Today I had to drive my daughter to her Karate class. We got on the car and while driving, I started a conversation:
Me: How’s school
She: OK. Nothing special
Me: How’s that “Talk show” going?
She: Good. We are ready for it but we haven’t done it yet. Right now we are busy with something new
Me: What is the new project
She: A debate
Me: Interesting!! On what?
She: Should we have internet at school or not
Me: Hmm!! What side are you? Pro or Con?
She: Don’t know! Teacher will decide that when we have the debate. We are preparing for both
Me: You already prepared?
She: Yes. We have a list of pros and cons
Me: When is the debate?
She: I don’t know. Our teacher is extremely smart. He knows that if he gives us deadlines, we will procrastinate and then rush at the end. So we just do it! Me: Hmmm. So if the debate is tomorrow you are ready and if the debate is next week you are ready?
She: Yes. We have the list of what we want to debate for each side.
Me: You know this is Agile?
She: Oh no! (facepalm) Agile again!!
Me: Yeah, it’s actually an high version of Agile
She: Hmmm (noticing signs of feeling cool and hip on her face)
Me: See, the way companies work is like: We need to do X. So they sit down and plan for it, how much would it take, when should it be ready, and so on. And then there are these other kids that just like you, they just do it and figure things out while they are doing it.
She: Yeah, our teach is smart. I will tell him about this :)
Me: You know, I will write a blog about this and you can tell him to read the blog.
She: When will you write the blog?
Me: When I get some time
She: You never have time. Make some time to write this!
And here I am, writing this blog :)
Following “Little Prince”’s advice, I will translate this for the adults. This 6 grade class is doing Continuous Delivery! The previous project “Talk show” is a feature that is DONE. It is in production, Deployed but not Released yet. The teacher has not decided to actually run the “Talk show” but kids are ready for it, ANYTIME! The new project, “Debate” has already started. Kids don’t know when is needed, but rather than ask for deadline, they just started working on it. They have already a list of pros and cons to consider. They can improve on those (Refactoring!), but at anytime, they can have a debate and discuss about having internet at schools is a good thing or not. Even this new feature, is deployed to production but not released. The stakeholder (teacher) can get a sense of what kids are doing because he can see them during the day, he can hear their conversations, he can understand if they are ready for it or if they need more time to refine it. Maybe the first project, “The talk show” will never happen. After what he has seen during the preparation, the teacher might make a decision that this talk show might not bring up the point he initially wanted to make. Or maybe he is just preparing the stage while they are working on the new project. So when they Release the “Talk show” everything will look awesome (think of this like the Marketing or Ops prep work before a Release). Meanwhile, kids are working on the most important work for the moment. Kids did not stop to ask for deadlines because they know the teacher will not give it to them. Kids started working on it and started delivering value: an initial list of pros and cons to consider if the debate is tomorrow. The quality of the release is defined by the main stakeholder, the teacher. Makes sense??
Thanks Mr. Rhienhimer for teaching these kids to “Just do it” and not waste time on procrastination, not rushing last minute, to work on valuable work, to be able to produce success in small portions and increment on that, to value results rather than just to pass the test.