“Small gestures often cost nothing but build more trust than large, expensive (or expansive) gestures bestowed occasionally. And so it is with software development. Delivering small, frequent, high-quality releases builds more trust with partner teams than putting out larger releases less often. Small releases show that the software development team can deliver and is committed to providing value.” – David J. Anderson, Kanban, Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business, p.29 (Amazon affliate link)

My original intention was to read this as a “refresher” as its considered one of the more basic “learn Kanban” books. As it turns out, I’m learning a lot, taking notes religiously, and generally just enjoying it.

One of the most critical things to understand about running a business is that ultimately, business is people. Therefore, the best business books are also relationship books, especially when it comes to books on productivity and team building.

David J. Anderson certainly understands this. I’m just 30-ish pages in as of this writing and a good deal of my notes don’t have much to do with “process” so much as how to treat people in a way that honors and helps their effort.

The “small things” quote stood out to me because its a mistake I’ve been making over the last couple of months. I’ve been focused on big outcomes but I haven’t broken down the steps necessary to make those outcomes a series of small gestures. It was hurting the project and introducing doubt that it may be possible at all because not much was being done.

With Laura’s help, we carved up the big ideas into small chunks and boom, progress.

Of course, the reason I’m posting it here to Marriage Startup is that this applies across the board. If you’ve messed up, don’t resort to grand gestures, get back to the small things. Do the dishes. Take out the trash. You get the idea.

What’s your favorite small gesture? The one that costs you the least but has the most impact? I’d love to know.

Posted by Leslie Camacho

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