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Selling the company on Courage (was Re: [XP] Digest Number 1500)

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  • Dale Emery
    Hi Ron, ... I haven t found that to be true, either for me or for others. The biggest challenge for me is to stay in touch with what I really want, right here,
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
      Hi Ron,

      > But the problem with the Courage value is that to adopt it you
      > have to admit that you don't have it.

      I haven't found that to be true, either for me or for others.

      The biggest challenge for me is to stay in touch with what I really
      want, right here, right now. When I can do that, I usually act
      courageously. When I can't, I don't.

      I often help other people do something courageous. To do that, I
      focus on helping the person explore what they really want, and
      (sometimes) what they think would happen if they took a risk. The
      idea that the person doesn't have courage never comes up.

      Dale
    • Dale Emery
      Hi Dave, ... One person at a time. One courageous act at a time. Start with myself. 1. Do something courageous, in public. This reminds people that they are
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
        Hi Dave,

        > So how do we get our companies to exhibit Courage?

        One person at a time. One courageous act at a time. Start with
        myself.

        1. Do something courageous, in public. This reminds people that they
        are able to act courageously. It helps if you survive the
        consequences of your courageous act, but that isn't always necessary.

        2. Help one person at a time to do at least one courageous thing. My
        way is to help people find out what they really want in some sticky
        situation. Often, this is enough to connect the person with their
        courage. If that doesn't do it, I sometimes ask they expect would
        happen if they were to speak up (or whatever courageous act). What's
        the worst thing that could happen? What's the best thing that could
        happen? What is most likely to happen? Sometimes, the person
        realizes that even the worst thing that could happen isn't so bad.

        I highly recommend the wonderful book "The Courageous Messenger," by
        Kathleen D. Ryan, Daniel K. Oestreich, and George A. Orr III. (San
        Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996 -- ISBN: 0-7879-0268-3)

        Dale
      • Dale Emery
        Hi Dave, ... Yes. Stop speculating about how the managers would respond. Talk to them, and listen to what they really say. Dale
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
          Hi Dave,

          > The standard answers to issues like these are listed below, but
          > none of them have ever felt very satisfying, so right below them I
          > have listed the answer that I would expect from management. Is
          > there anything else that anyone can suggest?

          Yes. Stop speculating about how the managers would respond. Talk to
          them, and listen to what they really say.

          Dale
        • Christopher Hart
          Dave, Don t sell the company on Courage. Courage implies risk, and most people avoid risk. It s better to begin implementing XP practices one by one, gathering
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
            Dave,

            Don't sell the company on Courage. Courage implies risk, and most people
            avoid risk. It's better to begin implementing XP practices one by one,
            gathering some metrics for the benefits, and then demonstrating results.
            Don't mention XP. After you generate some enthusiasm, describe how you can
            get even better results and then do it. Still don't mention XP. After you
            change the culture to accept all twelve XP practices as normal, then you can
            casually mention XP. Use the Stone Soup story from "The Pragmatic
            Programmer." Good luck!

            Best Regards,

            Chris

            Christopher Hart
            President & CTO
            Hart Edwards Corporation, Inc.
            Tel: 303-402-9883 ext 117
            Mobile: 720-231-6616

            Enterprise and Network Management Solutions

            Proprietary and Confidential Correspondence
            Copyright (c) 2001 Hart Edwards Corporation, Inc. All rights reserved.


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <dstorrs@...>
            To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2001 12:36 PM
            Subject: Selling the company on Courage (was Re: [XP] Digest Number 1500)


            > --- In extremeprogramming@y..., Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@a...> wrote:
            > > Around Sunday, September 30, 2001, 1:05:09 PM, Dave Storrs wrote:
            > >
            > > > Any thoughts, anyone?
            > >
            > > Yeah. Give up. Do our best and wait for the old farts to die off. No,
            > > bad idea. I _am_ an old fart! I guess I don't know how to sell the
            > > stuff. That's why I'm a techie, not a salesman.
            > >
            > > Ronald E Jeffries
            >
            > I'm not sure if you're
            >
            > (A) joking
            > (B) gently chiding me for giving up
            > (C) castigating me for giving up
            > (D) some combination of the above
            > (E) something else.
            >
            > So which is it? :>
            >
            > My post was meant very seriously...I believe that selling the company
            > on the idea of Courage would be a sufficient requirement for getting
            > them to try full-blown XP. I haven't been able to get them to do that
            > yet, and it's been very frustrating...largely because I couldn't
            > understand why I couldn't get them to do it. Now I see what the
            > problem is, and all I have to do is solve it.
            >
            > Certainly talking to the CTO and the other more technically-minded
            > managers will help...we share more points of reference. I understand
            > that Rome wasn't built in a day and I'll just have to keep at it. But
            > I'm *not* a salesman, and I'm asking for specific advice from the
            > people who do this for a living...e.g., consultants and coaches. (This
            > includes you, Ron, old fart or not. :>)
            >
            > So again...any ideas?
            >
            > Dave
            >
            >
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          • Steve Ropa
            ... Darn it! I was halfway through a lengthy reply, and you turn around and boil it down to one paragraph! I would just add that we also need to stop selling
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Christopher Hart [mailto:hart@...]
              > Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 10:44 AM
              > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: Selling the company on Courage (was Re: [XP]
              > Digest Number
              > 1500)
              >
              >
              >
              > Dave,
              >
              > Don't sell the company on Courage. Courage implies risk, and
              > most people
              > avoid risk. It's better to begin implementing XP practices one by one,
              > gathering some metrics for the benefits, and then
              > demonstrating results.
              > Don't mention XP. After you generate some enthusiasm,
              > describe how you can
              > get even better results and then do it. Still don't mention
              > XP. After you
              > change the culture to accept all twelve XP practices as
              > normal, then you can
              > casually mention XP. Use the Stone Soup story from "The Pragmatic
              > Programmer." Good luck!
              >
              > Best Regards,
              >
              > Chris
              >
              > Christopher Hart
              > President & CTO
              > Hart Edwards Corporation, Inc.
              > Tel: 303-402-9883 ext 117
              > Mobile: 720-231-6616
              >
              > Enterprise and Network Management Solutions
              >
              > Proprietary and Confidential Correspondence
              > Copyright (c) 2001 Hart Edwards Corporation, Inc. All rights reserved.
              >
              Darn it! I was halfway through a lengthy reply, and you turn around and
              boil it down to one paragraph! I would just add that we also need to stop
              selling management short. Managers generally are more courageous than we
              think, they just apply it in different directions. Of course, we know of at
              least one President and CTO that had the courage to do XP! ;-)

