AoAD2 Practice: Slack

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for release dates, additional excerpts, and more.

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2020, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.

Slack

Audience
Developers

We deliver on our iteration commitments.

Imagine that the power cable for your workstation is just barely long enough to reach the wall receptacle. You can plug it in if you stretch it taught, but the slightest vibration will cause the plug to pop out of the wall and the power to go off. You’ll lose everything you were working on.

I can’t afford to have my computer losing power at the slightest provocation. My work’s too important for that. In this situation, I would move the computer closer to the outlet so that it could handle some minor bumps. (Then I would tape the cord to the floor so people couldn’t trip over it, install an uninterruptable power supply, and invest in a continuous backup solution.)

Your iteration plans are also too important to be disrupted by the slightest provocation. Like the power cord, they need slack.

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In this Section

  1. Slack
    1. How Much Slack?
    2. How to Use Slack
      1. Improving internal quality
      2. Develop customer skills
      3. Dedicate time to exploration and experimentation
      4. The role of overtime
    3. Questions
    4. Prerequisites
    5. Indicators
    6. Alternatives and Experiments
    7. Further Reading

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