The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work

Confluence

with 3 comments

The approach Eric Ries advocates for the Agile start-up has been covered in previous posts (click here and here). Basically, Ries sees the need to iterate on the customer problem alongside iterating on the solution to the problem. Furthermore, a process of discovery – finding the customer – accompanies iterations on the problem and on the solution.

In a note today entitled Three Designing Bears, Kent Beck brings up a great example for the approach Ries promotes:

[JUnit] Max is a bootstrapped product, so I need to find revenue as quickly as possible. I have no idea what people might actually pay for in a testing tool, so I need to try things as quickly as possible. Features only need to be finished enough to give me reliable feedback about their value. Will people pay for features like those? If so, I can afford to finish them later.

Various other threads are quite relevant to and consistent with the ideas of Ries and Beck. For example, commenting on Flickr in The Art of Agile Development, James Shore highlights their speedy {code –> test –> stage –> deploy} cycle:

When a user posts a bug to the forum, the team can often fix the problem and deploy the new code to the live site within minutes.

When coupled with “real time” user feedback, the confluence of speedy development with fast deployment reduces the risk of developing features that are never or seldom used. It applies to both start-ups and established enterprises. It opens the door for new software business designs that would have been considered infeasible just a few years ago. For example, one could enhance the Marauder Strategy (“seek out slow ships and take them out”) proposed by Jeff Sutherland by competing not “only” on velocity of development, but on accelerated deployment cycles and ultra-fast feedback loops.

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Written by israelgat

May 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Now that I’ve fot Kanban on the brain, I see this speed as interesting.

    A process that measures activity even as fast as weekly or daily (how many Agile teams work on daily iterations?) just wouldn’t be able to provide useful info when going this fast.

    John

    John Heintz

    May 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm

  2. John’s comment is right on. See his Lean & Kanban 2009 conference report (http://budurl.com/f7w6) for the context.

    Israel

    Israel Gat

    May 12, 2009 at 5:29 am

  3. [...] Consequently, the company’s business design is likely to be transformed. Click here, here, and here for more detailed discussions how the business design gets [...]


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