consistent progress

As an agile team, we are working tirelessly to deliver working software. Periodically, we pause and reflect on what we delivered, what we didn’t, and what could be improved; whether it’s the process itself, the organization of the team, or the tools. We improve, restart, and repeat.

It gets tempting to pursue one improvement after another, and naturally, there’s always something to improve. However, in one of our meetings, our team decided to shift focus to something else: consistency. Before we improve, we need to be consistent.

Consistency, how?

We have delivered the sprint goal. All is well. Now, instead of looking for improvements that will supposedly help us deliver more, we will maintain the same pace and try to do it for another two sprints. If we are able to do that, then we are consistent. And now, we can introduce gradual improvements and be consistent with them.

If not, then there’s something that needs to be fixed. Let’s revisit our process and progress and see where it went wrong. After finding and fixing the issue, we can try to be consistent again.

Sounds easy enough! But it is not. It takes good, clear communication, discipline, and commitment from each team member.

Consistency and Change

Consistency is not about sacrificing change. It is rather about striking a balance between the two. Before adding new functionality or behavior, we should be consistent, and thus confident that it won’t break already existing ones.

Change is inevitable, and we’d rather have a solid foundation that allows us to respond smoothly to that change; this solidity comes through being consistent.