common. Logic

Agile requires more strategy, not less

With the rise of agile a lot of companies, teams and individuals have been using it as an excuse for their lack of vision and strategy. But isn’t that the whole beauty of agile? You focus on your sprint, deliver and demo, get feedback and repeat. Why bother with strategic thinking, long term planning or delivery roadmaps when you can simply look at what’s in front of you right now and get busy?

Just think how agile would have looked 100 years ago if you would have been a startup or whatever startups where called back then. Probably most of your feedback would have been: “I want a faster horse”, “Make the radio sound quality better”, “Can I have a longer phone cord?”.

Getting feedback and ensuring you are providing value to your customers is great, but innovation and radical changes rarely happen this way. While I enjoy how agile makes it easy to have incremental progress and make adjustments as you deliver in an iterative way, every step needs to be carefully planned in the right direction.

The truth is agile requires more strategy, not less in order to be truly successful. It’s way easier to get lost when you don’t know where you’re going. It is way easier to lose sight of the end goal when you only focus on your next step. It’s way easier to quit and not put the necessary effort in to push through The Dip when there is no end goal in sight.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but it’s really useful to have a look at the map and ensure you’re making it in the right direction.