Technology and humanity (lean x command/control)

A couple of years ago I had an extreme experience. In one side I received some bad feedback from my customer (a kind of the worst feedback an employee can receive from his customer) on the other side I received some teaching about how can be a software development more ethic.

Please make an exercise; waking up at 5 in the morning, see your 5 years old daughter sic and having to leave her with the mother and take a transport of 3 hours. After three hours you arrive at the job and start your work. You think you are doing the best you can, but suddenly you receive this kind of feedback:

“If we were in the past (about some years ago) I’ve got you neck in my hands.”

At that day I reflected: “what does make a person to behave this way? why a company ask another company to make a service, call that company to their house and disrespect them constantly day after day? It could exist in a personal life? It is possible you call a friend for a dinner in your home and at some point you starts disrespect them?

Later on, that year I just received some teaching of how to make a software development with less violence, press and frustration. I noticed that there is a way to diminish this kind of problem. The lean development an agile development is the solution to this frustrations. I have learned that my view of liberty was, in a way, addressed by great programmers and computer analyst in the past.

To those that know how software where and still works, take a look in a cascade system. In that system companies developed an structure that puts an assumption of understanding in the beginning of the project and leads at the end of the project. They check if everything is OK according their assumptions 6-12 month before. This is the cascade system, only one big step and no conversation between the parts evolved in the project and many documents.

The cascade system produces a huge amount of stress and control between the groups (company to company, people to people and company to people). No commitment beyond the contract and a huge lack of conversation during the process. The documents were the interface between groups and talking were less valuable than words in the paper. The cascade system is still used in many company and more troublesome; on huge companies.

The agile methodology came to our world to make people closer, to make project more transparent and the life better. It is not the solution to all problems but we can agree with the point that:

Individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools
Working software is more important than comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration is more important than contract negotiation
Responding to change is more important than following a plan

That are the points that drives the agile development. Been more democratic put the people conversation beyond the documents will make your software more fast, responding and with less bugs.

I didn’t say it before but at that point, on that huge company, I thought: “why am I giving to my family that life quality?” answer six month later I give up the project in favor of myself, I changed from that city and tried to restart my life.

It is quite difficult to not get this environment in other companies. It could be so hard to find a company with agile values. The more important is to not follow that path anymore. We are not here to be outraged by people that not even know us. Let’s leave this kind of relationship for wars. I will never hold your hand if your daily life is full of disrespect and frustration. All I want to say is goodbye.

Ezequias R. da Rocha


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