A Commonplace

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24/4/2018

97 Agile Ideas - Idea Number 16

Sustainable Pace

One of the principles mentioned in the Agile manifesto is "work at a sustainable pace."

To many who aren't experienced in software development and, rather surprisingly, some who are, this sounds crazy.

Surely the way to guarantee success in software is for everyone in the team to work long hours and, whenever it looks like a deadline isn't going to be met, pull late nighters if not all-nighters to make sure that it is. Or even if it isn't the team have shown their "dedication."

People working on such projects seem then resigned to the effects that such working styles have on team morale, the mental and physical health of individual team members and the likelihood that members of the team are leaving or becoming involve in disciplinary disputes, claims of harassment and discrimination and all of the other things that signify an unhappy team.

The argument against this is an argument for sustainable pace. Humans need rest. Humans need holidays, meal breaks, time to be with their family.

Humans are better at their jobs when they get these things.

At the end of a sprint we want to be as fresh, energetic and enthusiastic as we were at the beginning. We are involved in empirical process, so as we work, we need to inspect and adapt. We can do that best when we're awake. Small groups of "troupers" who are toiling in the small hour of the morning are most likely adding as many problems as they are solving.

Good software is written in the daylight.