BBQ & Software improvements

Who would refuse an improvement? Don’t we just love magic wands, we wave them, and voila, instant better results. “You, you, you, you are now a team, good luck”. Or how about this one; let’s implement tool X, and make it a mandatory tool for everybody, that will surely improve our production. Yeah, like a tool will solve our problems…sigh. Jerry Weinberg mentioned this about tools; “Don’t kid yourself. Software users will find ways of not using software they don’t want to use”.

So how do we get better results? Forget about agile, scrum, lean, prince2, automation, etc. Try something easier: practice!

Let me use a hobby of mine as an example: BBQ. It takes great skill to master your BBQ. It takes countless hours of practicing. I’m sure you experienced a terrible bad BBQ meal; burned sate, dry chicken, tough steak, and a destroyed brisket. Most people struggle with their BBQ, because they don’t practice. So how do you practice with a BBQ? It’s so simple! Do a dry run. A dry run is a good practice to calibrate your BBQ, so you know what it is doing and how it reacts to changes (coal burn down, vent openings). No food needed, so it’s cheap, but the information value is high. Today I practice the low and slow cooking with the Snake Method, because I want to improve my skills.

Daniel Pink told us a little secret: People want to get better at what they do. It’s called Mastery. So let them practice.

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