A Vocabulary for the Antimatter Principle

A Vocabulary for the Antimatter Principle

Wordle

For me, one key aspect of the Antimatter Principle is the different – and, to my mind much simpler – frame it provides for looking at work, and the perennial challenges of coordination, prioritisation, allocation, communication, motivation, and so on.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

~ Rudyard Kipling

To illustrate this new frame, here are some common words, expressed through the Antimatter Principle’s frame:

  • Success: Meeting folks’ needs, in aggregate, i.e. without undermining other folks’ needs.
  • Failure: Not meeting folks’ needs, in aggregate, i.e. not meeting folks’ needs without undermining some other folks’ needs.
  • Cost: The degree to which some folks’ needs are sacrificed, or allowed to go unmet, so as to meet the needs of some other folks.
  • Productivity: The ratio of “folks’ needs met” to “folks’ needs sacrificed”.
  • Stakeholders: Those folks whose needs we’re specifically attending to.
  • Value: The degree to which folks’ needs, in aggregate, are being (or have been) met.
  • Worth: How folks feel about having a need attended to.
  • Quality: The degree to which some specific person’s needs are being (or have been) met.
  • Change: Adopting different approaches to attending folks’ needs.
  • Waste: Sacrificing folks’ needs – without meeting (other) folks’ needs.
  • Demand: Folks’ needs inviting attention.
  • Failure Demand: See: Waste.
  • Agile: One particular (interlocking, internally self-consistent) set of strategies for attending to folks’ needs.
  • Lean: Another (interlocking, internally self-consistent) set of strategies for attending to folks’ needs.
  • Waterfall: Yet another (interlocking, internally self-consistent) set of strategies for attending to folks’ needs.
  • Transition: A wholesale and widespread replacement of one set of strategies for attending to folks’ needs with another such set.
  • Acceptance Criteria: A list of folks’ needs which we’re aiming to attend to.
  • Bug aka Defect: A need that we thought we’d attended to already, that is presently not met.
  • Retrospective: Taking a look at the strategies presently being used to  attend to folks’ needs.
  • Sprint: A time period during which we attend to a selected (sub)set of folks’ needs.
  • Team: Some folks aligned (in principle) on attending to some folks’ needs.
  • User Story: A small, self-contained set of related needs.
  • WIP: The needs we’re presently in the process of attempting to meet.

Are there any other words you’d like to see added to this list?

“Words are loaded pistols.”

~ Jean-Paul Sartre

– Bob

1 comment
  1. Great post – I like how everything is in terms of needs and their attention, which gives a refreshing and more accurate view of the term. I’d retweet it, but I can’t at the moment as I’m in Vietnam – they’re not very attentive to people’s social media needs😉

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