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Delivering the Least Scope

January 15, 2019

One common misconception of agile is that it simply allows you to get everything done faster. This is simply not true. Agile allows us to plan a much smaller scope of work, delivering iteratively and incrementally to deliver the least amount scope needed to solve the problem/capture the opportunity. The speed comes from only delivering what the customer needed. This is in contrast to how we used to scope a release when we delivered everything we thought they might want.


This is stakeholder debtI define stakeholder debt as the difference between everything they scoped for the release subtract what the customer uses.

The only way we can do this is we relentlessly support the team to get to done in each review. You might not decide to release yet, but you could if you wanted to. Currently, you likely have a lot of overhead in getting a release out which makes it more expensive to release. Hence, you try to put as much in a release to justify the overhead. Invest in reducing this cost.

What can a leader do to support this?

Continuously remove/minimize organizational legacy processes. Chances are they have not been challenged or updated in years.
Invest in dev ops, tooling, and automation.
Ask what you can do to help them make done possibly. As a leader, when was the last time you asked what you could do/invest in doing their job better.

The purpose of modern product delivery is to go from vision, to value, to validation in the shortest time possible. This allows us to sense and respond to our understanding of customer and user behaviours. We need to prioritize metrics for learning. We need to make learning a first-class citizen.

How can you support this as a leader?

Create learning metrics, quantitative and qualitative.
Prioritize these metrics alongside financial.
Invest in innovation and research based on these.
Build enough, not everything. Challenge yourself to build the minimal to either meet the goal or maximize learning.

Every keystroke is precious for a leader with Cerebral Palsy so I will end here. Below is my recent Vlog that touches on some of these.

Lead how you would like to be led!


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