The value of Feedback


After studying and applying Agile Methodologies from some time, now I can definitely say that a central cornerstone is represented by feedback, rapid feedback.

Let’s face it: in every piece of agility-related thing (Kanban, Scrum, XP, …) we have a focal point - rapid feedback:

  • Work In Progress (WIP) limit helps visualize on (Kanban) board which task are causing problems.
  • In Sprint Review and Retrospective as a feedback over larger time periods
  • In Scrum daily stand-up meeting, especially when talking about “impediments” for yesterday
  • (solid) Unit testing is obviously a feedback, and sometime an undervalued one
  • Pair programming in XP gives immediate feedback (who is looking towards who is typing, and viceversa)

As we can see that scales pretty well: Kanban, Scrum, XP, …

Now, I’d like to consider - at least for a moment - the Pomodoro Technique (PM) like an agile system for personal time management. Can it be that?

Well, does PM have any form of (rapid ) feedback? Strictly speaking it hasn’t, but if you adopt it logging how many interruption you avoid for each pomodoro, how many pomodoro you accomplish each day, and so and so… You’ll able to shape your behaviour in order to do more/better.

Finally, we can observe that - even in natural systems - feedback is valuable when it is rapid: over time it loses its value.

So rapid feedback pays - always!


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