November 1, 2005
Evolution & Adaptive TensionFor the past few weeks, I've been travelling up and down to Scotland for a training/coaching gig. When I travel a lot more, I read a lot more. One of the books I've been dipping into is Douglas Adams' "The Salmon of Doubt". Adams was a keen student of evolutionary biology, and his countless references to Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" persuaded me to pick up a copy at Glasgow airport last week. Fascinating. And, I suspect, highly relevant to Agile SPI. I now have a much clearer definition of both capability and adaptive tension. Capability is the length of the giraffe's neck, and adaptive tension is the height of the leaves on the trees!
I discussed this with my friend Duncan Pierce last night, and he helped shape the metaphor of effectively random changes to the development process constrained by metrics that decide which of those changes is successful and should be passed on to the next iteration, and which were not and shuld be mercilessly killed off. When we design metrics and set targets for improvement, we are effectively setting the heights of the trees our develpment practices need to reach.
Much more on this very soon...
Posted 15 years, 3 months ago on November 1, 2005