Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Traffic jams and agile thinking

A bit off topic, but definitely linked to agile thinking: I will be moving to a new apartment in a new town. One of the disadvantages of the new town is the traffic jams towards my current job. Having tried the typical morning mess a number of times, it started me to think about a key concept in agile thinking: work in short chunks.
Well, traveling from and to work is the same. My current commute is about 40 km. A relatively straight road, not too many exits. The changes for a obstruction, accident, road-work are not that high - I have to deal with less risk, basically. The new route that I will take is longer. More exits, more merges, more chances that people will create a mess. (Didn't Sartre once say - "Hell - that's other people".... well, find yourself in a traffic-jam, and you'll remember ;-)).
I realized that all these traffic jam thoughts and frustrations were an advocate for the typical agile principe: work in small chunks. If possible, create a short route to a good base-point. Balance between distance and an arrival-position that adds value. Not too short, because the value delivered will be too limited. Not too long, because a higher risk that traffic jams will occur...

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