Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is Agile about brain chemistry

agile neuron
DevOps on Neuron
Is there a correlation between brain chemistry and development using the Continuous Integration mechanism of the DevOps model?

This relates to Agile in a couple of interesting ways.  The first being goal-setting, where the Agile Development process introduces changes to the Application Lifecycle in easily manageable increments.  

     Agile coaches recommend two week cycles, which are easily understood goal timeframes by the Agile team.  Too long and procrastination takes hold.  Too short and the development becomes daunting. 

The second is a relative randomness of action vs reward.  This has quite a lot to do with human brain chemistry, but essentially means that the Agile development corresponds roughly to an illusion of progress, if not outright progress.  

     It puts the developer into the position of a firefighter, being allowed a quick win in the form of an application enhancement or fix that corresponds directly to a goal that must pass strenuous test and validation.  

Success, much like the firefighter extinguishing a fire, is a buildup of doubt, fear and any number of negative emotions, followed by a release of endorphins.

     The chance of success is interwoven in the complexity of the solution requirements and the random nature of fast fails.

Ultimately, DevOps is about behavior.  If the sense of creation within a relatively small window and the struggle of creation do not tarnish the motivating growth or momentum (seem too difficult), the Agile development process is easier to continue than stop.

     This reinforces the behaviors of Agile methods as well as the ancillary benefits of the entire team participating in the successes.

In this way, it is possible that Agile is a means to change application development in a way that relates more to human brain chemistry than simply developing code.

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