Tuesday, January 16, 2024

What does the 2nd Agile Principle (Welcome Change to Requirements) look like in Action?

Many want to go Agile or claim to be Agile. The question is, are you and will you really align with the Agile values and principles?  To better understand what this means, I dissected the Principles to better discover the intentions behind them and what behaviors they entail. In this article, I expand on the second Principle to better understand what it means and to attempt to model how to marshal supporting evidence that a culture change may be occurring.  

Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage is the second Agile principle. From an Agile perspective, you embrace change to increase the chances of delivering value to the customer. You embrace change because you understand that change is necessary as customer needs, market conditions, and general demand change over time. 

Welcoming change implies several qualities. The first is that there is a positive attitude toward change from the team and management. The second is that while change ideas are admitted, they are methodically prioritized based on customer value along with existing requirements. The third is that there is a process that allows prioritized changes to flow without obstruction.

What actions may exhibit “welcoming change to requirements”? Some evidence includes:  

  • The PO continually engages with the customer to identify new requirements or changes to existing requirements. 
  • A methodical review of the change idea occurs to determine the priority amongst the existing requirements.
  • No person or process restricts incoming change ideas. 
  • The backlog is continually refined and reprioritized. 
  • Increment Planning and/or Sprint Planning is applied to introduce the newly prioritized requirements. 
  • Continuous customer engagement via customer visits and sprint reviews are applied. 

It is up to you to determine what supporting evidence will highlight that a culture change is occurring. It is worth experimenting with this as it will help you better understand and embrace the Agile principles. The ultimate question, if you really believe in this principle is, do you welcome change?


To learn about what evidence might look like to support the 1st Agile Principle (aka, Satisfying Customer with Valuable Software), consider reading: https://cmforagile.blogspot.com/2023/09/many-want-to-go-agile-or-claim-to-be.html