Tell Her No

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there was a song called “Tell Her No” by the Zombies.

I like to play it sometimes in the courses.

Here is the song:

A simple and stylish song with quite a message.

I like to let the music tell the message. I think it reaches a different place than my mere words. Some of the guys just want to think, and some get annoyed a bit, but that’s OK.

The 100%-100% rule tempts us with her charms. Tell her no.  (We want more the 80-20 rule.) Even the 85%-50% rule means we must say no to 50% of the work. Seems hard, in some situations.

And I like to make the attendees in the course practice saying “No” to some “big, bad” customer or manager who I pick out from the attendees. “Tell her no.”

By saying no to some features, it means we can get the higher value features delivered sooner. Speedy delivery is much more important than we think or so the customer feels. (The release is also cheaper, but that should seldom be that important to optimize.)

God, it takes courage sometimes, so say “no.”

I recommend “The Power of a Positive No” by William Ury. (He co-wrote “Getting To Yes,” which you probably read.) If you never say “no,” the “yes” starts to be meaningless.


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