Change for the sake of change

Dear Kalle,

this has long been a pet peeve of mine:

I hate when people (usually managers) want to change the look of the corporate website just to “keep it fresh”. Not better, not improved, just fresh. Without measuring, the best efforts can actually make the website worse than before.

On the other hand, there are arguments that change or attention in itself creates positive results:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne_effect

This can be seen in almost any team implementing agile for the first time – regardless of how bad your early implementation is, the team will become entusiastic enough that it shows in the quality of work produced. However, when this effect dies out eventually as things becomes more settled, the true colors of the quality of your agile implementation will start to show.

Agile methodologies usually combat this effect by embracing constant change and refinement within the methodolgy itself.

However, it would be interesting to switch the entire methodology every three months or so between SCRUM, Kanban, Crystal etc, just to “keep things fresh” and keep the entusiasm going. Food for thought (might be more interesting than practical though).

Until then – keep it fresh,

Mattias

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2 thoughts on “Change for the sake of change

  1. Dear Matte

    A very interesting point… I would counter that Scrum is also about finding a rhythm as well… And that can be even more valuable then a new outlook.

    I think that there is balance to be found. I think you can keep enthusiasm by changing small things all the time, rather then throwing the entire world in to upheaval. Things like trying different types of retrospectives.

    I think that’s the reason we see a sign of a healthy Scrum team being “Discussing, criticizing, and experimenting with the process”.

    But hey, that’s just my opinion… It might be I am simply not brave enough to try your suggestion.

  2. Yeah, switching methodologies that frequently is probably too extreme. I like the retrospective switch you suggested a bit more, I think switching part of the methodlogy might be an interesting and also feasible idea to try out.

    We have to also consider that there is always a bit of a hump when switching the way you work where you are a bit less effective than usual since you can’t get through the tasks of the methodology as efficient as you will be able to after doing it for a while when it becomes second nature.

    So during this period, I guess you could picture yourself as a cow released to graze at spring – enthusiastic about the change but you are tripping over yourself a bit as your legs aren’t used to your new environment.

    See, cows and SW development is closely related in more ways than one… 🙂 (Don’t get me started on SW development and snails…)

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