When something is hard, there can be a tendency to want to avoid the thing and work around it. This is known as avoidance and can lead people to a point where they aren’t prepared to tackle the reality in front of them. Instead, they prefer to consider the hard task a fixed constraint.
The alternative to avoidance is exposure. This is a psychological approach to dealing with challenging situations where people are exposed over and over to the challenging situation.
There are a lot of challenges in building, releasing, and planning software projects and digital products. Over the years I’ve seen many companies optimize delivery schedules and deployments to be once or twice a year. In addition, I’ve seen teams shy away from engaging and planning with stakeholders. The reasons? They’re both really hard to do. Both infrequent deployment and infrequent planning leads to unfocused teams, slow delivery, and low value deployments of features.
The best way to improve in this situation is to develop the muscle of continuous planning, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. I know, for some, this can feel like an incredibly high bar. That’s why it’s typically avoided. But, it is achievable! By tackling projects and tasks that are hard again and again, they will become easier over time.
What do you do in your team today that works around something you’re trying to avoid? Start tackling it head on.