Thursday, 17 May 2018

Begin with the end in mind… shall we?

So, we’ve been reviewing the ‘Agile thinking’ training, together with my friend and lead trainer Jonathan Moss and we jumped into a short philosophical discussion.

At the beginning the training itself teaches that in Agile thinking we should:
1. ‘Begin with the end in mind’ (a well know ‘habit of highly effective people’)
2. ‘Understand the context’

My challenge to Jonathan was, that both of those could be wrongly interpreted by the trainees. The point is - when we adopt Agile mindset and values, we rarely think about the end, I would even argue that there is no end at all. The beauty of our mindset is that we only need a vision and short-term goals in order to deliver value, again, and again, and again. We start seeing our products, services, achievements, even our life goals as a journey, and not as a destination anymore... gotcha, there is no end anymore. Yes, we agree we have a long-term vision. And that’s it – more we see as a waste, as a subject to a change in the future anyway… so why bother?

On the opposite we have the visualization techniques and principles, which are indeed extremely powerful.
First you need to imagine your dream -> (then) visualize it in details -> believe in it -> work your a** off – in order to achieve it
Conor McGregor’s achievements are great example of how far such thinking & believing could lead you in life:

Bending the reality, objecting the facts, trying to tame the Universe so it obeys and supports us in achieving our dreams in details are indeed amazing, extraordinary and powerful tools and mindset…  But those could also lead to a life dedicated to chasing illusions…

And as Agile-thinking-monkeys, most of us are a little bit more practical. We know that ‘Only the ladder is real… the climb is all there is :)’ (by Petyr Baelish's Chaos is a ladder)… And so often we are fine, to bend our dreams, our products, even change our vision in order to deliver value and satisfy our users and clients – here and now. And it is something to be clearly communicated over the ‘Agile thinking’ training. We don’t expect to visualize/understand/know ‘the end’ in our mind in order to start delivering value and get feedback…

Pretty much the same goes to the ‘understanding the context’ principle. We do not expect to understand everything, or even the majority of the surrounding area (the context). We only need to understand the context for the next iteration (step), to work our way through the darkness, just to illuminate more and more of the context with each delivery and feedback.

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