Friday, May 6, 2011

"The bad news does not get better with age."

"The bad news does not get better with age."

I use this phrase, this key principle, several times in my Scrum courses.

I say:
"Women get better with age,
Wine gets better with age,
And cheese gets better with age,
But the bad news, in our business, does not get better with age."

Digression: A long, long time ago in a place far, far away I saw Diane Lane act in a play (Runaways) at the Joe Papp theatre in NYC. (Where I lived for a long time.) She was a kid. I liked her then, and I have remained a fan ever since. Anyway, she and other wonderful women have definitely gotten better with age.

And often I talk about the data on bugs, and how the effort to fix a bug grows exponentially with the delay in identifying the bug.

And I think this exponential growth in the badness of the bad news is common throughout our knowledge creation business (yes, that's our business).

And so I say: "You have to slow down to go fast."

As an example: You have to slow down now, and create the automated tests to find the bugs quickly, so that you can go fast over the full course of the project. Yes, it costs a bit to write the automated tests, but by avoiding the exponential increase in cost (time), we are able to go much faster.

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