Positive reports

Military combat is not the only  military concept where software development can learn. One thing we used in my unit was "positive reporting". Positive reporting means that we should report in to our commander often and not only when things go wrong. This helps the commander knowing what's happening.

The positive report concept also includes adding suggestions on what can be done. This is important since the commander is typically not there and is not able to see all opportunities the terrain and situation offers.

Bad example: Hotel-Alpha at check-point 42.
Good example: Hotel-Alpha at check-point 42. We have clear view of check-point 4711 and I think we can take it without support.

In software development we can benefit from using the concept of positive reporting. The first part, keeping the "commander" (product owner) updated can be done with daily scrums, burn-downs, task board etc. Things we typically do. The second part however is one thing many software developers don't do very well. Instead of just bringing problems to the surface, take a few moments and try to think of a way to solve the problem (as in combat acting is better than reacting). Even though the suggested solution may not be the best one, it will quickly get you back toward the goal. And the suggestion it self will trigger others to think of better ways to solve the problem.