Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd in VS .NET

Printing QR Code 2d barcode in VS .NET Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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81 Learning and Change
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Learning and change are closely related: indeed, we have argued that they are the same thing We can learn facts such as that the First World War started with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 However, what difference does this make It s a simple fact, it happened, there s nothing I can do to change that fact, and it s very unlikely to change me Once we move beyond simple facts, learning occurs with change Suppose that I learn of a new bus route that I can use for my morning journey to work I may choose to ignore this learning, in which case have I really learnt anything It has about as much effect on me as knowing when the Archduke was assassinated But, if as a result of hearing about the route I take the new bus to work, then the learning has created a change I have changed my route to work As a result of this change, I m going to learn more I m going to learn the type of bus, the frequency of the buses and the reliability of the route Over time, all this information builds up in my brain and I make an informed choice based on my learning If I choose to ignore this information, if every day I go to the bus stop and nd it takes me an hour to get a bus, then I m not changing and I m not learning If I ignore the information that I m receiving, then I m no better than a simple machine (Figure 81) Learning of the new bus route and not acting, like learning the date on which the Archduke was assassinated, is simple single-loop learning; no change occurs Only when we act on this information and change our behaviour do we reach up to double-loop This theory is basically a description of single- and double-loop learning as set out in 4 Problems occur when someone engages in the single loop, but either refuses to act on it or feels unable to do so Scott Adam s anti hero-Dilbert is an example of a single-loop learner Dilbert constantly learns of failures and craziness in his organization, but can never act on the information Sometimes he makes a personal decision not to act, perhaps because he feels unable to, but on other occasions action is restricted by the people around him Too often, developers in software organizations learn information about their project but fail to act Many times, I have been told that some code needs
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Figure 81 Learning and change are the same thing
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refactoring, but the developers shy away from doing it Occasionally, this is because they re actively told not to, but more often it s because they feel unable to act and refactor At one level, good developers are always learning Good developers invest in their own skills, they read books on programming and design, and they may learn a new programming language, API or operating system Often, this learning causes a direct change in behaviour: developers program differently, they program something that they haven t programmed before or they design software differently Learning and change are happening; even double-loop learning is occurring However, this change is at the level of the individual, not the team it s micro-change Sometimes, change precedes learning: we learn as the result of change At other times, learning comes rst: we change when we act on learning When trying to introduce change, it can be easier to start with learning and let change follow Learning can motivate change So if we start by seed learning and encourage people to engage in more learning, they will eventually see the opportunity for change When we initiate change through learning, we need to avoid the Dilbert trap If those who are learning feel unable to act and change, then we ll be restricted to single-loop learning and change won t follow In order to avoid this trap and allow learning to create change, we need to empower people to take action themselves (For more on empowerment, see 11) If we restrict people s ability to change while enhancing their learning, we ll create frustration and discontent Individuals who know that the organization is doing the wrong thing and not taking advantage of learning will become cynical and unhappy
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