Time! Why everyone is so afraid of time?

To give you some context on the 11th of March I’ve attended the Conference Agile Mammoths Games in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) where I had the pleasure to reencounter Katherine Kirk.

During one of the many interesting subjects that we discussed one that stood out was time and why people are so afraid of time.

In the end of our discussions was really great to be challenged by her to write my thoughts about this subject. So, here it is!

Its really interesting the connection/dependency that we have as humans with time even when we try not to think about it, our subconscious take us there.

As you might know and since the beginning of times we try to mesure everything using time and it works when we are talking about production lines where we always do the same thing and we know exactly how much time takes for each piece of work or any other type of work that we can say that is recurrent. But when it comes for people and intellect unfortunately this doesn’t apply.

So, I would like to start with a quick question where you ask  yourself:

“Why do you think that everyone is so afraid of time?”

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Let’s start with some of the scenarios that I’ve encountered during my carrear.

Nowadays most of the people/companies see Lean Agile as a Silver bullet that will sort all their problems. Worst than that is when they still don’t know that problem that want to solve. So, in order to improve they expect to change in a pre-establish period of time that don’t work quite well. You might be asking why? The answer from my perspective is simple.

Mentalities and culture!

Changing a individual person, team, business mentality is not the same as changing a process. This means that takes time. How much? We can’t know in advance.

So, why many people say that they can change a team in two weeks or a business way or working to be more Agile in 6 months?

First of all we need to understand the backround, mentalities and culture that we are dealing. Don’t forget that most of the time the people that are resistant to change that have a reason/concern behind.

We need to keep in mind that change takes time and that each case is a different case. There is no magic formula meaning that what works with one person, team or business maybe will not work with the next. What we can do as Change Agents is help them to understand this concept, be at their side all the time. Don’t forget that change is a continuous and never ending work since we have always space to improve.

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The other topic is delivery. Again we have time involved. We need what we are building (specific feature) in a specific date. What is most interesting is normally we need the full feature.

Again, I understand that we need a forecast since some of the times we need to coordinate with marketing (Possible TV campaigns). So, how do you think that we could short this out and free people from being afraid or time?

I believe that you already know the answer. MVP! Why should we be afraid of time if we have the chance to deliver MVP. By using MVP aren’t we able to deliver what the costumer/user really want in the pre-establish period of time? Better, aren’t we able to adapt to achieve this forecasted date or negotiate with the customer?

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.59.16

In the end I’ll keep doing this question to my self “Why everyone is so afraid of time?”

Now its my time to raise a challenge to you. Would be great to hear your thoughts and pass experiences about this subject. 😉

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