Agile Tip # 1- Practice > Planning


Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower Quoting a statement he heard in the army

It’s a famous and widely over-used quote to educate someone who’s hung up on plans. Any good product or project manager would know that it’s impossible to stick to plans especially when you are building a complex technology solution.

While, the above quote is true and I truly abide by the words, I couldn’t help myself from letting the following gem of words go to waste in a mailbox with thousands of unread emails. The following is a quote from Adam’s newsletter where he tends to share his thoughts, frustrations & observations and progress while building much awaited Tailwind UI.

Why didn’t we just spend more time planning all the component categories we need to fill, color combinations we want to use, and micro-design decisions like border radius before wasting time designing screens and building them with HTML? Then we would’ve been able to get things right the first time and not had all this waste!”

But what I’ve realized recently is that no matter how much effort we spent planning, we would’ve ended up in the same situation. In fact, we probably spent too much time planning as it is.

What I was looking at as “waste” wasn’t actually waste at all — it was practice.

~ Adam Wathan (Creator of Tailwindcss)

Why am I sharing this? Because in these words Adam has echoed what I’ve come to appreciate lately and it made me remember the golden words that most of us learned during our school days – “Practice makes a man/woman perfect!” And from what I understand, Being Agile is about moving towards perfectionism by continuously finding better ways of doing things. Which also means that we continuously find and implement better ways to reduce waste and maintain a fine balance between “planning” and “over-planning” (definitely a waste) and knowing the right time to take action.

Practice > Planning

~ Adam Wathan

So if you’re a creator, a product manager/product owner or project manager/scrum master then there is a new mantra for you & your team. Keep these words in your mind as your North Star or hang it on your screens using post-it notes.

Use them to remind you that you need to continuously practice to be better…

  1. Planner of the work that you do
  2. at doing what you already do best
  3. at being a good team player