time-dependent rate phenomenon

Here is a fascinating article about biology: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170314-time-dependent-rate-phenomenon-evolution-viruses/

It says that when you look at organisms over a few generations, you see lots of mutations. Yet when you look at those organisms over thousands of years, the rate looks much slower.

This means that we have lots of variation, and it circles back to where it started after a while.

If we consider this with our teams: say a team has a retro every 2 weeks, and they choose to try something different in their process for the next 2 weeks. They can keep doing this over and over, and at the end of the year, they’re likely to be quite close to where they started. A year-over-year retro (carefully recording norms each time, because we’ll forget by next year) would show that not much has changed. And _this is success_.

Consider this with our teams: if velocity is constant from sprint to sprint, we’re doing it wrong. We’re not changing, we’re not implementing anything new. Average velocity over 6 months should be pretty constant, but if week-to-week it’s the same, either we’re cheating somehow, or we’re not evolving at all.

If frequent changes stress you out, take a broader perspective. We’ll circle back, and be mostly the same but hopefully a little better. If the lack of change over time bores you, focus smaller, and try temporary changes to keep yourself learning, and very gradually the organization will learn too.