Rhythm is everything

I love music. I play guitar, sing and dance. My career as guitar-weekend-player started 15 years ago. Sing and dance and new stuff to me, i'm just doing for 5 months... Now a days i enjoy all kinda of music from heavy metal to Brazilian Samba / Pagode to classic, Jazz, etc... But I was not like like that since day one. The biggest part of my life so far i just like Heavy Metal but i changed that in the past 5 months...

Suddenly i got it.  I just see a tremendous connection between music and several things related to my daily work like Software Development / Lean, Coaching and Team work. Music is math, software development, coaching, team work and basically anything that has people around in complex systems are not simple math. That`s does not mean you could not apply some cool ideas on it. :-)

Software development requires team coordination and that`s not archived by control at all. Unfortunately several assumptions on (CMMI, PMI, Management, etc...)  rely on bad ideas, at least for me(someone who belive in people and good systems that no only change but make people better).

Talking about music you need coordination, actually anything that has complexity demands that as an basic property. Rhythm could be an different way of archiving coordination and also helping to make a system where things are better.

Kanban and Cadence

As a kanban practitioner i do acknowledge that cadence is Rhythm. Lean / Kanban besides nay things are about flow and that means less buckets(buffers) better. Kanban uses simple techniques like wip limits and explicit policies to create a cadence on the system. Going back to the music part, in music you do have compass and times. Sometimes you do have pauses and breaks that's all ok they are part of the system. Having 4 times in a compass is like having 4 as a queue wip limit, isn't the same-thing?

Pomodoro + Open Piece Flow (OPF)

Few months ago i started a experiment with one of my teams. We was already using Pomodoro technique(but as something for individuals, read that's and standalone single developer like a cowboy :-) ). My teams use a long time mixed wips but several things we use OPF.  So, one day i decide make a experiment why not mix the 2 things together?

The idea is have everybody on the team working on the same user story but using pomodoro times. The times we are suing are 20 minutes of work, 5 minutes to REST and do anything you want besides code work and finally after 4 times we do a long break of 20 minutes. The timer often is on a dedicated monitor so the whole team can see that.

Whats the advantages of that, well, i'm Brazilian and work with most Brazilians on my local team. It's not a golden rule but in general we like to make noise, talk about other things besides work and just have fun :-) when you have this times(Rhythm) people end-up working at the same time and making side talks, talking about bullshit, playing video games whatever they want at the same time as well. The great thing about that is you make pomodoro more effective because you are avoiding interruptions.

I got awesome results doing this kinda of technique. When people don't use it for whatever reasons is clear to me the productivity loss, syncing people through Rhythm has proof to be very effective. Of course there is people who love that because they have an great need of do something else, nobody can be productive 8hrs and just code like a machine so this people get happy to have kinda of small bits of free time to procrastinate(but under control :-)).

Other folks like to work 8 hrs non stopping, i know they disagree with me but i don't think that's great, pauses are awesome and people should use more, they make you more effective, take a break has more power than people could ever think.

Weekly Coaching Sessions and People Studies

I'm a Agile Coach between the many things i do nowadays =) I do coaching sessions using Grow model, system thinking tools and once i started doing that every week with Rhythm i see people improving faster. It's like anything is life, repetition, repetition, repetition and more repetition through practices and right coaching you can do anything you want.

 When you go to the gym you have the same effect, if you just go 1 time here and another there does not work at all. When you go everyday in a systemic solid Rhythm magic happens. I help to take care of some people career and often people need study new things around software development and i heavily recommend diary studies even if is 20 minutes worst case you need do every week.

Rhythm is addictive

Start things is hard, is dam hard. There is one thing i like to call the *Darkest Hour* is when there is nothing to make you co forward, you don't see the light in the end of the tunnel. There is no progress whatsoever and you have reasons to stop... When that happen you can have only faith and hold on no matter what you have to hold, even if you lie to yourself but you need breakthrough the inertia.

Once you pass the *Darkest Hour* and you see progress you get more energy and more will-power and your life become easy, setting a hard paste has advantages like having progress every week on this moment the Rhythm hits you as a addiction. When you don`t you feel bad and you want do more and more....

The *Darkest Hour* unfortunately is not only in the beginning, on the beginning is harder than ever but our dark friend come-back time to time to visit you. when that happens get back to your faith and like in a horror game she will go away and you will win, in the end, just don`t give up.

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