How Important is the Finish Line?

Today’s work is messy. So, why do we spend so much time defining and trying to reach the finish line? Why don’t we paint the vision, and achieve 90% (for a placeholder) of it, and start a new iteration? Are we hung up too much on outcomes?

Alan Cooper said in a recent talk at Agile Toronto, “The time boundaries of each stage are fuzzy. None of the stages can be started and completed independent of the others. There is considerable overlap in time. There is considerable collaboration between the various disciplines.”

I will add that many decisions are made when we don’t have all the information. It is a matter of working as far as the flashlight can see and a matter of progression versus finishing. In the Lean world, we do not look at solving problems but developing countermeasures. It is a difficult process for many to grasp but it is a foundational principle #IMHO and what makes the idea of Lean Standard Work different than other methodologies.

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