- Michael Porter's Kind of Productivity has been discussed in a previous post.
- Seth Godin's Kind of Productivity has been discussed in a previous post.
- Demming's Kind of Productivity
- Taiichi Ohno 's Kind of Productivity
- Peter Drucker's Kind of Productivity
My Kind of Productivity
Around 2007, I got so frustrated with my software development that I almost got a nervous breakdown. I had spent months and failed with 2 or 3 projects. I could not finish any of them.
I drifted away from coding and started reading to release tension etc. I happened to read Extreme Programming(XP) books during my retreat.
I agreed with almost all of their ideas and started to code again. The results were astounding.
Previously, it took me about 5 to 6 months NOT to finish and to give up on a project.
After that, it took me about 2 to 3 months to finish a project of comparable size and quality and I was in a good mood all the time.
How I Used XP
XP, like any methodology, is made up of philosophy, core beliefs, mindset and a set of activities.
Let's come down to activity level fast.
Whenever XP advised me to do an activity, I ignored it easily, out of hand, I was too demoralized and too weak, you know. Even if I chose to do an activity, I tried to do the least possible amount of work for that activity. e.g. tests
Whenever XP advised me not to do an activity, I obeyed right away and stopped doing that activity. e.g. BUFD (big upfront design)
Why It Worked
I have no illusions that this style of XP works for all kinds of software development. I also know why it worked for me with those projects. Various researchers and authors have confirmed my hunch here.
This form of XP or XP in general works when
- The work to do is cutting edge: too much uncertainty, too many unkonwns or unkonwn unkonwns, etc.
- The work is not cutting edge for others but for the worker only. That is, s/he is very new or ignorant.
- The worker is too busy, has to rush, has to juggle too many balls i.e. an entrepreneur in the first days of her/his business.
I love people everywhere, not a bit ashamed of it.