The vicious cycle of delay

Hi there,

Some of you have probably noticed that there was a long delay in the posts. The reason was, as I indicated before, our move as a family to Switzerland. The move still tends to take most of my available time (ramping myself up in the new role as well as chores such as registration, insurance, finding daycare…), so I still cannot promise a regular rhythm of posts. In the meantime, I’d like to convey two observations about my posting rhythm.

First, I was and am still keen on having a steady rate of posts, i.e. one post every 1-2 weeks. So, my tactic was to post a “heartbeat” when I couldn’t meet this rate, just to show that the blog was still active. However, the tone of the heartbeats were too apologetic, so that after just two heartbeats, I couldn’t bring myself to send another one. I had painted myself into a corner of not being able to apologize anymore, by apologizing unnecessarily in the first place.

Second, as the posting pause lingered on, a self-reinforcing negative dynamic began. Since I delayed, I had to do something extra to make up for the lost time. For instance writing a great, long post on a heavily studied subject; which of course took more time, and with a little help from procrastination resulted in more delay. I had put myself into a vicious cycle of delay, without any external pressure or interference.

While this happened to me on an individual basis, I saw teams affected from similar situations, as well. A software project avoiding to report its status when it’s delayed, or inflating its scope to make up for postponed deadlines, or an architecture being overengineered to justify the long time reserved for upfront design etc. While the cycle is vicious, thereby not beneficial to the people subjected to it, it also runs against the essence of agile: being transparent and releasing early and often to get feedback on the concrete result.

So, here I’m breaking the vicious cycle of delay, and posting a relatively short article to get your feedback again. I will see to achieving a regular posting rhythm once we’re settled down here.

2 thoughts on “The vicious cycle of delay

  1. Hey Dogan, just found your blog. Looking forward to read more of your posts :)

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