How can I learn about my limitations? Simple! Place yourself at the end of the conveyor where work pops out and record the result. Sample tests – add three stories to a development teams backlog and check how long it takes until features is in use by your customer. Or make a policy change and watch how long time it takes until people are truly using it.
Hmm. The result might not be what you expected. Well, resist the first temptation to hide it. Truth hurts. But acceptance is first step to improvement. If we believe we are happier off hiding facts about our true abilities we can silently step in line with General Motors, Ford and other companies praying for government aid.
But stop! Don’t we apply Agile techniques like Scrum to surface our capacity and find our constraints? Yes we do.
But applied without the mental insight that we really need to find and act aggressively on constraints (no matter what!) we can trick ourself into believing we are driving that agile sports car while constantly hitting the ditch.
Fixing constraints takes a bit (sometimes a lot!) of courage, craftmanship and innovation. But it is a blast to do it!
Not knowing our limitations (or ignoring them) is the basic source of thrashing. And it even turns good work into waste.