Working Software, Choosing Happiness: Ramblings on the Third Agile Principle

Colours of Happiness 3

Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

In software development…

  • It needs to work… but…
  • It doesn’t have to be “feature complete”.  I think many people believe they’re going to get projects done faster when they “go agile” but that isn’t really the way we think about work.  Typically people have in their head that a project includes a very specific, predefined set of features (scope) that has to get done by a deadline (time) with a typically constrained budget (cost).  We think about work differently…
  • Instead, a project includes a customer-focused set of prioritized features (scope) that is considered done when it is producing real value to the customer (scope) using appropriate budget to aid with the goals of the project (cost).
  • It still needs to work.  This doesn’t have to mean that you’re going to have to hire a bunch of QA testers or that you’re going to have to implement some kind of test-driven development process… it means your engineers should be writing quality code that can be delivered frequently to the customer.

In life…

  • If we think of “working software” in life as “stuff you do that helps you improve as a human being” then delivering that stuff to yourself with a preference to a shorter timescale sounds good, yes?
  • What kind of “stuff” is this “working software”?  Well for me I’ve been trying to focus on providing the working software of healthy, real food.  I’m also focusing on choosing to be happy — the working software called optimism and resilience.
  • It also doesn’t have to be “feature complete”.  I want to start running again.  I want to take more photos.  There’s a lot I want to do that is in my personal backlog of stuff, but the important part is to start something.  It doesn’t have to be so all-or-nothing.

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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.

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