38thsignal logo

This is The 38th Signal, a weblog about design, coding, design, experience, design, constraints, cookware, and so much more. Established 2007 in Angola.

Four hours upfront and then hit the bars posted by RJ Jun 22, 2007


We recently decided to stop diving in too deep on tasks, ever. Instead, we're going to work in four hour chunks, and by chunks, we mean days. We start the work day around noon and then, after the first four hours or so, it's miller time.

Why? When you've done too much, you get stressed. And stress is bad for everyone. It makes you a bad programmer and a bad project manager and somehow it seems to make your clients worse too. No one likes stress. A famous poet once said, "Stress is the thing I hate in a leisurely fashion." Bold words.

Four hours is just enough time to start to see how the project will go from here, which is the perfect time to re-evaluate. It's the perfect time to stop and wonder, are we on track? Are we meshing as a team? Are we mitigating synergy? And nothing helps answer these sorts of questions like a few cold ones, 12 perfect strangers, and a karaoke machine. If you bring a co-worker, spend some time between rounds of darts discussing the different approaches you could have taken to the problem thus far and whether the one you've chosen is the best. In agile development, we call this a "scrum". Scrums are always billable.

You'll also notice that only working for four hours provides your team with a sense of mission and hope they didn't have otherwise. Ever notice how people are most productive when they know that something good, like a company potluck, is just around the corner? This is like that, only better, since it's beer instead of a potluck, and it's all the time.

> This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Subscribe to Posts [Atom]
In loving parody of the 37signals weblog Signal vs Noise.