Managing ProjectsOpinion

Agile: Responding to Change Over Following a Plan

Warren Berger quote

“You won’t be an expert going in, the importance is being an expert going out.”

– Warren Berger

A common refrain about projects is, “I wish I knew that before I started!”

That’s one reason why Agile principles are being adopted by more and more companies outside the realm of software development. It emphasises continual improvement.

One of the 4 original values of the Agile Manifesto (2001) is:

Responding to change OVER following a plan

Unfortunately, I’ve seen this interpreted in some projects as meaning, ‘we can do what we want when we want’. No it doesn’t.

A framework is still required, as is thought and planning; plans are not indelibly fixed and can be changed.

The values of Agile are simply a change of emphasis from traditional project methods. The keyword in each of Agile’s values is, OVER. Notice it does not state ’instead of’ or ‘replaces’ or ‘not’, it’s ‘over’, like a fraction; you decide what value is placed in the numerator and denominator.

Whether you’re starting a project or learning something new, remember both to plan and to respond to changes. To become an expert means to strive for continual improvement.

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