While you’re reading that, I’m going to look at some of the cartoons. This was a good one.
- the value of Incremental Progress
- the importance of Reacting to the Cultural Moment
- blunting outrage by Inviting Opponents into the Process
Change Initiatives are difficult for people to accept, even if they benefit from them. Machiavelli wrote the following in The Prince:
And it should be considered that nothing is more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, nor more dangers to manage, than to put oneself at the head of introducing new orders. For the introducer has all those who benefit from the old orders as enemies, and he has lukewarm defenders in all those who might benefit from the new orders.
Lukewarm defenders, and enemies: not very encouraging. And the larger the change, the more extreme the opposition is likely to be. There’s a brain chemistry issue here. Our species has had a great deal more experience where an emotional response is more important than a logical one, and so we process change emotionally first, and logically much much later.
|What’s the noise? Maybe a tiger! Run!!!|
|How long is the hypotenuse?|
Think of when software people have used for a long time has changed. Remember when ribbons started replacing menus in Microsoft Office?This was a huge, radical change to a critical part of peoples’ everyday life. Many of the immediate reactions were far from logical:
“Possibly the most idiotic menu UI I have ever encountered”
“Everyone knows the old interface; why does MSFT think everyone will be willing to learn a new one? Sounds like a ‘New Coke’ fiasco.”
|Incremental Progress||becomes||Release Software in Small, Frequent Batches|
|Reacting to the Cultural Moment||becomes||Evolve Your Product with the Market|
|Inviting Opponents into the Process||becomes||Let Users Influence Features|
Frequent, small releases are usually better than large, infrequent ones. This is true for all the regular reasons people mention (fewer bugs, more user feedback, etc). But beyond that:
- Smaller changes are less upsetting
- They don’t give users something to hate
- A collection of small changes is just as exciting as a single large change; your Marketing department can make just as much noise about either
- Our Project Managers work with you to deliver strategically, and create feedback loops with your customers
- Our architects and engineers build architectures and deliver features incrementally to deliver value quickly and frequently