Long Feedback Loops

2 Contributors
Last updated 22 Nov 12:44

TL;DR

Long feedback loops are frustrating. The goal is to make them as short as possible using the correct tooling and motivating the team. Ensure that every team member understands why are the feedback loops important.

What Are Long Feedback Loops

Long Feedback Loops mean that the delay between actions and reactions increases and the team becomes frustrated and demotivated. The shorter are the feedback loops, the better.

First of all, we have to understand that effective software development needs constant interactions, collaborations, and iterations. Only then the Continuous Delivery really works and the stakeholders and everyone participating are happy. There is one thing necessary for the collaboration - feedback as soon as possible.

With fast feedback, there is fast dealing with problems and, therefore, fast launch of the final perfect product. So what slows down the feedback loops and makes everyone miserable?

There can be various reasons:

  • Ignoring the importance of feedback loops
  • Ignoring Agile
    The Agile process was created for shortening the feedback loops. Before Agile and its famous Sprints, the feedback took even several months to get.
  • Getting feedback only at the end of each Sprint
    That is the wrong set-up. You need validation from the users as often as possible, especially during the early stages of development.
  • Wrong tooling
    Specialized tools for developers are usually difficult to understand for the users. How to make their lives easier?
    • Create a shared space for the entire team to get the feedback you need.
    • Enable others to see the work live via app sharing.
    • Create embedded feedback widgets to let them provide instant and direct feedback.
    • Make demos
    • Use Pair Programming
    • Use Unit Testing
    • And do not forget about Automated Deployment!

Feedback Loops
Source: Feedback Loops

Reasons for the Long Feedback Loops

There are two main categories for long feedback loops:

  1. Lack of software skills
    • Bad prioritization
    • Work overload
    • The task is not considered as very valuable

Ensure that every team member knows how to give feedback to each other. And, more importantly, how to use the feedback. Make the feedback lines as clear as possible between certain team members, so they do not feel overwhelmed.

  1. Lack of technical skills
    • Accumulated technical debt
    • Missing Continuous Integration and Deployment
    • Wrong architecture or technology
    • Missing DevOps
    • Missing automatization

Those are just a few tools you can improve. Remember that the techniques are here for you to save time and money. Then you can create exceptional software.

Resources for the Long Feedback Loops