Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Openness

One of the key ideas behind planning is Openness.

What does that mean? Many things. Let’s list a few.

  • Everyone can see it… the current state of our planning.
  • Everyone can voice an opinion… within a reasonable time-box. “It’s too long, it’s too short, too big, too small, too cheap, too expensive…” as examples. And not just a summary, but also why, and perhaps their proposed changes.
  • Openness is not contradictory to the idea that (my quote) “if you wait for perfection, you might wait too long.” That is, we need to decide with imperfect and incomplete information—with the information we have—and fairly quickly.
  • Openness must be balanced against “fairly speedy,” but we expect Openness to allow better information and better analysis to emerge.


Here are a few more:

  • The plan itself is open and so is the process of planning. Everyone (that needs to be) is aware of the process and typically can participate.
  • We are “open” to new ideas. That is, we are open to changes (e.g., exogenous, outside the Scrum Team) and learning. Or, more specifically, new ideas about the best MVP (minimum viable product).
  • Openness does not deny the value of “sticking to the plan.” You should try to deliver something specific, and remain fairly focused on that, so that you do deliver. If not, you may deliver it late, or with lots of features customers do not want, etc.  
  • So, to use another term from the Scrum Values, Openness must be balanced with Focus, or maybe you prefer Commitment.


We could say more. This is enough for now.


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