The High Cost of Delaying Maintenance and Knowing Better

Photo by Doug Waldron

Photo by Doug Waldron

My car had been making noise for a few weeks, but I kept making excuses rather than take the car to the mechanic--I was just there for an oil change and don't want to go back so soon.  I don't have time to take my car to the shop during the week because of work.  I don't know what to tell them is wrong.  

I ended up taking my car to the shop right before I went on vacation, but it was to a collision centerbecause someone hit my car in a parking lot two days before I left.  One of the employees told me my car was rather scary to drive, reinforcing what I already knew.  My car ended up making the decision for me when a brake pad fell out at the collision center--my car needed to go to the mechanic ASAP.  It cost me over a thousand dollars and caused me to be without my car for a couple of days, but my car finally got the attention that I knew it had needed for quite a while.

Similarly, individuals, teams, and organizations are regularly delaying "maintenance" that is needed to keep things running smoothly--taking training classes, giving performance reviews, reducing technical debt, notifying stakeholders of changes, cancelling projects, revising policies... the list goes on and on.  The cost of delay is significant.

You already know what you're putting off, so what are you going to do about it?

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.