Learning enough to make the next decision

Empirical-based planning aims to learn just enough to make another set of choices.

It’s the opposite of trying to plan everything upfront and requires enough maturity to accept that.

Some learning outcomes determine an initial course, allowing developers to quickly get started while knowing they need to return for further direction.

Later, the team returns to the Product Owner and says, “We did some work, and these are the results. Should we continue? Should we do something else? Should we stop?”

What comes next depends entirely on the learnings and how they inform the next steps to achieving the objectives. The Product Owner may even release the work if there is enough value.

Empirical-based planning is particularly good at flushing out ‘known unknowns’ and even ‘unknown unknowns’, which is why technical spikes often use this approach.

If you are unhappy with your development team, they may need more detailed guidance.

Clear and effective software requirements can help with this.

Frank Ray Consulting. Software requirements for agile development teams, particularly remote, outsourced and offshore development teams working in financial services.

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