perhaps this (a new way of thinking about accountability) is
        a reason why XP is still called "Extreme" Programming? Maybe the
        "extreme" part is Jane would allow herself to be accountable to me?

        Carlton
      • Steve Bate
        ... Hi Carlton, I m not sure why you feel there must be reciprocity in this example. There are many patterns of behavior that people embrace because they feel
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 1, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          > From: banshee858 [mailto:cnett858@...]
          >
          > >
          > > >> They are, but it is accountability that you don't see in the
          > > >> team room. Typically, customers are accountable to the rest of
          > > >> the organization for the progress of the project.
          > > >>
          > > > I agree that is true. However, are you implying that while I may
          > > > be accountable to Jane, Jane is not accountable to me?
          > >
          > > Good point. That sounds more like a setup for "kick the cat."
          > >
          > That what it sounds like to me, but there must be something more I am
          > missing. Perhaps this (a new way of thinking about accountability) is
          > a reason why XP is still called "Extreme" Programming? Maybe the
          > "extreme" part is Jane would allow herself to be accountable to me?

          Hi Carlton,

          I'm not sure why you feel there must be reciprocity in this example.
          There are many patterns of behavior that people embrace because they
          feel it's the right thing to do rather than only because others
          are doing them. One candidate would be effective communication. This
          could include providing timely and accurate information related to
          estimated and actual effort at a level of detail the stakeholders
          find most useful.

          Maybe it would help me if you explained what it would look like for
          a customer to be accountable to you. I've worked on teams where it
          was acceptable for a developer to ask a customer about rationale for
          specific feature. For example, we could ask about cost/benefit
          tradeoffs, ROI, or even about business politics influencing
          functionality choices. Is this the form of customer accountability
          to development you'd like to see. How would you behave differently
          if the customer were accountable in this way?

          Steve
        • banshee858
          ... I don t know. It just seems to me, we are once again hand waving about some concept, this time its called accountability , and not discussing how it
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 1, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            >
            > Maybe it would help me if you explained what it would look like for
            > a customer to be accountable to you. I've worked on teams where it
            > was acceptable for a developer to ask a customer about rationale
            > for specific feature. For example, we could ask about cost/benefit
            > tradeoffs, ROI, or even about business politics influencing
            > functionality choices. Is this the form of customer accountability
            > to development you'd like to see. How would you behave differently
            > if the customer were accountable in this way?
            >
            I don't know. It just seems to me, we are once again hand waving
            about some concept, this time its called "accountability", and not
            discussing how it plays out in real life, what accountability means
            for all the parties involved or how team which values accountability
            acts. All I have heard in the discussion is how the developers act,
            so it suggests to me that the only people affected by accountability
            are developers. I must be wrong, because I don't think that is the
            message.

            Carlton
          • Dale Emery
            Hi Carlton, ... A thought occurred to me: Accountability begins with a commitment. It s the commitment that gives the idea of rendering account context and
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 3, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Carlton,

              > ...has me feeling uncomfortable since most of what we talk
              > about is programmer accountability. Where do we hold the
              > other members of the team accountable for their actions? To
              > me, accountability sounds like reinforcing the unequal power
              > relationship between programmers and management.

              A thought occurred to me: Accountability begins with a
              commitment. It's the commitment that gives the idea of
              "rendering account" context and meaning.

              If that's right, then conversely it makes little sense to ask
              someone to account when they haven't made a commitment.
              Accountability isn't a free-floating attribute of the person.
              It's a three-way relationship that relates two people and a
              commitment: Person A is accountable to Person B for commitment C.

              What commitments have managers made to the programmers? Some of
              the most important ones are general and determined way in advance
              of any interaction: "I'll pay you for your work." If the
              manager isn't paying you, or isn't paying you the right amount,
              or isn't paying you on time, then, yah, call them to account.

              When managers ask programmers to do specific tasks, the
              programmer makes a more specific commitment: To do this specific
              task. It's the specificity of the task that makes it more
              specifically accountable.

              In the interaction, the manager's commitment doesn't become any
              more specific. It stays about the same: "... and I'll pay you
              for it." So there's not much new to account for.

              It's because programmers commitments are more numerous and more
              specific that accountability seems to flow more often in one
              direction.

              Now, it may be that the manager sometimes makes more specific
              commitments. "This will factor highly in your next review." And
              it may be that the programmer is imagining that the manager is
              making a commitment -- perhaps expecting that this task will
              factor highly in the next performance review.

              So if you're wanting to hold the manager accountable, the place
              I'd start is by identifying what commitments the manager has made
              to you, and what commitments you want the manager to make. If
              the commitment isn't explicit, the next step might be to make it
              explicit.

              Dale

              --
              Dale Emery, Consultant
              Inspiring Leadership for Software People
              Web: http://www.dhemery.com
              Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd

              Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
              --Niels Bohr
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.