Individuals never deliver enough unless they work all night. But code created this way crumbles when stressed and progress grinds to a halt. Pressure kills progress since there is no time for improvement. Motivation drives productivity not pressure and developer motivation comes from within. Developers just want to create something that matters. The team needs to be free to take responsibility for that.

At Biomni although there is an urgency to delivering functionality managers have learn’t not to apply pressure and put trust in the development team to work in the most efficient way we can. If we say we need to spend time refactoring something they let us. This trust between business and dev is vital and applying pressure can damage that trust. Although the payback for a large refactor may not be immediate, the effect on motivation if that trust was broken and pressure applied would be. This may sound as if developers never actually deliver, but delivering functionality is what motivates us and will always be our prime concern.

Pressure kills “Sustainable Pace”. Do we work a 40 hour week? No less and at the end of each day of pairing we’ve general had enough. Would we deliver more if we carried on? I doubt it, once you get tired your more likely to be off down a blind alleys or barking up wrong trees!

I think easing pressure is one of the toughest things for managers when there teams adopt agile. It really goes against instincts but it’s  a matter of trust and if you don’t trust your team you need to get to the root of that problem first.


  1. Great post tom. I agree, its so damaging when developers don’t get the trust and respect they deserve from the business. Unfortunately this rarely seems to happen.

  2. Thanks Jon, yeah it’s really got to happen in an agile environment, but those managers can really struggle to let go. I’m one of the lucky few who’s managers did 🙂

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