The benefit of the doubt is not refundable.
The benefit of the doubt is mostly undervalued by a lot of people. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is a very clear sign of trust. “I do not completely agree with you, but I give you the benefit of the doubt that you can handle it” for example. Or “I do not understand what you propose, but I know you well enough to know that you will help me understand this along the line. I give you the benefit of the doubt.”. In short, we can say that the benefit of the doubt is something like a credit withdrawal on the trust we have in a person.
Following the analogy of a credit withdrawal, we can also say that the benefit of the doubt leads to the expectation of a repay of that credit. But we also need to expect that the benefit of the doubt is a decision we make, and it might as well be that there will be no repay in full. When we consider the Agile Principles, in which we encourage failure as learning opportunity, the repay will not always be a 1 to 1 transaction. It might as well be an important lesson we have learned, which we should embrace.
In that example, the repay of the benefit of the doubt is contributing to a culture and environment in which testing and learning is accepted and celebrated. Claiming a full refund on the benefit of the doubt is not what helps organizations grow an Agile culture!
We need to accept and understand The Human Element in Agile!
Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag – CEO Spearhead Management