An ex-colleague of mine, Pedro Moreira Santos, once made an observation to me that I thought was incredibly insightful. Paraphrasing him:
Every manager says the same thing: “This will never work. My team is special.”
At the time, he was explaining behaviour-driven development to a number of managers and team leaders, but the look in his eye told me it wasn’t the first time he’d heard people say that. As someone relatively new to the industry, especially in the position of a coach or trainer, this was news. And so I started to listen out for it.
They never quite use those exact words, but often, the words go along these lines:
- “That code will never work. This application is special.”
- “That library will never work. These requirements are special.”
- “Automated tests will never work. Our business logic is special.”
- “Automated provisioning will never work. Our infrastructure is special.”
- “Kanban will never work. Our management structure is special.”
- “Agile will never work. Our customers are special.”
- “Lean will never work. Our market is special.”
You probably aren’t as special as you think you are.