Agile Can Be Simple But It Must Be The Right Simple

Simple is a big word in Agile.

But there are two cautions to being simple.

Einstein – “things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

Mencken – “for every complex problem, there is a solution that is neat, simple and wrong.”

One way of going for simple is to focus our attention on selected things. This makes sense. Too broad a focus is difficult. But what should we focus on? That will determine our actions.

Every successful Agile improvement initiative I have seen has included a focus on product management, an effective intake process, building things in small batches, and proper coordination across teams when multiple teams were present.

The question isn’t do we need to do these things, the question is what’s the best way to learn to do them? Frameworks provide us with events & roles to encourage this. But learning them directly is more effective. Back in the day we weren’t as sure how to do this, but we do now.

The challenge with learning frameworks first is that it defers learning what’s truly important. Frameworks should support our learning, but not take our focus off of what we really need to know.

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