Yesterday, we did a bit of kick-off on the first phase of a new project. And, as we usually do, we went through some of the project start-up conversations. We listed some “process” items we wanted to talk about, and the usual cast of characters showed up:
- pair programming
- stand-up meetings
- story opening
- and so on…
Here are the three items I proposed:
- developer improvement (how do we encourage ourselves to get better?)
- skills development
- avoid wheel reinvention
The last two items we talked through with some “motherhood and apple pie” statements. But for developer improvement, we decided to set ourselves some targets. This phase is supposed to last 10 weeks, so we decided that the first six weeks, we’d use our standard metric of “number of pair days per story point”, whereas the last four weeks, we’d ratchet it down a pair day.
Setting a target does not, in and of itself, cause developer improvement. But at least it gives us something that we can use as a concrete focus for later conversations, and something we can checkpoint on later.