Be Agile: Chunk (or Slice) and Complete

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Jenni Jepsen

Stop following the fixed plan. Delivering value to your customers requires pausing to evaluate along the way.

In this short video, Jenni shares a back-of-the-napkin explanation for:

  • Why we should stop relying on fixed, long-term plans
  • How to work in a more Agile way to follow the value and deliver the right product faster

Traditional ways of running projects is to continue, comply and follow the plan. We figure out everything upfront: we know the scope, we know the people who will work on it, we know the budget, we know all the risks, and we’ve worked to mitigate all those risks.

We know in the beginning, we’re going for “x” and this project may take a year. In the beginning of the project we think yes “x.” Yes, that’s what we want. We go a little further and then say “Oh, I’m not so sure about this “x” thing.” And as we get closer to delivery, we actually know we should be delivering “y.” This is not a very smart way to deliver things to our customer.

Instead, we want to pause, evaluate, and follow the value. We figure out just enough up front to get going. We may think in the beginning we’re going for “x,” but we’re looking at this in a more agile way of doing product development. We work in a short period of time (known as a sprint in Agile). We deliver a potentially releasable product. Then we pause for improvement – where we evaluate, we get feedback, and we think about what we’re going to do next.

This feedback informs our decision making about the next period of red work so we have something even better, to deliver to our customers. And again we get feedback and it informs our decision making about what we’re going to do in the next period of red work. Then finally, here we have the package that our customers love and it’s “y.”

So instead of continuing and complying and following the plan, we want to pause and evaluate and follow the value.

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