              Steve
            • Matthew Davis
              ... the ... always ... On ... most ... It may have to do with tax law and capitalizable and uncapitalizable expenses. I won t pretend to understand it
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 1, 2001
                --- In extremeprogramming@y..., Dave Storrs <dstorrs@d...> wrote:
                > XP: Doing our design incrementally, by way of The Planning Game and
                the
                > unit tests, allows us to be more responsive to your needs. We are
                always
                > working on the highest priority stories, and we can give you a
                > better-than-usual estimate of what you will get by a certain date.
                >
                > [ok, actually, I can't think of why management would object to this.
                On
                > the other hand, this is the single practice that my boss has been
                most
                > resistant to...and I have yet to understand his reasons for it.]

                It may have to do with tax law and "capitalizable" and
                "uncapitalizable" expenses. I won't pretend to understand it all, but
                I know that my boss has concerns that without a detailed up-front
                requirements document, we won't be able to put our dev costs in the
                best possible tax situation.

                Other possible concerns:

                M: You mean I have to take time to meet with you all every two weeks
                just to tell you to keep going?

                or

                M: Every two weeks?! QA is already 3 months behind, they'd all quit
                if we started giving them a new release to test every two weeks!
                Besides, we already know that a full regression takes 4 weeks to
                complete. And no, they can't automate it - I just told you they're
                three months behind, they just don't have the time to automate it.

                -Matthew
                azami@...
              • Ron Jeffries
                ... P: How often do you open your eyes when you are driving home? Steering a million dollar
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 2, 2001
                  Around Monday, October 01, 2001, 2:55:37 PM, Matthew Davis wrote:

                  > M: You mean I have to take time to meet with you all every two weeks
                  > just to tell you to keep going?

                  P: How often do you open your eyes when you are driving home? Steering
                  a <insert how many million dollars this project is worth here> million
                  dollar project is worth a half day of your time -- or your designated
                  representative -- every two weeks.

                  > or

                  > M: Every two weeks?! QA is already 3 months behind, they'd all quit
                  > if we started giving them a new release to test every two weeks!
                  > Besides, we already know that a full regression takes 4 weeks to
                  > complete. And no, they can't automate it - I just told you they're
                  > three months behind, they just don't have the time to automate it.

                  P: It takes us an average of <your number, probably >=3> cycles
                  through QA to get the code released. In that time, what's our lost
                  revenue? What are the other opportunity costs of that much delay?

                  P: We'll write the acceptance tests: we have to anyway, so that we'll
                  know when we're done and so that we can deliver clean code to QA.
                  We're trying to get the number of cycles through there as low as we
                  can.

                  Ronald E Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                  It's easier to act your way into a new way of thinking
                  than to think your way into a new way of acting. --Millard Fuller
                • Darren Hobbs
                  ... Absolutely spot on. This is almost exactly the reponse I got when pushing for frequent releases. Along with the our process doesn t allow for frequent
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 3, 2001
                    --- In extremeprogramming@y..., "Matthew Davis" <azami@s...> wrote:
                    >
                    > M: Every two weeks?! QA is already 3 months behind, they'd all
                    > quit if we started giving them a new release to test every two
                    > weeks!
                    > Besides, we already know that a full regression takes 4 weeks to
                    > complete. And no, they can't automate it - I just told you they're
                    > three months behind, they just don't have the time to automate it.
                    >
                    Absolutely spot on. This is almost exactly the reponse I got when
                    pushing for frequent releases. Along with the "our process doesn't
                    allow for frequent releases and all this 'iterative' nonsense so we
                    won't do it, and we can't change the process because the PHB's have
                    decreed it so". I _so_ wanted to say, "I see, so what you're saying
                    is that our software process is more important than the actual
                    software it is supposed to help us produce?". We were a couple of
                    floors up next to a big window so I kept my mouth shut.

                    -Darren
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