Outcomes / Plans / Actions


This is a reaction to “What Will The Next 10 Years Of Continuous Delivery Look Like?” by Dave Farley and Jez Humble, linked above. I adore Jez’s books including “Accelerate”, so I was thrilled to find a video they posted recently as part of the DeliveryConf conference.

In life (and production deployments) we want specific Outcomes, so we have Plans to get the outcomes, which are a series of Actions. Unfortunately there’s gaps everywhere. Our Actions don’t necessarily result in the Outcomes we want. Our Outcomes give us information — but very little — to apply to another round of Plans. And so forth.
So if we can’t plan our way to get what we want, what do we do?
We do everything (have Outcomes, via Plans, which are a list of Actions) — but do everything much smaller and faster. Make a small action which will have a small Outcome. We can measure it, and create a new (small) Plan to change the outcome a little more. Basically a small-fast feedback loop to gradually converge towards our goal, vs planning and leaping directly to our goal in a Big Leap. So, Waterfall (plan then act then measure) vs Lean (plan a tiny bit, act a little, measure, repeat).
Did I mention I’m writing a book focusing on Feedback Loops and other things? These things are fascinating to me 🙂