Friday, April 27, 2007


If you rememeber my last blogentry Speed is bullshit, timing is everything! I discussed the relationship of speed and timing and that you could by developing good timing first and then adding speed become very good at what you do.

Well, as you might have guessed, this is not really the thruth. You can't develop the skill of timing alone, in isolation, and then based on that develop speed. What I do say is that it is more necessary to have timing in place, or at least be aware of it, first before you develop speed and timing together.

Well let's continue, you need to develop and optimize your skills together because "suboptimization is the root of all evil".

Let's picture a boxer, what makes him good? Is a good boxer a guy who stands still but hits like a horse kicks, or is a good boxer a guy who runs around but has no good hits? Neither, right? A good boxer is like Muhammed Ali, who according to himself, back in the days, would "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,". This boxer has trained hitting and he has has trained footwork and has trained them toghether, he is a complete system which is optimized to work together, any other way runs the risk of suboptimization.

So this is our first observation on our way to systems thinking, failure to identify and understand the system may lead to suboptimization e.g. like the guns of Navarone, tremendous fire power but no movement. And we all know that fire and movement is a unbeatable couple, a well functioning system.

So how did the boxer learn all his moves - well first he learnt all the blow, jab, cross, hooks and uppercuts, the he learnt all the foowtwork and bodymovement, and the when he mastered all those movements individually then he spent several years integrating the skills and became the well oiled machinery he is today! Well, not quite.

On his first practice as a young boy he probably learnt a jab, some footwork (mastering each component) and then spent the rest of the training hitting what ever he could find, the pads, the heavy bag while moving and then finally by sparring (integration). So when learning the art of boxing he continuously integrated his new aquired skills on each pratice event, and the cost of integrating it with his existing knowledge became almost not noteable and he ran no risk of suboptimization - and it don't stop there, if he spars with the correct partners he also get immediately feedback if he is doing the right thing and if he is doing it right. With this information he is always on top of things.

For all of you who talks about the concept of nested synchronisation - well it is right here - If each training is your daily acceptance test, the brawl in the pub on saturday your weekly integration test and the club championship your release.

This is how a good boxer trains and always has trained. He is a well integrated, functioning and operational system. A young boy without any education who is performing the core principles of agile software development methodologies like Test Driven Development and Continous Integration.

No comments: