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Got Sustainable Pace?

Posted by emeade on December 11, 2004 at 4:05 PM PST

So you think you got some Sustainable Pace, and you want to sharpen your axe, so what pops into your head? Fartlek!

Alright, well pick your target - not a something huge like doubling the number of stories done. Small activities like integrating, deploying, writing one test would be good places to start.

Maintain your form - you know that if your doing XP you're TDDing, PPing, attending Stand Ups, taking breaks, not working overtime, etc and you still have to. This isn't about cheating the system it is about better understanding the limits of it.

Fartlek!

Often the first time I try to do something faster, I don't see much of an improvement, but I do pay more attention to why I can't go faster.

Say it takes three hours to build your system, well it takes three hours right? I have seen a lot of projects, which having grown over the years, suddenly find it takes 3 or 4 hours to build and deploy changes to production. A common tactic I have seen is to just start the build earlier, sometimes even yesterday! Starting earlier cuts into development time though, this isn't the 60s; we shouldn't have to wait till tomorrow!

Can you think of any other tactics to go faster? Maybe some dependency checking? Maybe if the project was broken up into (dependency managed) subprojects with deliverables checked in so everything doesn't have to be built each deploy?

Here is where I want to remind you of that sustainable pace - this is supposed to be fun, don't get yourself to rapped up in addressing why you can't go faster. Each time you fartlek your not going to see a "net speedup".

So maybe you can't just "break the project up into dependency managed subprojects". That can be a pretty big chore, maybe you really don't even have the time to add in some dependency checking, but you can share what you have learned. No sunset date set for you project yet? Then it would seem that unless there is a change in behavior, its only gonna take longer, and be that much more of a chore in addressing it later. Could that mean that maybe our pace, which we assumed was sustainable might not be? Well... at least the sooner you fall behind the more time you have to catch up.

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