I find it slightly humorous that I find myself in the agile field sometimes. Agile was and is about disruption to the norm; what we had gotten used to. When I think about my internal inclination, one of the pieces I’ve been trying to become more okay with is not having to always be in the “norm” or follow all the rules. As a teenager (like many I’m sure), I just wanted to fit in and only stand out when it was overwhelmingly positive. I didn’t want to be the “weird kid” and I still feel that a lot of times. I was curious how this manifested itself in my work and relationships and really how I had fallen into agile.
“It was the perfect storm.” “That’s just the way things are here.” “That won’t work for us; we’re too different.” “It’s a catch-22.” “There’s too much history.” If you are hearing these phrases at your organization, chances are it may be suffering from learned helplessness. What is learned helplessness you ask? It’s basically when we have difficulty both identifying and unlearning bad habits. We can no longer see anything as an opportunity for change. We come up with reasons for why something can’t or isn’t working instead of coming up with ways it could work. We (sometimes) unknowingly derail any true progress because of the intrinsic helplessness we feel after being shut down so many times. We just cannot see a way out of this vicious spiral.
So it’s been awhile since I’ve been active here and it was time to pick it up again. Let’s talk about diversity *everyone sighs uncomfortably and looks for the back button* – NO NO WAIT! Diversity isn’t what you may think it means. Let’s talk about what else it can mean and why it’s a big deal.
This is a good follow on to the velocity and capacity discussion. If velocity is the amount of new feature work we can get done in a sprint and capacity is the amount of bandwidth we have in the sprint, other stuff fills in the delta between velocity and capacity. SO…do we estimate it?
We have a problem. Ok, I have a problem. I’m realizing velocity is often being used as a synonym for team capacity. In fact, I’ve done it, too. Don’t think that’s a problem? Well it impacts our forecasting, estimation, team health, and organizational expectations.