Next Actions and planning…

Further to that post yesterday I’ve been pondering the Next Action idea from Getting Things Done and how it relates to the basic work processes in Extreme Programming. They both accept a view that action permutes continually and so it’s best not to plan ahead too much. Plan if you feel you need to, but concentrate on the next cycle (action, iteration etc) and what’s required then. Then do the next thing and the next. Often I find later that the plans I drew up in the first place got pre-empted by events, so other than satisfying my (real) need to feel that I’d done some planning, what value were they?

Communicating that to a customer is more complex, of course, but that’s why XP puts such a priority on finding and articulating business value and keeping the customer so intimately linked into the progress of project.

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