Endpointing vs. Next-Stepping

I mentioned endpointing yesterday. I’m always using geepaw-isms & expecting people to know what I mean. Endpointing is over-focus on eventual destination. In s/w, it’s seeing development as a long trip to a known destination on a known map. John Winthrop, a few centuries back, used "the city on the hill" to describe an endpoint, in his case for the…
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“Avoid Changing Code” Should Be Avoided

Of all the bad advice the geek trades inherit from over-simplified manufacturing & engineering, perhaps the worst: "avoid changing code". Take a minute, and think of all the things the trade does to avoid changing code. Virtually every element of "big design up front" policy is based in this view. Long stretches for analysis, longer ones for design. Planning cycles…
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Idols of the Schema: Ignoring Data While Overvaluing Ideas

The ‘idols of the schema’ is a geepaw-ism, and deserves some background & explanation. When we value the simplicity & clarity of an idea over the complexity & muddiness of its referent, we’re caught in an idol of the schema. Sir Francis Bacon was an english noble, a famous lawyer, and author of the Novum Organum, one of the seminal…
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Purpose As Motivator: The P in RAMPS

Purpose is the P in RAMPS. Purpose as motivator is about the sense an individual has that she’s contributing to a greater mission shared by many. Both attributes matter: mission must be of a higher order than any individual’s whim, & it must be felt to be shared by the whole team. Purpose is really always purposes. Seen "from above",…
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Rhythm as Urgency: The R in RAMPS

Rhythm is the R in RAMPS. Let’s take a look. Rhythm is about tension & release. It is the sense one has of readying, girding, coiling, then taking that stored energy & sending it out. We’ll get to music in a second, tho maybe in a way that will surprise you. But let’s start with some non-musical kinds of tension…
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Safety as Motivator: The S in RAMPS

Let’s do Safety, the S in the recent RAMPS as motivational force series. Safety is hard to get at in one summary sentence, but i’ll try. Safety is the sense we have that we belong: that we’re trusted, valued-in-spite-of, inside a team that welcomes our strange unruly selves. At its simplest, this sense manifests as the belief i’m allowed, even…
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Autonomy: How Freedom Correlates To Urgency

Let’s talk about the A from RAMPS today: Autonomy. Autonomy is "simple not easy," just like the rest of the motivating forces. Autonomy is the sense of an individual that she is free to work the best way she knows how to achieve the tasks in front of her. We call self-driving cars "autonomous". We do that to contrast them…
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Mastery As Motivator: The M of RAMPS

Let’s talk a little about mastery today, in the sense of the RAMPS conversation from yesterday. What is mastery-as-motivator, and what can we do about increasing its motivational force? As I said before, the motivational force called mastery is about how humans value their own growth. All of us carry around an idea, implicit or explicit, of how as individuals…
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