Agile Book Club: Adaptive Planning

Adaptive planning is one of the central ideas of Agile development. In fact, when Martin Fowler describes “the essence of Agile,” one of his two points is that Agile is adaptive rather than predictive. In this book club session, we take a close look at the nature of adaptive planning.

📖 Adaptive Planning

🎙 Discussion prompts:

  • The book introduces the idea of a “valuable increment” as something that’s releasable, valuable, and incremental. Valuable increments are distinguished from a user stories, which are valuable, but not necessarily releasable. Is that a useful distinction?

  • “Learning Value” and “Option Value” increments require people to be comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity, so they’re not often used. How could these types of increments be useful for your real-world work?

  • Focusing on a single valuable increment at a time and breaking it down into smaller pieces is an easy way to increase value. What are some ways stakeholders react to this idea, and how can they be convinced to try it?

  • Teams can choose to weight their plans toward predictability or adaptability. Where have your teams fallen on that spectrum? Where would you prefer that they fall?

About the Book Club

From October 2021 to August 2022, I hosted a call-in talk show based on the second edition of The Art of Agile Development. The series used the book as a jumping-off point for wide-ranging discussions about Agile ideas and practices, and had a star-studded guest list.

For an archive of past sessions, visit the book club index. For more about the book, visit the Art of Agile Development home page.

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