Do you know what you want?

In this week’s Weekly Inspection, we examine the need for vision in the process of discovery.

The Agile community likes to talk about the value of rapid feedback loops that help teams discover how their software should behave. “Inspect and adapt” is a common maxim for Agile teams. While this is a critical component of a healthy software team, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that rapid feedback loops don’t replace vision. Having a vision and being able to articulate that vision are equally critical. The product owner and the rest of the team need to rely on feedback as a tool to articulate and validate the vision. Creating software is a lot like producing theatre in this regard. The director uses the rehearsal process to implement the vision with the cast.

Articulating the vision. Sometimes the only way to communicate what you’re trying to build is to use a small piece of it as an example. A director will use a scene or beat of a play as an example when it fully represents the vision.
Validating the vision. Sometimes a director will see the vision played out in a scene, and realize that the vision in his head is different than the vision implemented, or that a different implementation will be more effective. Good directors don’t charge forward blindly, they adjust along the way.

Feedback loops aren’t a replacement for vision. In order for teams to succeed, someone on the team has to know what they want.

Got an idea for the Weekly Inspection? Let me know! @johnkrewson

John Krewson

John started Sketch in service to the mission of improving the ways people and teams work together. His past experiences as an agilist and professional actor are the primary sources of inspiration in leading this mission.

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