Agile Quotes (from Twitter), Fourth Set
Back when I was writing my Old Blogs, I saved Tweets that, at the time, struck me as interesting when they appeared. The list was originally published in pieces as the total became quite long. long. So I’ll be reposting these in pieces to avoid posting a single list of dozens of pages.
Some quotes are not from Twitter users, but quotes other Twitter users thought were interesting from authors, philosophers, etc. There’s even a few here of my own. In some cases, there are follow-ups combined with the original.
This fourth set goes from “M” through the “S”s.
Malte Foegen — via Hillel Glazer “Replace ‘process’ with ‘work’ everywhere you see it & ppl will not get so hung-up on process.”
Marcin Niebudeck — What I find the most difficult in #agile transition is not the legacy code, but the legacy people. For legacy code we have already good engineering techniques from #xp. What do we have for legacy people?
Marcus Ahnve (via Lasse Koskela) — Feedback without conversation is criticism.
Mark Graban — Toyota people taught me to shift my mindset from “we can’t do that” to “we haven’t figured out how to do that YET.”
Mark Kilby @mkilby “Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington
Mark Levison (re: Agile retrospectives) — I ask “what needs improvement” and focus is on discovering issues. Next I ask “What does team have energy to improve”. Then they create action plan.
Mark O Oakes — A company’s ability to collectively learn faster than its competitors may be only sustainable competitive advantage
Mark Twain — The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain (via Will Green) — Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with his experience. Scott Duncan — A variation “Never argue with an idiot. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Both from Twain, I think.
Martin Fowler — “I’m fundamentally uninterested in whether sw development is a craft, an art, a trade, or a desert topping”
Martin Fowler — I’d rather someone thoughtfully does something counter to my advice than someone blindly follows it.
Martin L. Shoemaker — If you want to get things done around here, you have to learn to think outside the boss…
Martin v Weissenberg (overheard) — Software development is like Tetris, errors pile up but achievements disappear.
Mary & Tom Poppendieck (from Leading Lean Software Development) via Jason Yip — It is the overhead incurred to enable auditability that induces the waste, not the standards themselves.
Mary & Tom Poppendieck (from Leading Lean Software Development) via Jason Yip — Randomly giving patients medication until they get better would not even be considered. And yet, we randomly give our work processes medicine, adding on more and more ‘best practices,’ until the processes seem to get better.
Mary & Tom Poppendieck (from Leading Lean Software Development) via Jason Yip — The advantage which a commander thinks he can attain through continued personal intervention is largely illusory. By engaging in it he assumes a task that really belongs to others, whose effectiveness he thus destroys. He also multiplies his own tasks to a point where he can longer fulfill the whole of them. (actually a quote from Helmuth Von Moltke)
Matt Podwysocki — @KentBeck now what about the anti-for campaign? I could get behind that one too. Composable functions over explicit loops.
Matthew Heusser — my Fathinlaw, a quality engineer at Ford, once told me the quality engineering discipline existed to product cmpny from execs
Max Planck (via Michelle Sliger) — A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Me and I did not put it on Twitter. I was, but thought better of it: I have no idea why or where it came from, but this just popped into my head: Data is not information. Information is not fact. Fact is not reality. Reality is not truth.
Michael (Doc) Norton@DocOnDev “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle
Michael Bolton — @cory_foy “OH: ‘We just need to go faster’” No, no! Work smarter! No, no! Work harder!
Michael Bolton — If the last question is “Am I okay with having no more questions?”, then you’re done. If you’re not okay with that, you’re not.
Michael Bolton — Often enough, bugs aren’t mistakes. Sometimes they’re differences of opinion, discoveries, dilemmas, etc.
Michael Bolton — Serendipity is the discovery of something in the absence of a goal to discover it.
Michael Bolton — Testing is not quality assurance. Testing provides information to those who make decisions about quality assurance (programmers, managers).
