Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, December 18, 2017

Some Thoughts About the Holiday Rush

A little holiday rush
It is the final rush of 2017.  The business is pushing to squeeze as much profit out of the holiday season while the technical professionals are scrambling to bring on-line systems promised by the executive team.  It is a busy time and filled with pressures both personal and professional.  I find it hard to cope with this strain.  You spend time keeping the commitments of others and struggle to use the difference supporting family and friends.  This week I want to make sense of the holiday rush. 

For as long as I have been a business professional, the one motivation I have seen in business is fear; visceral, cold, unforgiving terror.  It is the anxiety that you are not hitting your sales figures.  It is the panic of the payroll system not interfacing with the accounting software.  It is a shame that comes with a sixty hour work week not being enough to deliver what your manager promised. 

The reason I became so enamored with agile and scrum is I wanted to work without fear.  I have been fired the week before Christmas.  My spouse left me because I finished up a consulting contract early.  Each meeting with quality assurance or my manager triggered spasms of fear.  There had to be a better way.  Agile and scrum provided a means to do things differently and escape that fear.

I have been in the agile practice for eight years.  I have had tremendous successes and bitter failures.  I have lost countless hours of sleep and overeaten junk food.  I have struggled against organizational inertia and corporate indifference.  I would not change a thing because the changes I have made mean that one less developer is living in fear.  That makes it a worthy goal. 

So as I fight crowds to get my shopping done and stay up late to ship software on time; I understand the sacrifice and frustration I put in for 2017 is worth it.  There is a little less fear in the office.

Until next time.