Entropy is the state of existenceI long attributed the phrase "entropy is the state of existence" to my science teacher. Looking back, I suspect that I either misunderstood him or made it up myself, but in any case, the phrase stuck with me and I use it to this day.
For me, entropy is not a fatalistic notion, rather a reminder that all things need tended.
It requires the application of new energy to keep a system at status quo
Disorder is natural and all systems, left un-tended, eventually fall apart. It requires the application of new energy to keep a system at status quo. Our desire to change nothing in order to keep things as they are is unrequited. We must change in order to stay the same.
Entropy and ProcessNo matter how well your process works today, I can promise you, left unchecked, it will eventually fail to deliver the results it once did. I believe there to be two primary reasons for this. First is that the process in-deliberately changes over time. Second is that our needs for process change as our project evolves and our team matures.
The process in-deliberately changes over time
How many of you have been on a team with stale stand-ups? The format hasn't changed. The participants haven't changed. And yet the value isn't what it once was. We stick to the process and try to recapture the magic.
How many of you have participated in a process that doesn't seem to make sense anymore? When the team started working together, no one knew the system well and there were lengthy debates over what might be true. The code might be complex or poorly covered. It might not.
Our needs for process change over time
Estimating sessions took forever. So management put a silent estimating process in place. This allowed the team to get through estimating sessions quickly. Six months later, everyone had solid experience with the code and was able to articulate real concerns, but the process didn't allow for it. No worries, the process served them well this far; it must be right.