Non-standard tasks or tasks involving a lot of creativity can disturb your team, sometimes significantly. For example, let’s examine the creation of a new architecture. The goal is to combine various technologies, standards, and practices with respect to given constraints into one working system that can be easily enhanced, scaled, and maintained. Some proofs of concept might be necessary. With limited knowledge, it is likely that the team will underestimate some parts of this task. They must build strong technical scaffolding, which they later will fill in with expected functionalities.
Other sources of variability include a significant change in the requirements and a serious issue in the architecture. Their impact may result in a downgrade of the commitment-to-progress ratio, and the lines describing commitment and progress may never fully meet. Team members can always make wrong assumptions, and they will (and should) try new things to improve their development skills and processes, which might further result in disturbance.
Theoretically speaking, achieving 100 percent correlation with a small difference between the commitment and progress might suggest that nothing is happening. It can be quite worrisome, because without absorbing new things and changing, we become vulnerable while the world around us moves forward.
The pace of returning to a high commitment-to-progress ratio from a local disturbance should be proportional to the scale of the disturbance itself. Very complex architectures with many unknowns about technology and business domain often trigger large disturbances that take more time to stabilize. On the other hand, small changes—e.g., a new, mature team member who integrates quickly with other team members—should cause only an insignificant disturbance.
Figure 3: Switched cycle