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“It’s almost done”

Famous last words at the Daily Scrum. I have heard them repeated many times over.

“It is done but not yet tested” is another example.

And then it still turns out it it isn’t done — “We need a bit more time”.

And then it is almost done again, yet there is another unexpected twist: “We have to implement changes from the code review and add some more tests”

For some reason it always turns out to be more complicated than expected.

Should this comes as a surprise?

Not really. It is the fickle and unpredictable nature of complex work.

The problem is that those in the trenches get it and the leadership team often doesn’t.

The leadership team believes when developers can’t predict when it is done, they don’t know what they are doing.

The people in the trenches *know* there will be things they don’t know and they can’t predict when it will be done exactly.

All they can ensure is to make the most progress they can.

Instead of asking “When will it be done?”, ask “How can we move it forward?”.

Instead of pressuring the result and bullying developers, focus on how to best move it forward.



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