Michael Bolton — Testing is what you do when designing a check, interpreting the result of a check, and learning. Spell checkers *help you test* spelling. J.B. Rainsberger — Here’s a clue: automated “tests” replaced the error-prone “guru checks output” anti-pattern. The clue is right there. Michael Bolton — Not always. You DO need a guru (programmer, tester, business person) to design and interpret the results of the check. James Marcus Bach — Non-sapient work can, but not necessarily should be performed by computer. Checking is a poor substitute for testing. In general, when checking substitutes for testing, bad outcomes happen. But it has its place. Regression CHECKING != regression TESTING. Latter /investigates risk/ of change-related failure, requires *new* tests. Michael Bolton — You can call unit tests and ATDD “tests” if you like; I don’t mind. But if you only *check* your product, you may not be *testing* it well. Testing is explorative (probing) & learning oriented. Checking is confirmative (verification & validation of what we know.
Michael Bolton — That which is ubiquitous without being influential is in obsolescence. (from Mark Federman @ #Agile 2008, and maybe from McLuhan).
Michael Bolton — The *number* of test cases that are passing or failing has no more meaning than the *number* of ideas you had in the shower.
Michael Bolton — The problem with maturity models: they assess “maturity” on based conformance, instead of independence and adaptability.
Michael Bolton — There is no test that is guaranteed to be needed only once. True; as is the converse. A test of some kind will help us tell the difference.
Michael Bolton “Don’t mistake requirements document for the requirement. Don’t mistake process manual for the process”.
Michael Bolton -To me, “going meta” means “going above the current level of conversation to try to figure out what we’re really talking about”.
Michael Bolton: We get into BIG problems when we confuse MEASUREMENT which can be qua [l | nt] itative with METRICS, which are functions, quantitative.
Michael D. Hill @GeePawHill “i create/exploit openings that allow people — including me — to take tiny steps that might bring them closer to who they wish they were.”
Michael Feathers — I still think the best way to predict the future is to have friends in time zones ahead of you.
Michael Feathers — If you want to learn from experts listen to their questions more than their answers.
Michael Feathers — The test of a philosophy is the state the world would be in if it were followed fully. Most philosophies posit impossible worlds. Human nature is the one bit that many philosophies don’t account for. Some pay lip service to it, but then conveniently ignore it.
Michael Feathers (via Jurgen Appelo) — If you don’t give your software a shape, it’s going to get a shape anyway. The reason most of our code sucks is that we don’t take ourselves seriously as users of our code. Constraints drive design. TDD is an example of a constraint (testable code), and design thrives in constraints.
Michael James (actually from a mailing list talking about Scrum and Kanban) — I’m not sure it matters too much whether someone edits with vi or emacs, as the real challenge is what’s in the file.
Michelle Sliger — Deming says don’t blame the people, it’s the system. My question: who forged the sys? PEOPLE. Who’s going to chg the sys? People. Let’s get busy. Dennis Stevens — I feel sorry for the system. People are always abusing it and gaming it. It just isn’t nice. Skip Angel — One more: Many orgs expect mgmt to fix systems, but best ppl are those that are closest to problems system is trying to fix. Esther Derby — even when U can’t chg the system, U can chg your response to the system from any point in org.
Michelle Sliger — The importance of facing the truth and saying Yes 2 reality, then no 2 denial.
Mike Cottmeyer (quoted by Jesse Fewell from PMI NAC event) — “Agile non-negotiables are teams, mature backlogs, predictable cadence, and definition of done.” “The first goal of an agile team is not to go faster, but to be stable.”
Mike Schubert — Agile Development isn’t doing things faster — it’s doing the right things sooner (which may make you appear … faster).
Mike Sutton — i just got reminded of something that i forgot — thank you @netparr — agility is *not* about getting everything right, but being able to respond to them quickly and correctly when they go wrong.
Mike Sutton — The larger the organisation the thinner the thread that connects work to value.
Mike Wesely — “Statistics are often used as a drunken man uses a lamppost; for support rather than illumination.”
Mitch Kapor — “Is the good enough the enemy of the barely ok?” Brian Foote — Nope. The barely ok is the enemy of everything.
