Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do we know we have a good idea?

I was reading the new book by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman recently. Recommended.

In the beginning of the book, they give lots of ideas about "how to think". At first, I found this curious, although the suggestions were very good.

Only today did I connect it to what I think is our biggest problem.

This is how Yogi Berra (and Nancy V) put it:
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is?"

Or -- how do we know any idea is really any good?

We could assume, but as we know, that can have bad consequences.

In other words. In my mind, my ideas (and your's and your's) are always perfect. But only in reality do we find out they are always less than perfect.

So, how do we discover the stupidness in every idea? More quickly.

So, this applies each Sprint.
And this applies in changing from waterfall to Scrum. (Yes, Virginia, even Scrum will be a little rough around the edges when applied in real life.)

So, Vodde and Larman, at a high level, are helping you discover all the stupid "truths" you currently think are right. And helping give you a means to gently convince others that their strongly held truths are just plain wrong.

A respected colleagues says: Assume half of what you "know" is wrong. Seems good advice.

I think: There will never come a day when we are finished rooting out stupidity. In ourselves (so be a bit compassionate), in any one person, and certainly in the whole team and the larger firm culture. Toyota has gone further: they are rooting out stupidity in the flow of value from one firm to another.

Taiichi Ohno started implementing Lean at Toyota in the 1940's. He was not finished when he retired in the 1980's. I am thinking with Agile, while we can be a bit impatient, we also need to take a longer view. But maybe I'm wrong.

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