Overcome Attachment: Discover Lean Software Development


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Are you trying to get other people to use agile or lean software development methods, but they can’t seem to break out of the mindset they’re stuck in? Today I’d like to offer some strategies to overcome attachment.

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Building What Customers Want Takes Failure And Learning:

Traditional management styles want predictability. They want to know how long things will take, and how much they will cost. Unfortunately companies that want to be innovative can’t measure performance this way to deliver truly disruptive and valuable ideas to their customers.

Establishing the Mindset for Failure and Learning:

Assume for a moment you’ve already convinced people of the benefits of lean software development methods like DevOps, Continuous Delivery, or any of the other concepts I talk about frequently on my YouTube channel and podcast. Though others may understand the mechanics of these approaches, it can be frustrating at first to get people to be comfortable with learning, because this often requires failure.

The Uncertainty of Innovation Can Cause Anxiety:

If we’re going to let the customer decide what’s in our product, and release multiple times per day – we’re going to have an increased set of feedback. Also subject matter experts like Product Managers can find out their ideas aren’t as valuable as they’d hoped when trying new things.

Overcoming Attachment to Enable Learning:

If you celebrate Christmas or your Birthday, you’ve probably experienced being attached to a gift or outcome you wanted as a child. We need to overcome these feelings of attachment in companies that are attempting to use lean and agile methods for developing software.

We Must Be Comfortable With Uncertainty to Take Risks:

The more comfortable we can be with trying things and not being able to guarantee that the outcome is something that we want, the more we can take risks. This is exactly the mindset needed to be more innovative with software development.

Strategies for Practicing Detachment:

If we know people need to be more comfortable with uncertainty, and they need to be less attached to outcomes – what are some strategies we can use to help cope with this?

Thinking About the Possibility of Other Outcomes

Most people in corporate American don’t want to do this. Typical work structures are all about certainty and planning for outcomes we expect. Instead, thinking about the possibility that what we’ve planned might not work out ahead of time primes us for a healty mindset for taking risk.

Beware of Catastrophizing

Once you begin to allow yourself to think about the possibility of uncertain outcomes, it’s tempting to think of the worst case scenario. This is known as catastrophizing, and creates anxity by focusing your thoughts on negative situations that haven’t even happened yet!

Overcoming Resentment to Past Failures

If we hold on to negative feelings about what may have happened in the past, we won’t have the open mind necessary to try new things. Resentment is another form of attachment.

Challenging Limiting Beliefs

If someone told you something about yourself as a child, or perhaps a co-worker made a statement about your skills – you may be walking around carrying an innacurate picture of yourself. Challenge your thoughts about what is really true in your perspective so you don’t stay attached to lies about yourself.

Separating Our Identity From Outcomes

In most companies if someone makes a “bad” decision, they are held accountable. What this can do though is cause us to place our self-worth in our decisions and their outcomes. To have the courage to innovate, we need to separate these two.

Practicing Delayed Gratification

Waiting longer to get something you want might sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many people are still attached to immediacy and this often is the reason why others don’t support you. Practice this yourself, and with your team, to relax your expectations so you can take risks.

Permitting Others to be Frustrated with Uncertainty

It’s natural that when trying to do something new, such as to not be as attached to outcomes, you and others will make mistakes. It’s crucial that everyone be willing to forgive each other when unpredictable negative outcomes occur.

Related Videos:

Watch my Scrum vs Kanban video:
Watch my Lean Software Development video:
Watch my A/B Software Development video:
Watch my Uncertainty of Software Development video:
Watch my Anxiety of Software Development video:

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