One pattern we are seeing with short iterations is an increase in defects and a decrease in value due to low-quality behaviors such as abandoning engineering practices. Coupled with the previously mentioned lower demo attendance, abandoned demos, and overly technical demos, many short iterations are logging the worst quality metrics in both defects and value! So that was a lot of information. But at this point, you should be clear on what the issues are. Next I will show you how to use all of that information we just explored above.
My recommendations are split into four sections:. Here is a summary of questions to help determine if your iteration length is helping or hurting your team. Functional teams or feature teams are aligned with business or user-valuable work, so they can follow the above guidelines for stories as is. But component teams are generally creating a solution used not by customers or business people but by internal technical teams. First, please know that feature teams are more desirable than component teams, since they are the ones that get true earned value. Also note that in companies with teams doing short iterations, I am seeing a rise in component teams, another side effect of time frames being too tight to create value.
Each team has a backlog of work, prioritized however it sees fit. The true stories that span these teams still exist, but because they are not first-class citizens, they move much more slowly. Teams have to negotiate priorities among their various backlogs, and that leads to a higher cost of delay. You should still write well-formed stories and demo your work.
Newman, "Narratives of Seduction"
Since those parties will be using your component, the demos should still be very interesting to them. Component teams are even more prone to this. But teams that just write whatever they feel like and call it a story are the most likely to be doing tasks instead of stories and thus are the most waterfall-like teams of them all.
The most important metrics an organization can use are release metrics. If you want to know if your move to agile is working, you need to measure release quality, predictability, productivity, and engagement. Going agile should lead to more frequent releases of better value. If a team has four-week iterations and delivers every iteration, while another team is on two-week iterations and delivers once a quarter, then their iteration length is irrelevant. If they have good stories and demos, two weeks is fine.
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If they show the symptoms above, let them pick a longer iteration. Either way, they only deliver once a quarter. Short iterations can deliver great benefits in the form of faster learning cycles and higher-value solutions. But they can just as easily increase defects and team member stress while decreasing value, predictability, and productivity.
The metrics for two-week iterations can look great, but for reasons I mentioned previously, the metrics can be deceptive. But if the story quality is, in fact, going down—if value is not truly being delivered but the measures seem great—we are being tricked into mandating two-week iterations at the expense of true success. Trust your teams to decide their iteration length. Ensure you use quality, predictability, and engagement metrics to gauge team health, not just productivity. And use the above test questions to ensure that your current iteration length is the right one for the team.
Unless they disagree, of course. Then I trust their choice and point out any risks I see. Skip to main content. Our Contributors About Subscribe. Below, I explore four points: Whether it is OK to mandate two-week iterations. The typical arguments in favor of two-week iterations. The arguments against two-week iterations. Recommendations on what to do with this information.
The consequences of a mandate As an example, a team I once worked with was using agile beyond just the software teams. Pro 1: More frequent demos: There are three interesting problems here.
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So we get fewer corrective opportunities instead of more! If your demos still inspire strong attendance, then your short iterations are looking good! Problem 2: Abandoned demos: If demos feel overly frequent, teams might stop doing demos at all. Teams with long iterations are more likely to show demos that tie into the business more clearly. Analyzing why has caused me to notice a pattern: The short-iteration teams feel so much time pressure that they have no appetite for executing ideas from their retrospectives, which are lower-priority.
Long-iteration teams are generally more open to spending time on innovations. Problem 5: No metrics: Teams doing short iterations are the least likely to generate metrics. Yet long-iteration teams seem to have much more of an appetite for them. So lots of false positives are reported. With short iterations, teams are creating stories that are not really valuable. Bottom line: More granular metrics taken over short iterations are as inaccurate as waterfall metrics were! Pro 4: More frequent agile ceremonies Problem 7: Bad habits: Short iterations can make you learn agile ceremonies faster, but their time pressure can also encourage you to form bad habits that are hard to cure.
Longer iterations have multiple weekends that break psychological continuity. We see it all the time in two-week iterations. With longer iterations, procrastination increases, and since you've loaded more points into the iteration, pow! I have seen teams take seven to nine iterations to break the habit double the three to four iterations it took for teams with two-week iterations. If we did stories as you suggest, they could never be done in two weeks! How are all the other teams doing this? We know them.
Their stories are just like ours. Impacted demos All of the above stories are hurting demos. Abandoned engineering disciplines Back in the waterfall and RUP days, we did a lot of disciplined engineering. Compromised quality Our teams define quality with two major metrics: defects and value. Recommendations So that was a lot of information. If people believe you have a plan, that you know where you are going, they will follow you instinctively The direction does not matter: pick a cause, an ideal, a vision and show that you will not sway from your goal. Most of us must compromise constantly to survive; saints do not.
