Archive for September, 2011

Magic potions Vs. Continuous improvement

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

In order to understand something, sometimes it’s easier to understand it by defining what the opposite is.

Recently, I was trying to explain to someone the fundamental principle behind continuous improvement was. Do you ever run into the scenario where you find yourself in a conversation and you hear:

“We need to build an X, it will solve all our problems and make our code bug free.”

Conversations like this, immediately sound off alarm bells in my head, because what’s essentially being suggested is a magic potion, a concoction to cure all ills, an elixir of eternal life or just plain old powered tiger scrotum.

The overuse of hyperbole and setting truly unrealistic expectations in software development only results in continuous disappointment, and slowly kills a team spirit and stakeholder trust.

Aim for steady incremental continuos improvement with small achievable micro goals, know when to pat yourself and your team on the back when they have achieved them, and make sure going off solo on a magical quest to slay a dragon get’s stigmatised and not rewarded.