As people grow older, they start having these small pains, that are more of an irritation rather than a major problem. My mother used to feel knee pain when sitting down. No big deal she said and over a period of time she got used to it, after a while it developed into a full blown leg problem that still persists.
That is what happens with projects that last a while, small niggles, that seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of things become a pain, and soon enough go up the posterior. It is amazing how people ignore these small problems, like a hack put in to get the build going, or a date related test that fails erratically. If left unchecked they manifest into big problems in quick time, like build issues on the project i work on.
Note to self, keep tracking the small niggles and take proactive steps to fix them rather than when it’s up your posterior.
The lack of adequate attention to these niggles is actually a smell, the fact that the teams do not have a structure to deal with small issues, It indicates a very command based and demotivated team, which in itself could be a bigger problem.