Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Agile

The Jazz Process: Maintain Momentum

  • Print
  • + Share This
Adrian Cho talks about how you can create and maintain constructive momentum in your organization.
This chapter is from the book
  • “It does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.”
  • —Confucius

Concepts of Momentum

Any system must expend resources to advance or move in a specific direction. Energy that a baseball pitcher transfers to a ball, fuel that a car consumes, and a team’s united intellectual efforts to solve a problem are all examples of expending resources in pursuit of a goal. When resistant forces such as friction are present, making progress is harder, and additional resources must be expended. The pitcher must exert more energy when throwing into a strong wind. If you add parts to a car’s exterior, such as a roof rack, or if you open one of the car’s windows, the vehicle’s wind resistance increases. If the car’s tires are underinflated, it increases their rolling resistance. Each form of resistance, also known as drag, increases fuel consumption. As we’ve learned, sources of friction in business, such as politics, excessive bureaucracy, lack of trust, poor communication, and frequent mistakes, all require people to spend more time and energy.

Momentum is the tendency or impetus to continue in a specific direction. When momentum is present, fewer resources need be consumed to advance. If you’re driving a car and you take your foot off the throttle, the vehicle’s momentum causes it to continue moving, despite various forms of friction. You must apply the brakes and create substantially more friction to slow the car more quickly. If velocity is a measure of how quickly a team is progressing, constructive momentum makes it easier to continue at a constant velocity—and also makes it easier to increase velocity. Constructive momentum can make it easier to establish positive feedback loops such as economies of scale that build on previous results to produce increasingly greater future results. Destructive momentum, on the other hand, is negative progress. Repeated mistakes or problematic behavior can generate destructive momentum, fueling costly and dangerous negative feedback loops that waste precious time and resources. In our further discussions, references to momentum refer to constructive momentum unless otherwise noted.

In physics, momentum is calculated as the mass of an object multiplied by its velocity. A truck has greater mass than a car, but the car can have equal momentum to a truck if it is moving fast enough. This concept of momentum applies to teams as well. For any given velocity, a larger team or organization has more momentum than a smaller one. In theory, a smaller team can have equivalent momentum to a larger team if its velocity is high enough.

Getting started, or “getting the ball rolling,” to quote an often-used metaphor, can be one of the hardest things to do. Critical mass is a sociodynamic term for a state in which there is sufficient momentum to enable an activity to be self-sustaining. To reach this state, considerable resources may need to be expended, especially if resistance must be overcome. In social situations, this can happen when introducing a new idea, a new practice, or new people. People have resisted change for as long as humans have been able to establish routines that they can take comfort in. Comfort is largely the result of emotional connections that are established over time, and severing such connections can be difficult. In any transition, it’s important to acknowledge both the good and the bad about the things people are familiar with, while helping them connect with what they are being asked to adopt. In Chapter 8, “Act Transparently,” we identified how associations can help establish a perception of authenticity. Similarly, associations can help people establish connections with new ideas, practices, or people. Execution champions, used in large companies, are an example of employing such associations by having people act as advocates for something new. Their clout can often enable them to lubricate situations, easing the inevitable friction that can be generated in the course of a transition.

The single most important element of momentum is regularity. People are naturally drawn to the predictability of regular cycles. The “theater” exercise described in the Introduction is an example of how a group of people instinctively fall into a regular cadence when they read together, just as a church congregation does when reading liturgy. This is a manifestation of a physics concept known as entrainment, wherein two or more interacting oscillating systems fall into the same period. Momentum can be maintained by managing four operational elements that leverage people’s affinity for regular cycles: form, tempo, pulse, and groove. Let’s look at each one in turn.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020