Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We'll Change Right After... No. No, You Won't.

“We’re too busy with the upcoming migration to address our quality
problems right now.”

“We can’t handle trying to change our delivery culture until after we
ship this next release.”

“All hands on deck to support modifying the system to make this next
deal. We don’t have time to add additional testing around that major

Are you, or your management, saying things like this? They’re all variants of “We’ll change right after the Next Big Thing.

Here’s some tough love for you: No. No, you won’t change.

Addressing culture and quality is a slow, long-term journey—especially if the fundamentals around test and software craftsmanship are new to your team. Addressing those issues takes commitment from everyone involved from your top-most leadership to the grunts slinging and testing code. (And the DevOps folks deploying things!) It also takes months to see the huge benefits.

There’s always a Next Big Thing. Always. If you’re only focused on putting out the fire in front of you you’ll never make time to fix the five flat tires on your vehicle. (Because if things are that bad your spare is likely flat too. To badly mix metaphors.)

You can’t change your culture and fix your delivery if you keep rationalizing priorities. Perhaps you can’t go all in on a massive effort, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find a series of small things to improve.

Commit. Take the step.

Otherwise I just don’t believe you’ll change at all.

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