We had another break, followed by a discussion on capacity. In this sense, capacity means how much can be done in a given stretch of time. This of course gets matched up (not often well) against expectations. We spoke a lot about the tendency of management to exert "work smarter, not harder" pressure (which leads to overtime). I noted that it's not only management that does this - engineers often do this to themselves via a congenital inability to say no to any new, interesting task that floats by them. So this led to another game:
Here's the rule - On each card there's a letter on one side, and a number on the other. How many cards have to be turned over to prove this assertion:
Is there always an even number on the other side of a card with a vowel on it?
This is an exercise that has apparently been done with lots of people, across loads of different domains (software, scientists, etc). It's common to get it wrong; the answer is left as an exercise to the reader :)
This led to a break and a short diversion - we paired off, and one person drew two circles on a page. We then took turns, and then ended with a name when anyone paused. What we got was an emergent diagram - the metaphor being that projects can fail simply through fear of saying I don't know to something. That took us to a discussion of project failures - but I'll get to that in the next post