Ever wonder why there’s the saying “hindsight is 20/20”- it’s because psychologists have proven our bias towards thinking outcomes must have turned out the way they did and we are convinced we knew it all along .
So what’s the problem?
Because of this bias we may not be learning from our fumbles and that’s a shame. See here:
The hindsight bias is our tendency towards thinking that things must have turned out the way they actually have. The hindsight bias can be a problem when it stops us learning from our mistakes. If the entrepreneurs knew how biased their estimates of success were, would they have done things differently? … how will they learn to consider alternatives? – Jeremy Dean, @PsyBlog
What’s the solution?
Honestly look at our judgements and provide/think of alternative ways things could have turned out. I think Daily Scrums and Retrospectives help Agile teams see how differently things could done if teams were not wrapped up in hindsight BLINDness.
What do you think? Is hindsight always 20/20 as the saying goes?
Do you think hindsight bias is always unproductive and negative? How do Agile teams guard against bias? Is it just “per unusual” in creating product and we who design and create just have to get on with it?
I came across a favorite blogger’s post previously. Tony Schwartz’s “The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time” offers so many good points, I suggest the read. BTW: He sounds pretty “Agile” to me.
I admit it. I was a dyed in the wool multitasking manager. “Was” until I figured out that rather than make me more productive, it did the opposite. I was not paying close attention to my team, nor could I incorporate all those distractions and keep forward momentum. Being mindful is now my manner.
Tony writes we need more focus and be more engaged to be productive. Let’s deal with meetings. He suggests scheduling shorter meetings, to start them on time with a defined end and no distractions of the digital kind.
Sounds pretty Agile to me:
- Do the most important thing, first thing every day – Daily Scrum?
- Carve out enough time in the day to “reflect” on the discussions. A Sprint Review?
- We need time to “recover” and maintain Rhythm?
Ignore the Tyranny of Urgent
Big lesson, still learning (note to me). Tony stresses planning regular and scheduled times to think long term. Prioritization, assigning Business Value – Agile teams do these naturally, it’s what we do.
Got me thinking about innovation….best practices suggest unplugging is the best way to be more creative. It has something to do with how our brains are hardwired. I know we work in busy places and competition is tough, but “not right now” can be the appropriate answer.
Disconnect and Renew
Take a vacation day, eat lunch away from your desk, join with colleagues at the favorite watering hole…take time to do something different, or nothing at all. It’s important. Even my computer and phone tell me it’s time to turn them off. Interesting…our devices are reminding US to be in the present.