## skills v. practices

When helping software development teams work more smoothly, we want to teach them TDD, DevOps, pairing, clean code, etc. Which of these are skills, and which are practices? Yes — they’re all both. Skills and practices aren’t separate; they’re a circle. Knowing how to do something gives you the option to practice it, which makes …

## Measuring effort gets you effort

When outcomes are hard to measure, we can measure activity toward those outcomes which gets us more activity which is a negative, really, for any given outcome. We’d like to have the same outcome for less effort. but when you measure and reward effort, instead we get maximum effort. What’s the alternative? If we want …

## Reasons, heuristics, and revealed intentions

In a complex system, we can’t predict consequences. As Cynefin expresses it: in complexity, we determine causality in retrospect, not ahead of time. So how do we make decisions? We have to guess, try things, see what happens, react to that. We use reasons and heuristics. There are some consequences we do predict, and these …

## Reductionism with Command and Control

In hard sciences, we aim to describe causality from the bottom up, from elementary particles. Atoms form molecules, molecules form objects, and the reason objects bounce off each other is reduced to electromagnetic interactions between the molecules in their surfaces. Molecules in DNA determine production of proteins which result in cell operations which construct organisms. …

## Probability Spaces as reality

In Dynamics in Action, Alicia Juarrero describes human action as a selection, a sample, from probability space. Everything we could do, and the likelihood of each, is a function of our situation, our habits, and our intentions. From this we select some action in each moment. Karl Popper calls these possible actions propensities, and he …