Thursday, October 13, 2005

Your Solution is Part of the Problem

My group is at the end of an iteration. We are supposedly done with our work for this iteration. The code is frozen. No more changes. But, in today's stand up meeting, the tech lead was very insistent that we could sneak a few more changes into the code. The items he wants to put in are very minor pieces of functionality that we didn't quite get to in the time allotted. Nothing will be broken without these additional changes, it's just not 100% complete.

In a shocking moment of good judgment, our manager actually expressed his opinion that it was too late, the iteration is over, long live the next iteration. So now we're going to get to witness the classic battle of wills between the manager and the tech lead. This is the first instance I've seen of a real disagreement between the two of them. It should prove very interesting and educational. I say educational because, although I think my team is just plain rotten at the top, this will be a great opportunity to see what kind of commitment the manager has to the agile process in addition to whether or not his tiny tech ignorant boat can weather the storm of the superior product knowledge. Will he be beaten into submission for fear of appearing stupid / confrontational or will he stand his ground? It's so exciting.

Incidentally, this leads me to believe that the attitude of the tech lead in combination with the looming issue of story card acceptance reports are acting as a substantial barrier for my group getting jiggy with agile. It is also the first direct evidence I've had that the tech lead is a much bigger part of the problem than I had initially believed.

Update: And the tech lead wins by a nose!!! We're adding in just one tiny little wafer thin feature. You know, only because it's so small and technically the iteration isn't really really over. It's more of a slush code freeze than a rock hard code freeze.


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