During a panel in the latest Scrum gathering, a question was raised regarding how deliver a potentially shippable product each sprint if it takes 3-5 days of stabilizing the product to get it to a release level.
Its a relatively common question which has various answer, however Scott Ambler has given it a gem of an answer(in my opinion at least). His answer went something in the spirit of:
if it takes you that long then you must do it more often, in fact keep on doing it until you learn how to reduce the time that needed for stability.
This somewhat relate to a previous post of mine, Cost of Change – The Fear . Investing the effort to fix pains that we learnt to live with is always a low priority. In fact the bigger the pain is, its harder to fix so it slips down the list. After all, if it was easy, we would have done it already.
So Scott gave a good way out. Basically he advices to enhance the pain! If its a scratch cut it with a knife. if its a twisted leg, break it completely. Make it hurt so bad that ignoring it is no longer an option, and the only course of action will be to fix it. A drastic approach but one which works.