Principles WTF

Principles WTF

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“Hey. Why don’t we write down some principles?”
“Why?”
“Why not. It might help.”
“Help who? With what?”
 
I regularly see folks, in what I assume is their eagerness to help and communicate, invest what can amount to considerable time and effort in discussing and, moreover, writing down sets of principles, manifestos, and the like.
 
This all without asking:
“Who needs us to write down some principles?”
“What do they need them for?”
“How will they actually get used?”
“How will we know if they’ve been of any use in e.g. meeting folks’ needs?”
“Could we spend the time and effort on doing something else more useful?”
 
– Bob
4 comments
  1. I find principles valuable in the context of self-organizing teams making decisions. Since there is no authority censoring every move, the team members need some heuristic guidance when they must choose between two alternatives.

    For instance, a principle like “We won’t release our software with medium or higher bugs in the queue” might help them prioritize between quality, usability and due-date performance.

    Even the act of agreeing on a set of principles is in itself a very good indicator of team cohesion.

      • Agree about “policy” over “principle”.

        I had browsed Product Aikido at the time of release. Today was my second time browsing its contents. Consequently, it got a bump up the reading list. Have you ever released an updated version, with eg. diagrams added?

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