I have had several new ideas for blog posts recently, especially given recent travel adventures, but for reasons I can’t explain, I couldn’t conjure up the words to share here on my blog, as you can see by the fact I haven’t really posted since January of this year. 🙁
I had a similar experience when I was trying to research a new topic for my day job. I am trying to learn about agile product development which is a fairly new concept for me. I’ve tried my hand at it a few times, but it’s very different from my formal training in software development (it wasn’t as popular/taught in schools back then) and professional experience in hardware products (these project haven’t typically use agile, but they are starting to).
What I was dealing with was the fear of starting or the perfectionism monster rearing its head when I was trying to write user stories. This lead to procrastination & inability to start because of fear of writing an “imperfect user story.”
Sidebar – I think this is probably a common condition actually, and more so as you get older. I mean really, if we were like this as children, we would never have learned to walk for fear of falling down. But now, if you think about it, some of the decisions we have to make can stop us right in our tracks – for example, moving to a new city might be scarier now than when you first set out to attend college in a new city.
As I continue to learn about agile, I am starting to understand the value is in continuous improvement, not just in the product, but also in how the team works together. The value isn’t in writing a “perfect user story” or knowing exactly what the customer wants right at the beginning. In fact, writing a perfect user story is an illusion and it could take months for a team to gel to write good stories to work off of because each team might have a different structure for how they would like to work. As long as the team has a plan for how to work together, that seems to be the most important point rather than perfecting each user story, and then iterating from there.
How does perfectionism show up in your life and projects? How do you tackle those projects in spite of the nagging voice of perfection?
P.S. I’m just starting to learn about agile, so I know there is more to the process than this.
P.P.S. I like to envision perfectionism as a little monster. Here’s a visual for your enjoyment. 🙂