Mitch Kapor — The perfect is the enemy of the good, & the good is the enemy of the good enough. Is the good enough the enemy of the barely ok?
Morrell (via Jesse Fewell at InfoTech2010) — your team doesn’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Nancy Duarte (via @johnnieb99, via Brian Stallings) — “If a slide contains more than 75 words, it has become a document.”
Napoleon Bonaparte — Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.
Naresh Jain — Little things make big things possible. Close attention to fine details brings out excellence in your craft.
Naresh Jain — Code is not an asset its a liability. Tacit knowledge gained building the product is the asset.
Naresh Jain — Increasing velocity is one thing and making your team more productive is another. Don’t confuse one for another.
Naresh Jain — Instead of asking how much its going to cost & how long its going to take, ask with 2 ppl for 2 months what can I get?
Nat Pryce — New manifesto: while we value valuing things other than value, we value valuing value more.
Nicole Radziwill — Alex just invented a new word: “for-gonna-get” — when you haven’t forgotten about it yet, but you will forget something in the future.
Nigel Baker @nigelebaker If I did a one day workshop in London and Dublin on “How to make SAFe Safer” — Would you be interested? Tobias Mayer @tobiasmayer Why would you do that? Nigel Baker @nigelebaker Why have AA? Tobias Mayer@tobiasmayer Ah, I see where you’re coming from. How about “How to make SAFe more risky” ? After all, we don’t need safety, we need daring.
Niklas Bjørnerstedt (via Kent Beck blog) — A good team can learn a new domain much faster than a bad one can learn good practices.
Ohno — “Do not codify method” [because improvement is never-ending, and by writing it down, your process will ossify].
Oikosofy @Oikosofy Scaling = do more of something (value delivery) with less of something else (slow coordination).
Pat Reed (via George Dinwiddie) — Projects fail at the beginning, not at the end.
Paul Dyson (via William W. (Woody) Williams) — “Scrum Masters remove impediments, Project Managers prevent them occurring.”
Paul Seibert — Are you agile? Look for adaptation in the face of things you did not expect?
Paul Seibert — The right people don’t need to be managed. if you need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.
Paula Thornton (via Grant Rule) — Toyota “not normal corp business model…they’ve learned how to learn. GM makes cars. Toyota makes people who make cars” Grant Rule — If Toyota has “learned how to learn” by “mak[ing] people who make cars” who in the software industry makes ppl who make effective systems?
Payson Hall — On reflection, key takeaway from #Risk Conference last month was definition of #project risk as “Uncertainty that matters”.
Payson Hall — Pondering process improvement/decay cycle oscillation: +Pain > +motivation > +rigor > -pain > -motivation > -rigor > +pain… (repeat)
Peter R. Scholtes (via Glyn Lumley) — Why do you hire dead wood? Or, why do you hire live wood and kill it! (From The leader’s handbook: making things happen, getting things done).
Peter Scholtes (via Glyn Lumley) — Bureaucracy is a form of waste.. people with no real work to do impose needless tasks on those with real work to do.
Peter Scholtes (via Glyn Lumley) — Explaining why change is important will not make the change happen.
Phillip G Armour — and testing is also about finding out how to find out something you don’t know you don’t know.
Plato (via Anthony Marcano via Matt Heusser) — Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. [But good people may find some rules helpful where multiple, apparently “good” options may exist?]
Ralph W Emerson (Via Alan Shalloway) — “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
Ramsey Show (via Carlton Matthews) — “Savings has to be done on purpose. Debt can just happen.”
Randy Nelson (of Pixar) — Core skill of innovators is error recovery not failure avoidance. [Is agile more about the former compared to traditional approaches that may emphasize the latter?]
Ricardo Semler — “It’s unfair to expect all employees to feel passionate about their work.”
Rob England — Open content standards those I know of have failed. Open OK, but need money and editors. COBIT 5 might fly.
Rob Myers — so the msg could be “slow down for quality & use quality to speed up”
Robert Pirsig (via Alison Austin) — If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, that rationality will simply produce another factory.
Ron Jeffries — an estimate is a guess in a clean shirt.
