James Walker

James Walker

Web Developer

Being More Agile

Published on Friday August 25 2017 at 18:15 in General posts

This week I've been trying to be more agile in my software development planning. By focusing on the problem, rather than the features, I've so far succeeded in getting more meaningful work done.

For the past week, I've been struggling with trying to find direction in my work. This happens fairly frequently; I tend to have a week of solid flow, and then anywhere from 1-3 weeks of aching indirection where I find it hard to make real progress.

This week, I faced this blockage yet again, but I decided this time I was going to take charge. I realised I need a more dynamic, flexible and agile development flow. So I started reading, and I found an article that's really helped me. It's from the Trello team and it explains how to "think big and ship fast." In other words, it's exactly what I'm trying to achieve. I suggest you read the article now.

Here's my main actionable takeaway from the article:

Focus on the PROBLEM, not the features.

Plan to WORK. Build from PROBLEM to SOLUTION, not by reverse-outfitting features to solve problems.

I'm guilty of this, trying to make features fit into vague problems. This week I tried it the other way around, properly defining the problem and then finding the best way of solving it. In whatever way possible, without putting up fences around the way the code's written; that would see you build features and try to put them into problems, which is what we're trying to solve.

Next time your flow ends and you're not sure how to proceed, try this. Focus on your problem and then build features that solve it. Plan to work, from problem to solution. Make your solutions actual solutions, not just another problem to make more constraints.

Read the full Trello article that inspired this post over on the Trello blog.