A very common, and very dangerous misconception about Agile development — whether you’re using Kanban, Scrum, XP, DevOps, or any other flavor of the week — is that it “requires” or “expects” that you can operate quickly, efficiently, and effectively without necessarily having an overall strategic plan.
There certainly are teams and companies who waste their valuable time and energy moving forward through iteration after iteration without following a long-term plan. And some of these teams can be successful in delivering in-the-moment, valuable solutions to customer problems. And these teams can sometimes continue to be successful at this for a short time, until they realize that an entire organization has grown up around the product, and there are impacts to this lack of planning that span multiple groups.
Agile does not mean you don’t have a plan. It means that you have a plan that’s flexible enough to accommodate valuable and important shifts in the plan’s underlying assumptions. [Read more…]