agility and risk

by Michael Werneburg
on 2015.10.16

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Dave Thomas, one of the originators of the "Agile Manifesto", gave a talk in January that explains where the Agile movement has gotten off the rails (no pun intended). It sounds an AWFUL lot like the sort of things risk management professionals tell each other: the bundled up "best practices", certifications, and standards have gotten out of control and are now the tail that wags the dog to our great detriment. It's 42 minutes long, but it's worth returning to the old days to listen to someone speak for such a duration.

For me, the key take-away, which applies to risk remediation work as well as to software development, is as follows (minute 27). How to be agile:

1. Find out where you are.

2. Take a small step toward your goal.

3. Adjust your understanding, based on what you learned.

4. Repeat.

How to do it:

When faced with two or more alternatives that deliver roughly the same value, take the path that makes future change easier.

Is that brilliant or what.

Bonus! There's a footnote of sorts at the end of the talk, and it applies to the risk management field in spades. As follows:

Some people think they are important. Don't let them tell you what to do.

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