John Cutler

@johnpcutler

Our Intuition Says… Instead, Try…

December 22nd 2017

When you’ve seen something work, you tend to view it as more “intuitive”. It’s easy to forget how counterintuitive it might have felt initially. Below is a quick brainstorm on areas where our intuition may lead us astray.

When we encounter drag with software product development…

Our Intuition (Often) Says… — > Instead Try…

  • Optimize work assignments — > Pair and mob more
  • Try to “catch up” — > Do less
  • Don’t interrupt the team — > Show work to customers more often
  • Better estimates — > Work smaller
  • Lengthen sprint — > Shorten sprint
  • Keep people busier — > More slack, lower optimization
  • More prescriptive stories — > Build shared understanding (together)
  • Plan ahead — > Limit planning in progress (PIP)
  • Senior devs “crank out hard stories” — > Senior devs pair and teach
  • “Better mocks” and pixel-perfect designs — > UX/DEV pairing and pattern libs
  • Send individuals out to gather requirements — > Involve whole team in customer interviews
  • More stringent acceptance criteria — > Involve QA earlier
  • More status/progress checks — > Fewer transactional meetings
  • Individual goals — > Team goals
  • Spread work across multiple projects — > Focus on a single initiative
  • More people, add shared resources — > Smaller team, fewer dependencies
  • Assign single person to ticket duty — > Stop-the-line, swarm on fixing issues
  • Cut-corners — > Refactor, focus on quality
  • Longer grooming meetings — > Groom less
  • Managers navigate external dependencies — > Form temporary team-of-teams
  • Stay “heads down” — > Learn more about context
  • Senior architect “figures it out” in isolation — > Senior architect facilitates/coaches
  • Deliver individual “parts” — > Individual thin slice across the whole
  • Success theater to “save face” — > Make it safer to acknowledge challenges
  • Amplify what is broken — > Amplify what is working
  • Add a layer of management — > Build team self-sufficiency with coaching
  • Rigid “tech review” process — > Decentralized tech review COP
  • Integrate less often — > Integrate more often

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