Italian Traffic–A Metaphor


Having recently returned from a wonderful time in the Bay of Naples for our anniversary, I was reminded once again of the madness that is Italian driving.

With Italian driving there is always a lot of noise, activity, and speed involved but not always a lot of movement towards the desired destination. This reminded me of how often we end up treating projects the same way, we can see a lot of noise, activity, and speed but not a lot of progress towards where we actually want to end up.

When all said and done none of those actually help if we are not actually making them in the right direction, or making them all together such that we end up with deadlock. Making sure we actually plan and direct the traffic or project activity ensures that we will actually make more progress than just doing lots of it. And here the Germans with their structured autobahns end up travelling a lot faster to where they want to go, although I am sure the Italians will say with much less fun (and dented cars and egos!).

So as I return to work after my break, I am reminded that my primary role as a Development Manager is to direct the traffic and make sure that all that activity is actually getting us where we need to go. The aids we have in place like our Kanban board and Teamcity build server just ensure that we are continuously checking we are moving in the right direction and not towards one almighty road block as is the wont with traffic at many of the intersections we encountered with everyone trying to enter at the same time.