They must live out their ideals without caring about the consequences. The saintly effect bestows charisma. A Charismatic relies on the power of words. A Charismatic is larger than life, has extra presence. Most people are repressed, and have little access to their unconscious— a problem that creates opportunities for the Charismatic, who can become a kind of screen on which others project their secret fantasies and longings. You need to believe in something, and to believe in it strongly enough for it to animate all your gestures and make your eyes light up. Charismatics display a need for love and affection.
Charismatics are unconventional. If any physical attribute is crucial in seduction, it is the eyes. They reveal excitement, tension, detachment, without a word being spoken. People do not want to hear that your power comes from years of effort or discipline. They prefer to think that it comes from your personality, your character, something you were born with.
Stars are ethereal and envelop themselves in mystery. People are hopelessly susceptible to myth, so make yourself the hero of a great drama. And keep your distance— let people identify with you without being able to touch you. They can only watch and dream. Second, cultivate a blank, mysterious face, the center that radiates Starness. The Anti-Seducer: those who repel Anti-Seducers come in many shapes and kinds, but almost all of them share a single attribute, the source of their repellence: insecurity. It is critical to recognize anti-seductive qualities not only in others but also in ourselves.
The Brute: Who has no patience, who wants to skip the seduction, who offends with egotism. The Suffocator: Those who cling incessantly to you, love you before you know who they are, or who make themselves a doormat to you in their obsession. The Moralizer: Who wants you to bend to their standard. The Tightwad: Cheapness displays more insecurity beyond money. The Bumbler: The awkward speaker, who makes others feel awkward too.
The Reactor: Who is terrified to have their ego damaged. The Vulgarian: Who ignores the rules of the game, presents a garrish image, does not play the game and yet expects to win. It is rather because wordless communication through clothes, gestures, actions is the most pleasurable, exciting, and seductive form of language.
The 18 Types of Seducer Victims Never try to seduce your own type. The Reformed Rake or Siren: They desperately long to escape whatever corralled them in, what is preventing them from being their normal freely sexual self. The Disappointed Dreamer: They long for adventure, but are stuck in a boring lifestyle.
The Pampered Royal: The long to be swept off their feet by a prince charming and let them live out their fantasy of being pampered and treated like royalty. The New Prude: excessively concerned with their outward appearance, underneath they want to release, but they fear judgement.
The Exotic Fetishist: They want novelty, new experiences, things on the edge, you must position yourself as something exotic. The Professor: They analyze and think deeply about everything, but long to be overwhelmed by a more free spirit who can help them release their mental barrier.
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The Beauty: Used to being appreciated, you must focus on the less complimented features like her intellect or wit. The Aging Baby: Still immature and wanting a supportive parent, you must enable their childish desires while still occasionally reeling them in. Let her be your maternal protector. The Idol Worshipper: You must become their object of worship that provides the meaning in life that they seek.
The Sensualist: Driven by their senses, you must overwhelm their site, smell, and touch, to fully draw them in. The Lonely Leader: Act as their equal or superior, the kind of relationship they rarely have.
The Floating Gender: Float with them. Seduction Phase 1: Separation, Stiring Interest and Desire Choosing the right victim The right victims are those for whom you can fill a void, who see in you something exotic. To leave people who are inaccessible to you alone is a wise path; you cannot seduce everyone.
The seduction of the two-week sprint
Never rush into the waiting arms of the first person who seems to like you. That is not seduction but insecurity. People who are outwardly distant or shy are often better targets than extroverts. They are dying to be drawn out, and still waters run deep. On the other hand, you should generally avoid people who are preoccupied with business or work— seduction demands attention, and busy people have too little space in their minds for you to occupy.
Creating a False Sense of Security, Approach Indirectly Once you have chosen the right victim, you must get his or her attention and stir desire. To move from friendship to love can win success without calling attention to itself as a maneuver. First, your friendly conversations with your targets will bring you valuable information about their characters, their tastes, their weaknesses, the childhood yearnings that govern their adult behavior.
Second, by spending time with your targets you can make them comfortable with you. Then, surprise their expectations with an errant touch or suggestion, make them now interested. There is nothing more effective in seduction than making the seduced think that they are the ones doing the seducing. The first move to master is simple: once you have chosen the right person, you must make the target come to you.
Too much attention early on will actually just suggest insecurity, and raise doubts as to your motives. Worst of all, it gives your targets no room for imagination. Take a step back; let the thoughts you are provoking come to them as if they were their own. In all arenas of life, you should never give the impression that you are angling for something— that will raise a resistance that you will never lower. Learn to approach people from the side.
Send Mixed Signals What is obvious and striking may attract their attention at first, but that attention is often short-lived; in the long run, ambiguity is much more potent. Most of us are much too obvious —instead, be hard to figure out. To deepen their interest, you must hint at a complexity that cannot be grasped in a week or two. If you have a sweet face and an innocent air, let out hints of something dark, even vaguely cruel in your character. Your existing password has not been changed. Subscribe to CityNews Toronto newsletters. You have activated your account, please feel free to browse our exclusive contests, videos and content.
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