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29

Apr

Death, Taxes, and Change

Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes".

Nice one Ben. And I hear you. But I'm going to be a "one upper" and say that change is also a certainty. Especially in my world, the magical realm of software delivery.

So it goes without saying that as participants in any part of the software development lifecycle we should adopt a delivery framework that does not shy away from change, or attempt to repel it. We should be crying out for a framework that allows decisions to be made at the last possible moment when the most up to date information is at hand.

An Agile framework grants us permission to question, adapt, correct our course, and even respond to the outputs that have led us to where we are today.

Embracing change is one of the core tenets of any successful Agile framework, which makes the delivery of software using Agile techniques in tune with human nature. In most cases, change is born out of experiences and influences that cannot be predicted. But the discoveries that drive change must be allowed to result in decisions that deliver the most value to the software at each given moment.

An Agile framework grants us permission to question, adapt, correct our course, and even respond to the outputs that have led us to where we are today, and influence the actions we will take tomorrow.

Change, whether we like it or not, is a constant. Knowing this and choosing an Agile framework is easy. The hard part is educating stakeholders on the virtues of embracing change and the compromises that can come with it. That’s because change invites uncertainty about the outputs and capabilities that can be delivered within a finite period.

Accepting change allows for better software but requires exceptional levels of education and expectation management. In other words, change is not free – even in an Agile world. But you know it is going to happen, so you have a choice: spend time and money pretending to manage it away, or embrace it and deliver better software – even if that also means embracing uncertainty. 

Posted by: Lee Herd, Architect, Architecture Services | 29 April 2015

Tags: Agile, Development, Frameworks, Scrum


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