In software like in sport the inches we need are the key to delivering something awesome and scoring a touchdown!
What I mean is that in a software project it isn’t generally one massive problem which delays the whole thing. There is defiantly exceptions, and I have worked on some of those projects. What I think is that the majority of software projects tend to fail to hit timescales because of many many many MANY small delays. Waiting on Network ports, deployment issues, unit test failure, fragile automation tests, sickness. It is the build up of these small delays which means a timescale hit.
Al Pacino said it in the film Any Given Sunday “we can stay here or we can fight our way back out to the light one inch at a time.” in software development terms I think we could interpret this in at least two ways, firstly around greater attention to each small delay or as to splitting what we do up and delivering small chunks.
I like Kanabn, kanban works for me, visualise, map understand your current process. Optimise. This helps you see the inches. Visualise blockers and impediments. This is important, I think Mike Cohn wrote about it recently, the difference between a blocker and an impediment. Don’t focus only on the things that block the team, focus on the things which are impeding you. Loosing inches and time meaning the ball will be dropped so we don’t get the delivery over the line.
Limit your work in progress, focus on one thing, one inch at a time. Learn from it, adapt understand your system. Split work up smaller projects succeed more often, focus on each game, each half, each play. Rant over! Go watch it: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z_7eu64y6c