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Time for a Change in Principles?

As Agilists, our principles and values underpin the way we work and decisions we make. A good principle should be timeless and non-prescriptive enough to be valid across many contexts, but specific enough to add practical value and help us make decisions.


I feel that one Agile Manifesto principle in particular has frustratingly failed to stand the test of time:


“Working software is the primary measure of progress”


I disagree strongly. Working software is only a measure that more software exists, which is not the same thing as progress!

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Is Talking to Users Enough?

Recently a friend of mine formed a startup with a goal of making the One-On-One Meeting an easier and more valuable process. Their aim was to help managers and their direct reports easier handle the goals and issues that arise from these sessions. The assumption they made was that their customers (primarily managers of developers and testers in IT companies) would pay a subscription fee to use their application, which would allow them to avoid manually recording, tracking and sharing all of these in spreadsheets.


My friend (an experienced and passionate Agilist) first decided to talk to potential customers to test the viability of the idea and to determine if they had achieved a Problem/Solution fit. As it happened, two of the potential customers she interviewed work for a client of mine. After the interview, my friend came away positive that her product would solve a problem for these two potential customers at least, and that they’d pay for it. So far, so good right?