Agile vs Fragile: Simplicity = Stability & Speed

Part 11 in a series of 17. To start at the beginning, first read Agile vs Fragile: A Disciplined Approach or an Excuse for Chaos.

The tenth Agile principle focuses on keeping the solution as simple as possible while maximizing value and quality. Agile processes focus on finding the simplest way possible of solving a business problem with quality, not finding the fastest way to code the solution.  Sprints are kept as simple as possible to ensure that all work gets prioritized by using the backlog as the gatekeeper.  In the Fragile environment workload constantly changes in an effort to keep up with changing priorities and constant feature churn.Agile Simplicity equals stability and speedThis principle of Agile goes against the basic fabric of many development organizations, who have made a career of showing value by coming up with complex solutions to business problems.  They have become the gatekeepers of the solution, and they are the only ones that truly understand how it works.  The business is relegated to the back seat, as development drives the product.  Many of us have heard of the K.I.S.S. principle, or Keep It Simple Stupid!  This principle applies to almost all aspects of our lives, and our businesses.  It is often the simplest solutions that have the biggest value and impact.  Agile teams fight the urge to over engineer solutions with “sexy” features, in preference for solutions that get the most value into the hands of end users as fast as possible.

There is one last thing about this principle that sticks out to me.  That is the ability of Agile teams to make sure they are maximizing what is not done.  One of the top things that Agile teams minimize is rework, which is a productivity killer.

In the next installment of the blog we will talk about the 11th Agile principle. In the meantime…Keep on testing!

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Brian Copeland

About Brian Copeland (19 articles)

With over 25 years of senior level experience in the software development industry specializing in organizational transformation and development, Brian has been instrumental in the testing of critical business systems, from mission critical applications to commercial software. Mr. Copeland’s career has included 10 years as the Test Operations Manager for the Titan II, 34D, IVA, and IVB programs, managing both flight and ground software-testing facilities for Lockheed Martin. Mr. Copeland also served as the Sr. Manager of Quality Assurance for the shared services of Deloitte & Touché, LLP. His diverse experiences range across the aerospace, medical device, title insurance, legal services software, big four accounting firm, and banking industries. Brian led the global testing organization for The Nielsen Company, overseeing the successful transformation of the testing function made up of over 750 testing associates. Mr. Copeland has been a key-note speaker at the International Business Forum, and has been a featured speaker at HP Software Universe. Brian is a past president of the greater Cincinnati International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), and holds an ITIL v3.0 Foundations and RCV certifications.