Ron Jeffries — If we write a great tester’s tests before even writing the software, and ship when they run, have we found or prevented defects?
Ron Jeffries — It is becoming clear that w sufficient disrespect, sarcasm, recalcitrance, we can stop any/t good from ever happening again.
Ron Jeffries — OK. Here’s the deal. The fact that you think you need tools to support your distributed development is a sign. Read the damn sign.
Ron Jeffries — There is a big difference between “I don’t know a better way” and “there is no better way”.
Ron Jeffries — @jwgrenning well put. TDD style finds mistakes, preventing defects.
Rosabeth Kanter — Change is a threat when done TO people, an opportunity when done BY them.
Roy Atkinson (via Noami Karten) — If each of us holds up a little bit of the world, it will weigh none of us down.
Scott Adams (via David Hussman via maiasylba) — Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Bellware — That decay that plagues community efforts (agile, alt.net, etc) is only inevitable if the community fears principled community organization. With a values statement of code of conduct, a community becomes an *intentional community*. A community with defined values and protocols can afford more diversity than a community that eschews definition for the sake of diversity. A community’s core values necessarily creates a core group. as long as that group doesn’t devolve into a clique, it strengthens the whole. On top of creating definitions that permit a core, the group needs values and protocols to recognize and address cliquishness of the core.
Scott Duncan — And instead of a CSM test, what about a CSP-like statement that CSM “graduates” would have to submit and have judged?
Scott Duncan — Change may be hard as 1 change often causes/requires another, then another. What looked like absorbable change cascades.
Scott Duncan — I am just not convinced the way to combat dysfunction is with more easily dismissed forms of dysfunction. (’Cause Tim Ottinger liked it! J)
Scott Duncan — I see “giving” offense as different from “taking” it. I can avoid the former, but likely not the latter.
Scott Duncan — I think we can/should talk about both what is valuable to do & how best to do it. Being clear about what both mean. Don’t see a need to create a dichotomy between the what & how as long as we realize the latter serves the former. Perhaps an uber-value [is] “We value being clear about what is important to accomplish over how we achieve that end”?
Scott Duncan — I think we should talk about (what I think is) DeMarco’s main point: focusing on the goal of creating software that changes/transforms and the conception vs construction aspect of software. Note also that he does not reject the idea of engineering software, so understanding what that may mean still seems important, though control, predictability & consistency are not most important to him.
Scott Duncan — In general we do not expect perfection, but in particular, we do.
Scott Duncan — My reading of the article suggests the pt is to focus on building transformational sw, not expect cmd & ctrl will be the best way to structure doing that, and rethink what the engineering of sw needs to mean in doing so.
Scott Duncan — Perhaps why some at #agileroots felt “real” agile is about code & coding techniques, feeling social “stuff” is a distraction. Alistair noted that people saying this weren’t around when the Manifesto was crafted. Kent Beck — how odd. the social stuff is the point. technique supports relationships. Ron Jeffries — Yes, many techies think “social stuff” is distraction. But no: valuable skill. At same time, one puts effort where one’s heart is. George Dinwiddie — Many business people also think “social stuff” is distraction.
Scott Duncan — Stability seems relative: depends on how much change one can absorb/comprehend in some period of time. Could it be that acceptance/concern over an agile approach is about one’s relative sense of stability?
Scott Duncan — Waste: Write on board; copy to paper; transcribe to elec doc; have a bunch of people review to check for mistakes, etc.
Scott Duncan (From the movie “Nightwatch”) — “It’s easier for a man to destroy the light within himself than to defeat the darkness all around him.” (Anna Nachesa said the actual translation from the original Russian is: “It’s always easier to put out the light within yourself than to cast away the darkness outside.”
Scott Duncan @agileswqual Have seen only a few interesting fortune cookie messages, but this is one: “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
Scott Duncan @agileswqual Just read this: “It is easier to act your way into a new way of feeling, than feel your way into a new way of acting” Lawrence M Miller
Scott McKain — “What gets measured is what gets done” is true but also “What gets measured gets emphasized by management.”
