I’ve been reading a great book called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. It’s not a book about business, agile, marketing, scrum, branding or anything else that I usually write about. Instead, it’s a memoir written by a great novelist about running and training for marathons. But, there was an interesting passage that I think really applies to agile teams (or anyone for that matter). It’s about finding and setting the right pace for sustainability. Here’s Murakami on sustainable pace:
"Right now I’m aiming at increasing the distance I run, so speed is less of an issue. As long as I can run a certain distance, that’s all I care about. Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write no more. Do that, and the next day’s work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemmingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed – and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage."