To fail is to succeed… Thumbnail

To fail is to succeed…

Through a focus on learning lessons based on fast, cheap and simple experimentation, you can make rapid advancement and course correction at a micro level.  The ability for a team or company to create a steady stream of information, interpret the meaning and act on that information directly correlates to a sense of “how agile” they are.  The smaller the experiment, the smaller the risk, the smaller the impact of error and the sum of these smaller probabilities over a multiple iteration effort can have a major impact on providing micro course correction adjustments.  The delta between the signal, interpretation and response is a metric used to gauge effectiveness.

I believe that good Scrum Masters know the value of experimentation, both as a risk mitigation tool and as a means of ensuring that they see continuous quality improvement as a dedication to reducing the cycle time of the feedback loops in the team.

Consider that to fail is to succeed in rapidly learning what doesn’t work.  When knowledge is our primary goal, we value ways to acquire both positive and negative information in the fastest and cheapest ways possible, to me this is what Agile is all about.

About the Author

Matthew Summers has over 12 years of experience working with Agile teams, leveraging Scrum, TDD and XP practices to build better software. He takes a hands-on mentoring approach with his teams, from initial Scrum Training, to conducting Agile Workshops and educating Product Owners and Stakeholders during enterprise Agile transitions.

Visit this author's website   ·   View more posts by Matthew Summers

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One response to "To fail is to succeed…"

  • Tom S. Rayburn says:

    Hey Matt, great site! I am not sure if you remember me, I think we met in DC at a convention in 2007.

    I have also used experimentation as a vehicle to produce better thinking teams. Sometimes we collectively design experiments to solve technical challenges or impediments, mainly when dealing with performance and scalability bugs. There are many routes to solving a problem or building features and we set down some standard metrics for guaging the best solution and have a few engineers work down competing theories and we debate the approaches on the facts. This all happens within a Sprint, from start to finish and the winner usually gets a prize, like a gift card or doesn’t have to buy beer for a week.

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