I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Ramblings on the First Agile Principle

Mick_Jagger_in_redOur highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

In software development…

  • In order to satisfy the customer you have to truly understand what the customer needs.
    • Sometimes what a customer wants is very different than what a customer needs.
    • Keep asking “Why? Why? Why?”
    • This requires the customer to be very much engaged in what is happening.  They need to be able to express whether or not they are satisfied in real-time.
  • Early and continuous delivery of valuable software is pretty difficult to do.
    • What is “early”?  Perhaps “incremental” is more appropriate.  I’m assuming this wasn’t intended to be “early” in the traditional, calendar-time based meaning.
    • Continuous delivery == constantly changing, hopefully for the better.
    • There is no such thing as “scope creep” in Agile!
    • It is of value if it satisfies the customer, therefore the customer must determine what “valuable” means.
    • But… If delivery is continuous, when are we “done”?  Perhaps never.  Satisfaction is a tricky beast.

In life…

  • In order to be satisfied, I must actually understand what I really need to be happy.
    • What I want is not necessarily what I need.
    • Perhaps in order to get at the core of what I really need, I have to ask myself “Why do I want X?”
    • I can’t “check-out”.  In order for this to work I need to be present and engaged in my life and incrementally improving it.
  • I also need to start NOW and continuously deliver on those needs in the form of changes for the better.
    • Working software == a means by which the need is satisfied.  This could be anything from eating well, getting enough rest, to treating myself with the same kindness and respect I give my friends.
    • The key is to first really understand what the needs are — what will it take to be satisfied?
    • And finally, admitting that I am a work-in-progress.  There is no done.

What would the Jedi say?

There is no done, there is progress.
There is no scope creep, there is incremental improvement.
There is no want, there is satisfaction.

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Published by

hhfleming

I am a PMP and Myers-Briggs Certified PMO Director who is using Agile principles and methodologies to incrementally improve myself and the world around me.

One thought on “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Ramblings on the First Agile Principle”

  1. Hi,

    I think the key concept is “early delivery”. If you deliver something to the client in a week, something like a skeleton, then you will be able to know if you’re on the right track or not. The second most important concept is “continuous”: by showing something to the client every week, then there won’t be surprises when project is delivered. The project cannot be anything but a success – unless, of course, the key person verifying the work from the client’s end is replaced by another one with a totally different vision for the project (I think this is one of the highest risks in Agile).

    By the way, I would really like to republish your post on PM Hut where many project managers will benefit from it. Please either email me or contact me through the contact us form on the PM Hut site in case you’re OK with this.

    Like

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