Sunday, July 03, 2005

A Productive Team

The team I'm currently working on is highly productive. They motor through stories on a regular basis, there is little waste. They have a lot to be proud of. It makes my job easy.

On the other side the lack of waste also means a lack of slack - time to think and reflect on what you are doing. In the last week we allowed the team to "innovate" - take four days and do anything but stories. After being heads down for so long this week was a welcome relief, but also a huge learning experience for them. The payoffs for the project will be huge. People refactored, explored new ideas, and learned on their own for over 4 days.

In the past we have said to the team that they have at least four hours a week to innovate, that they should apply that however they can. The decision to defer a story for learning time is a hard one for a hard driving team and they haven't been able to make use of that time.

We will now be asking them to figure out how "innovate" like we did this week. They'll need to figure out strategies to be able to do it while developing stories. And I know we'll only gain productivity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking a day per week for that sort of thing can be successful. ThoughtWorks has at least one person doing that, and it's institutionalized at Google IIRC.

9:02 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home