Scott W. Ambler @scottwambler Is your governance strategy designed to enable the work or to control the workers?
Scott W. Ambler@scottwambler — Calling traditional SW “predictable” provides air cover for needless bureaucracy and poor practice.
Seiche Sanders (ASQ) — I’ve never been a fan of the shooting-a-mouse-with-a-shotgun problem-solving approach. Propagates more problems/costs.
Serge Beaumont — Agile is techniques at the Shu level, a framework at the Ha level, and a culture at the Ri level.
Seth Godin (not from, but pointed to from, Twitter) — Organizations thrive on their ability to allow individuals to remain faceless. It permits them to act badly, not in the interest of their customers.
Shigeo Shingo — What is the Toyota Production System? When asked this question most people (80 percent) will echo the view of the average consumer and say: “It’s a kanban system”; another 15 percent may actually know how it functions in the factory and say: “It’s a production system”; only a very few (5 percent) really understand its purpose and say: “It’s a system for the absolute elimination of waste.” Some people imagine that Toyota has put on a smart new set of clothes, the kanban system, so they go out and purchase the same outfit and try it on. They quickly discover that they are much too fat to wear it! They must eliminate waste and make fundamental improvements in their production systems before techniques like kanban can be of any help. The Toyota production system is 80 percent waste elimination, 15 percent production system, and only 5 percent kanban. This confusion stems from a misunderstanding of the relationship between basic principles of production at Toyota and kanban as a technique to help implement those principles. — Shigeo Shingo, A Study of the Toyota Production System
Simon Sinek — Leadership isn’t communicating what you need, leadership is communicating what you can contribute.
Skip Angel — Coaching = Not afraid 2 pull off band-aid of workarounds 2 expose infection of problems under surface. May hurt but needed 4 org’s health!
Skip Angel — Decided that bug repositories are evil. Gives teams excuse 2 defer defects not show-stoppers. Don’t all bugs cause workarounds 4 team/users?
Skip Angel — While #scrum is based on empirical sys 4 learning, u must have values & principles 2 guide ur learning. Agile Manifesto does that. Chris Sterling — agreed. I am more interested in teams learning & changing rather than being “right”; a team will get better when focused on both.
Solomon & Flores (via Esther Derby) — The cost of trust may on occasion be devastating, but the high cost of distrust is virtually guaranteed.
Stephen King (via Peter Murphy) — If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.
Stephen Mann (via Anna Nachesa) — Love the old management saying … meetings — where minutes are saved and hours are lost.
Stephen Parry (via Grant Rule) — “If you measure your business using averages, don’t be surprised to find yourself running an average business.”
Steve Jobs (via Scott Williams) — Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Steve Keating — When we throw mud at others, not only do we lose a lot of ground, we also get our hands dirty.
Steven Keating — People don’t buy your product for the value you put into it. They buy it for the value they get out of it. Sell that way!
Steven Keating — People quit leaders not companies. If you lose employees you don’t have an employee problem, you have a leadership problem.
Steven M Smith — A TEAM without the means to score product value is missing explicit agreement with their customer(s) about significance. A TEAM obsessed with product quality IME runs out of funds, which forces shipment, which results in a product with little value. A TEAM obsessed with time to market IME operates on hunches and ships quickly with the hope that its product has value.
Steven M Smith — Tell me my idea is wrong and I’ll think that info is useful. Assist me to transform the idea so it’s right and I’ll feel helped.
Steven M Smith — When a TEAM reaches consensus, ideally IME each member has agreed to actively rather than passively support the decision. Most TEAMS don’t use consensus to make decisions IME, which results in many members failing to actively support the decisions. a TEAM that uses consensus to make minor decisions IME wastes its time: Empower individuals or sub-teams to make minor decisions. a TEAM member is guilty of fraud when they participate in a consensus decision and refuse to support it to an outsider.
Steven M. Smith — Effort chases measurement. Measurement chases the discussable. Core org diseases aren’t discussable. Diseases elude cure (effort).
Sydney J. Harris (via Chris Moy) — “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”