Why you should embrace Impediments!

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Why you should embrace Impediments!

Nearly everyone considers impediments to be a “bad thing”….but let’s take a quick look at the definition:

  • a hindrance or obstruction in doing something
  • something that interferes with or slows the progress of  something

What about Defects/Bugs? These are not desirable elements, so anything that mitigates [hinders, obstructs, slows] their creation should be a “good thing”!  Consider techniques such as Test Driven Development [TDD], along with design approaches such as SOLID. In the above context, these can be referred to as “impediments to the introduction of defects”.

While the above may seem like pedantic “antics with semantics”, it also gives rise to some valuable insight.

One of the key aspects of an effective environment is responding to change. But this only is productive if the change is in a positive net direction. There are reasons for the current state of affairs, they did not originate out of thin air.

When there is something in the current environment that inhibits the adoption of something new [i.e. an Impediment], a knee jerk reaction of “Impediments are Bad, we must remove the Impediment!” is likely to introduce risk, and may result in an actual worsening of the overall situation. At the same time, a “We have always done it this way!” response blocks progress in a positive direction.

It is only once a proper analysis has been done that one can determine if the impediment is a “problem” or is actually a safety measure to mitigate/avoid problems. Not only does this analysis help with making the appropriate decisions and subsequent action, it often provides insight into other aspects of the environment which can have an even bigger overall impact.

So, embrace your impediments – they are a chance for you to learn!


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