The Force is strong with Him

Murphy’s law – shit happens – is like gravity. It doesn’t matter if you believe in it or not, gravity will pull you down… deal with it.

In development you want shit to happen
Here’s the good news – in development you want shit to happen. Not too much, not too little. You want to fail in exactly 50% of your experiments to maximize learning. If you never fail, you were never wrong and you learn nothing. Conversely, if you always fail you never learn either. So, you want Murphy to screw up your predictions frequently.

But, enough is enough. If you let Murphy manage your initiatives alone, there is no telling where you’ll end up. Look at the picture below… flipping a coin and adding one for heads and subtracting one for tails will not land you close to zero after a thousand flips. Actually very far from it.

Flippin coins

If you go to the simulator we built below, you’ll see that experiments with 50% probability and in series will wander in all directions.

To keep this divergence under control we need to calibrate deliveries and teams – reset the clock periodically. Many agile organizations using Scrum do this after every sprint, that is what the demos are for! Duh.

Try: Flip me!

Continuous calibration and DevOps is the shit
Here’s som more good news: The days of the evil Murphy are counted. Puuh…

We use the unforeseen as a creative force in development and limit Murphy’s destruction in all other areas. Our weapons are DevOps, pair programming and Continuous integration.

Why will this work, you ask. The answer is given by the coin: When we use our weapons we reset the teams continuously! The coin flips of chance works for us and becomes our friend.

Psst… Take the simulator for a spin and look out for the upcoming limited edition Leanbee coin – a coin that will make you the boss of chance.

About the Author

Johan Frisk

With 3xBlack Belts, 33 years of Lean, Agile, & Coaching experience. Working with everything from small startups to large complex multinational organizations within areas of; gaming, telecom, food (*yammi*), health care, security (oh-oh), civil construction, banking (*kachiing*), aviation, transportation, education (1+1=3), $ales, diamonds (*even more $$*) and auditing.

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