Agile has Two Guiding Tenets
- Deliver small units of value to customers frequently
- Adapt to changing requirements and conditions based on feedback
These go hand-in-hand as the first delivers to the customer and the second receives feedback from the customer to inform the future work. This loop can be applied to almost anything in life from delivering software to navigating the job market during a pandemic. The key to dealing with uncertainty is to apply these concepts intentionally so that you can move ahead in small increments and react to the feedback you receive.
Agile Guide to Uncertainty
Start by determining who your “customers” are in the given situation. They could be actual customers, prospective employers, neighbors, colleagues, etc. In any case you want to define who your customer is because they will be your source of feedback.
Next, decide what would be a small unit of deliverable value that you could provide your customer. This may involve direct conversations with the customer, but that may not be possible in some cases. Take job hunting as an example, you may not be able to directly interact with a hiring manager prior to submitting a resume or completing a job application. The key here is to realize that you still get feedback! If your resume doesn’t lead to a job interview you will need to take that as feedback and make some changes. You can increase your feedback by increasing your customer base. In our example that would include looping in recruiters and other hiring managers who are familiar with the work you do and the role you are seeking.
Once you have made updates based on what feedback you received, you iterate and deliver again. Keeping records of your feedback, changes, and updates along the way makes this process more valuable and easier to replicate when success is achieved.
Feedback is Key!
Getting feedback and then having an appetite to change based on that feedback is the key to success in this process! What uncertainty are you facing? What would you like to solve with an Agile approach? Let me know in the comments!