Keep your head

Agile practices require mindfulness. Anxiety, competition, panic, and pressure cause people to abandon any scientific methods and become reactive. Lizard brains take over and progress is lost. I’ve watched smart managers destroy productive self organising teams too many times. Quality is replaced by a “just get it done” as they revert to an energy sapping command and control attitude. It never pays.

Emotions are infectious and its hard not become caught up in the general panic.  For developers who fall into this trap the damage can take years to recover from. The code written during these periods will be far more of a liability than the missed deadline was. I work with some fantastic developers who refuse to lower their standards under these circumstances. They know that by keeping their head they will be more effective in the short term and long. I take my hat off to these guys.

Many teams work under these circumstances permanently and the result is downward spiral of productivity as more and more time is spent trying desperately to decipher rushed code, whilst dealing with a mushrooming mountain of  bugs. No time is given to stop and address the problem. Motivation is provided by the crack of whip. Its takes a lot of courage to change a culture like this.

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