Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The 10 minute bug fix that takes a day

We have these mystical creatures around that eat up hours in a day. I first started recognizing them with discussions that went something like this:

"Oh, we need to fix a bug", I said. "Sure, I work on it.", the developer said. A day later the dev comes back proclaiming "It was only a 10 minute fix". "But it took the whole day, did you do something else?", I ask. "No, but the fix was only 10 minutes".

On the side, depending on the power structure of the organization, there's a manager causing confusion from what he picks up on that discussion. They might want to go for the optimistic "10 minutes to fix bugs, awesome" or pessimistic "a day to do 10 minutes of work".

The same theme continues. "It took us a 2-week sprint for two people to do this feature" proclaimed after the feature is done. "But it took us 2 2-week sprints for two full-time and two half-time people to do this feature, isn't there something off?"

There's this fascinating need for every individual to look good belittling their contribution as in how much time they used, even if that focus on self takes its toll on how we talk about the whole thing.

There's a tone of discussion that needs changing. From looking good through looking at numbers of effort, we could look good though looking at value at customer hands. Sounds like a challenge I accept.