Self-discipline or just discipline?
A short while ago, Brian Marick identified discipline as one of four values missing from the Agile Manifesto .
Brian was recently asked:
How do you feel about the qualifier "self-" as part of "discipline"?
Here’s his response:
If self-discipline has the connotation of doing [good thing] and not [bad thing] because of one’s Steely Will, I think, in the immortal words of Rockett J. Squirrel: That trick never works.
I think self-discipline has that connotation. I prefer the kind of discipline that relies on things external-to-the-self:
The simple and probably best way of looking at this is that it’s not the self-discipline of the individual that’s interesting; it’s how an individual enlists the outside world (people and things) to provide a discipline that makes up for that individual’s lack of Steely Will.
- Pairing because it makes it harder to not write unit tests.
- Having to deliver business value at fixed deadlines because that doesn’t allow certain kinds of sloppiness.
- Having big visible indicators when the build fails.
- Putting critical data on the walls between the executive offices and the bathrooms or kitchen so that everyone knows what’s going on.