Chapter 17Whip the Ponies Harder

A high-level manager was told that a project was moving more slowly than had been hoped. He retorted, “Well, we’ll just have to whip the ponies harder.”

I find it difficult to think of a management comment more repugnant than that. In addition, it was sure to backfire.

Under pressure, teams give up the wrong things. They don’t test enough; they leave the code in poor condition. This reduces value, increases the delay to getting the value, and reduces the value they can deliver later.

Under pressure, teams test less and therefore put more defects in. Some of these defects escape the room and affect customers. Value is directly reduced.

Some defects are discovered before the product ships. This usually means that ...

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