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Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems by James A. Highsmith

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Chapter 12. Dawdling, McLuhan, and Thin Air

This book is fundamentally about high speed, uncertainty, and high change. In the race to deliver a product quickly, however, it is not always necessary to go fast. There is a story about African bushmen guiding a European military excursion across a wide expanse of the African plain. In a race against time, the Europeans maintained a furious pace until the bushmen, almost in unison, paused, sat down, and refused to move. To the Europeans’ pleading to resume the trek, the bushmen replied, “We have to wait for our souls to catch up.”

Some things are not a function of speed, but of time and timing. What would your reaction be to an artist who said, “Between 3 and 4 P.M., I will paint the background trees; ...

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