Things that get in the way

I worked with a team on this list as an exercise to understand why it was we didn’t seem to be able to get software out the door well. Our releases at the time were breaking in production, if they made it there at all.  The idea I had was simple: if we dont understand why we weren’t releasing on time, or why what we were releasing was breaking so badly => DON’T RELEASE AT ALL!  Seek first to understand.  Once understood, demonstrate.  Once demonstrated, do.

If you can’t do it right slowly, doing it fast just makes it worse.

Sadly, I was reprimanded for doing this work (it was a waste of time according to my boss) even though I felt it quite useful for the team.  Below is the fruit of our labor:

Things that get in the way


  • Lack of urgency and complacency
  • Ignorance
  • Naive
  • Unchallenged Assumptions
  • Lack of focus (production focus)


  • Lack of priorities and planning
  • Not enough development / qa time
  • Lack of focus
  • Lack of accountability
  • Poor communication
    • Expectations
    • Goals
    • Purpose
    • Needs
    • Help
  • No feedback loop


  • Resource Contention
  • Lack of understanding usage
  • Redundancy
  • Unbounded growth
  • Lack of safety nets

Code and Architecture

  • Lack of standards
  • resource consumption
  • Lack of safe guards
  • Broken logic
  • Architecture
    • No architecture at all!
    • Over simplifications
    • Over complications

[author’s post-writing-edit: Biggest problem is YOURSELF. Don’t get in your own way, and don’t let things distract you from the goal. YOU are often in more charge of if you are successful than you are willing to take responsibility for!]

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