Agile Atelier listeners! Welcome to another special episode today, where I talk to Jeff Patton on the different levels of planning seen in agile and non-agile environments. Jeff is most well-known for his book, User Story Mapping. He has designed and developed software for the past 20 years on a wide variety of projects from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records. Jeff has focused on Agile approaches since working on an early Extreme Programming team in 2000. In particular, he has specialized in the application of user-centered design techniques to improve Agile requirements, planning, and products.
Jeff and I kick off this episode by talking about what it means to have “IT as a service mindset” and how that compares to product and project mindsets. We then talk about how outcome-oriented planning creates alignment and autonomy. Jeff gives us an example of a dress rehearsal, a technique that he uses to test integrations and break the plan as proactively as possible. Jeff and I also chat about responding to change vs following a plan, his experience in working with different types of roadmaps, and an approach that teams can use to come up with outcome-oriented roadmaps. Towards the end of the episode, we discuss OKRs, how service organizations can think more like product organizations, user story mapping, and some general anti-patterns that you should avoid when coming up with a plan. Jeff does an impeccable job of storytelling by weaving in his experience in different organizations as well as giving simple-to-understand analogies to explain some of the concepts.
There’s responding to change over following a plan, but there’s a more proactive stance of creating opportunities for change so that you can improve the plan. If you don’t create those ceremonies and events that can inform your plan… don’t just wait for the plan to change, be proactive. Try and break the plan!JEFF PATTON ON THE AGILE ATELIER PODCAST