I'd never suggest that there is magic bullet to solve all problems. All of the "do this one thing" advice normally makes me anger - it is NEVER that simple.
And that being said, I keep coming back to just how fundamentally important reflection is.
I advise to work in small, incremental chunks using an experimental approach - key to that is reflecting on the results of the experiment and learning from it.
I advise teams to regularly take the time to reflect on their processes; What is working? What isn't working? What do we try next?
Even at the coal face of software development we have the technique of Code Refactoring:
"Refactoring is intended to improve the design, structure, and/or implementation of the software (its non-functional attributes), while preserving its functionality." Wikipedia
A technique where the development team take time to review their work for improvements in its form and structure.
All of these come back to that investment in reflection.
That reflection allows us to take stock of progress to date and what course corrections we should be making. And we should be doing it often.
It’s not uncommon for organisations and teams to be "to busy" to reflect; only to find that months later that they were so far off course that they have little chance of getting back to it.
So, while I'd never suggest that reflection is a silver bullet, I'd really struggle to see how you can claim that your organisation, team or software product are the best they can be without it.
During September, I'm running a short survey to establish UK Executive's attitude towards custom software development survey.
Does it return ROI? Does keep pace with business? Is it difficult to recruit or retain staff? Does it have sufficient quality? Is it predicable?
I'd welcome any participation or sharing of the survey. Please have your say at: https://software-survey.red-folder.com
I take the sixth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:
"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will do all that I can to keep the productivity of myself, and others, as high as possible. I will do nothing that decreases that productivity."