Why the hack should I concentrate on what went wrong?
At regular intervals, the team reflects on howPrinciple #12 of http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
its behavior accordingly.
All of us fail in myriad ways almost every single day and yet we live in an age where it is difficult to be honest about failure, where it seems that everyone else is nailing their life.Elizabeth Day, the “poster girl of failure” in https://youtu.be/IcNpC7t5Q2w
At least according to some constructivists you cannot learn from non-failure. Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(psychological_school).
We have to accommodate permanently to new experiences which render our understanding of the world incomplete, improvable, or to be clear: just wrong. Maybe it’s just another way to ‘live’ W. E. Deming’s PDCA concept.
Accommodation can be understood as the mechanism by which failure leads to learning: when we act on the expectation that the world operates in one way and it violates our expectations, we often fail, but by accommodating this new experience and reframing our model of the way the world works, we learn from the experience of failure, or others’ failure.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(philosophy_of_education)
W. E. Deming talked a lot about Appreciation of a system (basically, it is one of his four points in his System of Profound Knowledge), because he knew any system will either destroy itself or end up in a stable or steady state, which I regard as a local extremum. Learning from anti-patterns will bring you to a better extremum.
Since you now got aware that failure seems to be quite normal and even useful, my question would be: What actually is failure? Which state of a system should be labelled ‘good’ which one should be called ‘bad’? How should I define quality? Let’s read a Deputy Director of The Deming Institute’s take on this:
What is the thinking which drives one to act upon the belief that the quality of industrial chemicals expires instantly, with a seeming blare of trumpets, on their implied expiration date?Bill Bellows in https://blog.deming.org/2018/12/a-brief-history-of-quality-part-1-time-has-no-divisions-to-mark-its-passage/
And (maybe finally, at least for the moment) I want to quote the great pianist and author of the book ‘Effortless Mastery’, Kenny Werner:
Perfection, to me, is celebrating the mistakes. The idea of avoiding mistakes is may be the thing that makes you miss the most important discovery.Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyPdDhIEZUE
So, does this art of failure mean sucking at things is good? No. The opposite is true. We have to train very hard to acquire knowledge, expertise, and dexterity – actually: To become good at things. But then the real life starts. And in real life things are different.
Effortless Mastery means ‘precision with ease’. So, if you are training you train like a monk studies scriptures over and over again.
You train with complete devotion.
But you perform with complete detachment.Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyPdDhIEZUE
Now you get a short insight into the art of failure, why it is quite normal, that it is our obligation to try hard and not to weep when we fail, but to learn from our failures.
But is it fun? Yes, at least it can be, if you listen to Hans Gosling’s TED on ‘How not to be ignorant about the world’:
“You almost made it to the chimp.”Hans and Ola Gosling in https://youtu.be/Sm5xF-UYgdg
Here is my list of Scrum anti-patterns:
- The Proxy-PO.
- User story too big to be implemented in one sprint.
- The Bottom-Up Approach.
- No time-boxing.
- Story = Requirement.
- Informal communication and nothing else. Slack as the leading DMS.
- Present the finished stories instead of a working system.
- C-level Interventionism. Moving Targets. “Flexible” Sprint Backlog.
- Untrained people, no formal qualification.
- No test automation. No DevOps.
- The Scrum Master as a renamed project manager.
- No vision.
- Sub-contractor stick & carrot approach.
- Management is not convinced about SAFe, but gives it a try, since the industry tells him to do so.
- What happens in a silo stays in a silo: no E2E view.
- Hundreds of stories, but not a single feature with a trustworthy benefit hypothesis.
- Strangle the roadmap by over-commitment (https://www.scaledagileframework.com/roadmap/).
General Agile Anti-Patterns
Traditional Project Anti-Patterns
- Agile works for everything, including building airports, tax collection, playing a piano concerto, and cardio surgery.
- Treating BAU as a project.
- Lack of management responsibility.
- No clue about change.
- Ignore the 1% Requirements Creep Rule.
Shall we talk about some difficulties with BER? Maybe later.