Updated: Jul 29, 2020
When starting out on your journey, it is easy to get distracted along the way, as day to day events absorb your time so much so, you can forget where you where heading for!
Image your business or personal destination (goal) as a city far away, a place of great wonder and excitement. Now think the route you are going to take to get there!
How often have we set out on our journey, which we had planned for months, prepared it down the last degree, only to find that as soon as you get on the road there is an accident ahead, a 15 mile tailback and its getting hot out there, or starting to snow! This is normal, what is not so normal is that we plan into our original plan contingency plans, that will map alternative routes to that destination. Often when it gets tough, we get stressed, go off at a tangent, loose ourselves down dead-ends, dirt tracks or go around in circles and may even abandon the whole project as a bad idea.
In Agile software development, they use a principle called Minimum Viable Product, MVP for short, which checks at every stage of its development that it is delivering to the customer requirements (goal). So in the journey analogy, every movement would be assessed upon how close it was to the city and adjustments made accordingly. The reason for the product, i,e the destination city would not change, but the product being developed may, to accommodate changes around it, i.e the intended route is closed, so lets find another route.
The change of route, does not mean a wholesale change of direction and destination, it is purely a diversion and will bring us back to rejoin the original route in due course. It is however very easy to get distracted as the destination is now perhaps not as clear as it was, as you are heading off in another direction, this is where the danger lies.
The dangers of bright new shiny things have the ability to take you or the business away from the core mission of the business and these diversion are the danger areas, as they can become a whole new area of learning. Take the example of sales.
Your sales targets have been hit hard with the current crisis and therefore you need to find a new way to hit the forecast for 2020. (Roadblock and Diversion) The chosen route to find new sales takes you into new market places and the team have to learn new skills to support that new route. It could be anything, from data provision to safety standards. Whilst the team are busy doing this, the sales are starting to come in and your competitors are also thinking along the same lines, so the focus shifts to modifying the product to meet the needs of the new market not the current on. The Vision and Mission DNA of the business is now becoming at risk as the route to market is causing changes, good or bad that where not planned nor foreseen when the sales targets where set.
In Agile software development, they use a principle called Minimum Viable Product, MVP for short, which checks at every stage of its development that it is delivering to the customer requirements (goal). So in the journey analogy, every movement would be assessed upon how close it was to the city and adjustments made accordingly. The reason for the product, i,e the destination city would not change, but the product being developed may, to accommodate changes around it, i.e the intended route is closed, so lets find another route.DRAFTJS_BLOCK_KEY:bp7pn
Re-align to the Destination
Earlier we talked about MVP, minimum viable product, it is checked constantly to the customer requirement and therefore the same should be done with the new route. Does it have the constant potential to delivery you to your destination, is it sustainable for all possible routes that may have to be taken, including the current one, does the change threaten the reason the business was started, it's reason for being. What has changed that was fundamental to the orginal chosen destination? What may be different?
It may be that one balance, you realise that the Destination was fit for the pasts future, but not the "now" new future. Therefore the destination goal may change, and it changes for good reason, not because we lost sight of it along the diverted routes.
In times like these, it is crucial to assess where you
are versus these goals. Not to have a goal is sleepwalking somewhere, but to have a goal and not to reassess along the way to it is just as bad as not having one.
One final word on that, we all remember dreaming of having something and how it would make us so much happier when we got it! How was it for you a few days later, buyers joy or buyers remorse?