Most of the people do something very interesting; all of us have the ability to associate to a word images, sensations and memories. In example, when someone says “fire“, the first thing that comes to my mind is a campfire in the middle of the mountain under some trees, playing the guitar all night with a couple of friends. For me these are great memories (now I’ve near the sea, I’ll try to do the same in a San Juan night, with fires all over the beach)
However, there other people that, every time they hear the word “fire” the first image that comes to their mind are the forest being destroyed by fire, mountains, fields, etc. The word awake 2 completely different feelings, and there are words that are completely different for every type of person.
There are other words which are universal (or nearly), i.e. LEGO. I dare to say that every time, you ask someone to tell you the first thing that comes to mind when they hear LEGO, for sure they will answer with “fun”, “build”, etc.. In this case, the image of LEGO is almost universally, it represents the most fun toy factory in the world.
In the software development the reaction to some words is quite interesting. There are people who have a pain in they body when they hear “estimation“, others who tremble when they hear “quality control” and those who think that “Fixed Fee on time” is a kind of be magic creature like unicorns. Interestingly, most of the words that are scary, are usually associated with traditional software development models, models in cascade, very rigid, etc.. Every time people hear these words, people start a defensive attitude and raise walls that make conversation difficult. On the other hand, the words closer to the agility as TDD, BDD, Sprints (iterations or how you like), are “more cheerful“. People react with much better humor to these words.
Some time ago I wrote a post entitled [#SCRUM] Scrum is not for amateurs, where I explain that to make SCRUM you need to have a degree of responsibility and commitment to the quality of the tools you use. This does not only apply to the tools, also to the transparency with the work we do, to the process of introspection and improvement that we must propose to ourselves, etc.
In other words, it seems that we are kind of strange; we have a bad time when we are imposed by external rules, however, we are much happy when the rules and responsibilities are controlled by ourselves. So far, I did not say anything new: we like to be free, but very few people really know the price of that freedom.
Think that if you are owner of your limits, your success will be yours but also your failures. Sometimes I have seen how projects fail because of the extreme dependence with some tools, or by mismanagement, or by fiendish architectures that are more expensive than the purpose for which it should serve. These are excuses, only excuses, behind each one of these excuses there is people and behind every person there is an option to reason and choose.
So now you know, when you find people who all they do is react very bad to a simple word (like “estimation”); please try to be a little more professional and look outside the box. Changes the focus of what you are listening to and try to find a different point of view which try to do some constructive work. You’ll see that many times you can change “estimate” for “coherence” or “common sense”. If you also support this actions on principles that will help you see results in a short time, you will have an excellent weapon to prove your arguments.
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