Keeping the fires fed

I did a mid-sprint review yesterday. Work seemed to be going on at a rapid clip, even when some developers were involved in support activities or other projects. What I realized is that a steady stream of well-defined work activities keeps people occupied, purposeful, and productive.

Where does re-design fit into this? When people start thinking about design or design changes, I’ve noticed that sometimes very blue-sky ideas come in. The good part is that the design might be very good (although most often it is hard to tell whether a design idea is significantly better that what you already have).

The way to control design efforts to be useful, incremental and low-risk is to—probably—focus on implementing some part of a use case. Design can then evolve.

Of course, radically new design may need re-writes
and revolution, not evolution, may be the way to go. But that way lies risk without the certainty that the new design would lead to a significantly improved situation. Especially in the face of evolving requirements.

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