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Agile's Emphasis on Values and Principles: Navigating Complexity

October 10, 2023

In my professional journey, I've often been asked: Why does Agile focus so much on values and principles rather than providing a clear-cut, step-by-step guide? The answer, as Martin elucidates, lies in the very nature of the work we often grapple with.

You see, there's a stark difference between 'complicated' and 'complex' work. Complicated tasks, once understood, become simple. Think of it as a DIY task at home. Initially daunting, but a quick search online, and it's no longer a mystery. However, complex tasks, especially in realms like software development, are ever-evolving. They're tasks we've never tackled before, making them inherently unpredictable.

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Now, here's the crux. In the face of such unpredictability, a rigid set of steps becomes more of a hindrance than a help. The world changes, and with it, our challenges. Relying solely on a predefined method can lead us astray, making us less adaptable to the surprises that complex work often throws our way.

But Martin also warns against the dangers of becoming too bureaucratic. While it's essential to have processes, enshrining them can make us less nimble, less adaptable. Instead, the focus should be on documenting and creating processes for tasks that can transition from being 'complex' to 'complicated'. It's about striking that balance, ensuring we're both structured and adaptable.

In wrapping up, the essence of Agile's focus on values and principles is clear: it's about navigating the unpredictable waters of complex work with adaptability and foresight, ensuring we're always ready for whatever challenges come our way.

NKDAgility can help!

These are the kinds of issues that lean-agile practitioners love and most folks hate, and if you have a similar issue navigating complexity, my team at NKDAgility can help you or help you find a consultant, coach, or trainer who can.

If you have issues that are undermining the effectiveness of your value delivery, it's especially important to find help as soon as you can and not wait!

Which you can do right now. You can request a free consultation with my team or sign up for one of our upcoming professional Scrum classes. Because you don't just need agility, you need Naked Agility.

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