Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#55: What is a Sustainable Pace?

July 05, 2023     16 minutes

In this episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast, Brian takes listeners on a discovery of what sustainable pace is, what it isn’t, and how embracing a culture that is pro work-life balance can lead to not only enhanced well-being for your team members but also help them be more productive.


Today on the Agile Mentors Podcast, Brian Milner is walking listeners through the hidden drawbacks of pushing teams to their limits in a fast-paced work environment and the benefits for work and employee well-being of maintaining a sustainable pace.

Brian takes a look at the resurgence of the "crack the whip" mentality and the impact of prioritizing excessive work hours over sustainable practices.

Listen in for Brian's tips for creating a culture that embraces sustainability and work-life balance and the transformative impact it can have on individuals, teams, and organizations alike.

Listen Now to Discover:

[00:53] - Join us in July for quick shorter episodes and valuable insights designed to enhance your Agile journey. We'll be back with full episodes in August!
[02:11] - Diving into the topic of sustainable pace: uncover the drawbacks of pushing teams too hard in a fast-paced work environment and why sustainable pace is essential for productivity and employee well-being.
[03:49] - The resurgence of the "crack the whip" mentality and its impact on employee morale and quality of work.
[4:33] -The philosophy of hardcore work, including a specific example involving Elon Musk and the importance of finding a sustainable work-life balance.
[6:04] - Discover the impact of stress on software development through a study by Tsuneo Furuyama to learn how long-term stress factors contribute to 71% of software faults.
[7:25] - Pushing people to work nights and weekends has a negative effect on the quality of work.
[7:43] - The origin of the concept of sustainable pace in XP and the importance of maintaining a sustainable pace for long-term success.
[8:57] - The true meaning of sustainable pace: how to embrace the balance between productivity and personal well-being.
[10:14] - The negative consequences of rushing and time pressure in software development.
[10:49] - How pushing teams beyond their sustainable pace actually results in more errors, bugs, and delays.
[11:14] - A sustainable pace leads to faster and more efficient releases in the long run.
[11:53] - There really is something to work-life balance.
[12:13] - Brian shares three tips to promote a sustainable pace.
[12:56] - A downstream effect of having high stress in your life.
[14:14] - What a sustainable pace is all about.
[15:31] - Coming up on next week’s show.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Tsuneo Furuyama Study
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is the SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.