Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter


Belgian chain and the weekest link

In cycling, there's a concept called Belgian chain. It's based on the concept of the effect of drafting. It's estimated that when you lay directly behind another cyclist, you only need two thirds of the effort compared to laying all alone. If you're part of a large bunch of cyclists, the effect is dramatic.

Sometimes during a professional cycling event, the pulse of some of the riders is displayed on TV. The guys riding up front may lay on the border of what they can cope while they guys in the middle may have a slightly higher pulse than you get from ordinary walking.

So, what do you do if you're ten guys out cycling: well, if the conditions are right, you might try the belgian chain. The guys in the left lane work themselved upwards and when they are up front they spend about 15 seconds there before moving right and the downwards in the right lane. Why: you don't spend so much time in the front to get exhausted. All share the burden of the wind.

I can sometimes see a good agile team as a team trial cycling team doing the Belgian chain. Beautiful to watch. Effective and building trust.

And like with development you might say this doesn't work if not everyone is as good as the next. Well, if one or two of the guys can't cope they stay in the back and just rotate there. And if it's a good team, that's OK. Everyone is entitled to a "bad day" or perhaps the Belgian chain is not their cup of tea. Those guys repay some other day. And that is also important in the agile team: understanding that "good" and "not as good" is a question of task and day. But of course, if someone is always lurking in the back, perhaps they should find a more suitable sport.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whooops... Someone borrowed graphics without asking first...? baaaaad karma... :-)

April 8, 2008 at 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering when you'd find this C. ;)

April 8, 2008 at 11:40 PM  

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