Have you ever thought what Marathon Running and Product Development have in common?

I started my software development career in 1998 as a developer and along the way I fulfilled various other roles such as R&D team leader, project manager and product manager.

I started training as a long distance runner in mid 2014 and run my first Marathon in October 2015.

There are several posts comparing product development to a marathon. Clearly, both are not simple tasks.

In this post, I would like to share from my personal software development and long distance running experiences aspects Marathon running and Agile Product development. 

    Marathon Agile Product Development
1 Support systems Get your support systems in place. Match your nutrition with your training plan. In product development, it is recommended that the organization has upper management buy-in, CI system in place, test automation capabilities and well-defined DoD.
2 Expand your skills Additional one or two types of sports every week such as bicycling, strength training, rowing, cross training, swimming or elliptical training helps building core muscles such as abdominal and back muscles as well as hamstring, biceps, triceps muscles etc.  Agile product development is based on technical excellence. Developers has to expand their skill sets as well as develop their core skills. Add a comment
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When I was a child I had an operation on my shoulder. It was a scheduled operation, nothing urgent. And it left me with an ugly scar on my back. Today, it’s still very notable after all those years. Also still painful during season changes.

Roll the clock forward some 40 years, my youngest son had an operation right after birth. He was in a critical condition, and, in order to save his life, the main artery and vein in his neck were bypassed to connect him to an infant life support machine (ECMO). Despite the urgency and complexity, his scar is hardly noticeable. Despite his slim chances of survival, doctors treated him in both operations - connecting and disconnecting from ECMO - such that everything, cosmetic side effects included, will be as professional as they possibly can.

What makes the difference between a top notch surgical unit to a mediocre to a poor one?

What makes the difference between a top notch software team to a mediocre to a poor one?

The books "Better" and "The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande give us a peek into the characteristics that differentiate a mediocre surgeon practice from a better-and-always-improving one.

The resemblance between a medical team and a software team is so strikingly similar, that I collected ten practices from the Operation Room (OR) that software teams would be wise to adopt. 

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