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  • Writer's pictureMark Rajpal

RELENTLESS Improvement

Not many people have achieved 6 Championships so it's probably not easy. It likely requires hard work, dedication, attention to detail, sacrifice, etc. While software development is not rewarded with Superbowl Championships, it too can reach a heightened sense of accomplishment. This accomplishment also requires hard work, dedication, attention to detail, sacrifice, etc. It is common for many Agile teams to employ continuous improvement. Sometimes, iteration retrospectives conclude with 1 or 2 new PBIs (product backlog items) that the team has decided is necessary for improvement. The new PBIs may not make it into the very next iteration but the idea is that it will be addressed eventually. This approach to improvement can be described as passive. After all, the team is not committing to address the issue right now, only that they will address the issue at some point. This willingness is definitely better than doing nothing at all. What if teams improved in the moment instead of delaying it for some future date/iteration. For example, imagine if teams only worked on defects until all the bugs were cleared and then moved on to delivering business features. Or, what if the PBIs that were generated from the retrospective, automatically appeared at the top of the team backlog so they worked on that next. If continuous improvement could have such a dramatic effect, wouldn't this type of relentless improvement have even more of an effect? Great teams make changes/improvements when they need to. They don't wait for the perfect moment because the perfect moment will never come. If you delay your improvements, you'll delay your Championships AND take the risk that it may never happen. As good as the New England Patriots are, even they know that they have to relentlessly improve if they want to continue winning Superbowls.

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