After reading this post what Jamie said hit me as well:
This is when I realized how trained I was in the processes at my former workplaces. This email would have been delayed until it was perfect[...] After fixing this there would be another thing and then another thing. A 2-day project would drag on for a week of redesign, approval, and development[...] It’s one thing to read Getting Real [...] It’s another thing to actually practice the principles. [...] That part is trickier than you think.
I don't think it's just Jamie and I don't think it's just his former workplaces. We're all trained to make excuses not to launch, it's endemic in the culture of most organisations. We endlessly pay lip service to the principals of release early and release often, agreeing in principal with the principals - but put very little of them into practice. A manager's role is to facilitate an organisation's march towards better - all too often it's a weak manager that needs constant input on projects and at the root it's fear of inadequacy on their part that builds a culture of ass covering. It's obvious that at 37 Signals they don't suffer from being crippled organisationally when executive decisions need to be made but executives are absent. Their staff are trusted to make decisions and they're empowered to release better features. When your last change was ready to deploy, when it was better than what was there, did you release it? If not, how long did it take you to get from that point to actually releasing it and how many people had to give final approval? Why not empower your staff with a simple test - Is it better than what we have? No flow charts, no organisational hierarchy; just a simple question.