Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban (🤷), Burndown, Shape up, Wake up—for teams wanting to increase their product development velocity, there’s no shortage of methods to choose from. But just like tools, methods don’t matter. What matters is figuring out what you want and then setting up structures to support that.
Here are my three universal rules for shipping exactly as fast as you want, what you want:
1️⃣ Match your planning period with your preferred shipping frequency
If you want to ship something every week, plan for one week at a time. If you’re okay shipping once a month, that’s your planning period. Set goals and lay out initiatives for a longer time period all you want, but only commit to deliverables at a pace you’re fine shipping.
2️⃣ Don’t plan projects to span across multiple planning periods
This creates a disconnect between your planning period and shipping frequency—in other words you say one thing and do the other. Anyways, when have you ever seen a two-quarter project get delivered during the first one? Inability to scope down and split projects is nothing but lack of effort, discipline, or both.
3️⃣ Never let projects roll over to the next planning period by default
Your deliverables don’t magically become more valuable (worth spending more time than previously planned for) just because people failed to ship them in time. That said, it’s totally fine to deliberately continue working on any delayed project.