The Holy Grail: Continuous Feedback
Amidst the chaos, we stumbled upon what all delivery teams shoot for. (A Medium post from Sep. 5th, 2018)
In a recent retrospective, I had the opportunity to explain to our teams the importance of feedback. During that discussion, I reflected on a project that I was involved in, and how everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I explained that despite missing delivery dates, we were able to obtain continuous and rapid feedback. Feedback that allowed the team to move rapidly, and in the correct direction. Feedback that kept our customer engaged.
We originally fell into the trap of anticipating what the customer wanted, instead of rapidly iterating. It’s fairly simple to get into this mode, and I blame the exhaustive up front planning approach we took. There were a number of questions we tried to answer up front, which did not actually help in the end result. This led us down a path of positing a solution, and second-guessing.
We used sprints to outline what needed to be done, but we had no idea if we were on the right path. As you can see above, we made assumptions about the type of value we were attempting to deliver.
It wasn’t until we got into a mode of experimentation, that we actually started to solve some of the complex problems we originally hypothesized.
Once we started receiving feedback, we would iterate, release and repeat the process. This started to streamline our goals, and gave us a clear path for execution. Our customer was consistently in the application, and was able to make decisions on how they were using the application.
During that time, one misconception was that negative feedback meant that our customer was unhappy. This is where we found clarity in our work. No matter the type of feedback we received, it was extremely valuable.
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