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Unplanned Planning: The Magic of Fluid Tech Strategy

Bruce Lee once mused, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend.”

His wisdom resonates profoundly when thinking about tech strategies. In an ever-evolving tech landscape, it’s not just about planning, but about adapting; being malleable yet purposeful, just like water.

Inspiration from the Greats

Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest, but the most adaptable that thrive.”

Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

In diverse fields, from nature to boxing, adaptability emerges as the unsung hero. It’s the silent power that fuels success.

The Real MVP: Adaptive Planning

Think of it as an agile dance:

graph TD;
    A[Plan] --> B[Execute];
    B --> C[Adapt];
    C --> A;

Plan -> Execute -> Adapt -> Repeat.

Sometimes, you might find yourself in this loop:

graph TD;
    A[Plan] --> B[Execute];
    B --> C[Adapt];
    C --> C;
    C --> C;
    C --> C;
    C --> A;

Plan -> Execute -> Adapt -> Adapt -> Adapt -> Repeat.

Ditching the Obsession with Over-Planning

Broad Horizons Over Minute Details: While details matter, obsessing over them can cloud our vision. The allure of spontaneity and the opportunities it brings can get overshadowed.

Romancing the Unknown: Life’s unpredictability is its charm. Instead of futilely trying to predict every twist and turn, embrace the detours. They often lead to the most scenic routes.

Rethinking Sprints

Sprints have their moments, but strict timelines can sometimes stifle the creative soul. After all, masterpieces weren’t always created in a day.

Seeing Beyond the Tech Talk

The Big Picture Over Implementation Jargons: During brainstorming, prioritize the mission and vision. Implementation details, though critical, can wait. Let’s focus on the ‘what’ before the ‘how’.

Features Over Functions: Talk about the final product or service before dissecting the nitty-gritty of the process.

How to Do It: Embracing Fluid Strategy

1. Outcome Over Implementation

Pause and ponder. What’s the goal? Establishing this from the get-go fosters innovation and aligns the team. Diving straight into the ‘how’ can limit perspectives and stifle creativity.

2. Less is More: The Whiteboard Philosophy

Visual representation helps. A cluttered board can indicate a cluttered strategy. Prioritize integration over segmentation at initial stages.

3. Start Simple: The Monorepo & Mono-File Approach

Think holistic. Start with a broader view, be it a monorepo or even a mono-file, and then segment and refine as you progress.

The Allure of Fluid Roadmaps

Adaptability Over Predictability: While foresight is crucial, being adaptable is key in the dynamic tech world.

Inspiration Not Restriction: Let roadmaps be guiding stars, not binding chains.

In Conclusion

Tech strategy isn’t about clairvoyance. It’s about preparedness. While planning has its merits, the magic often lies in adaptability. So, the next time you’re charting a course in the tech world, remember to be like water, shaping and reshaping, but always moving forward.

I’m a firm advocate of this adaptive and fluid approach, especially at the outset of a project, amidst its journey, and while conceptualizing new features. It encourages innovation, broadens horizons, and ensures everyone is on the same page. That said, there’s undeniable value in stability. The finality of a product, a point where it undergoes minimal to no change, has its unique charm and purpose. But in my opinion, that should be a subsequent phase, not the initial focus. Stay tuned, as I’ll soon delve into the importance of achieving this product stability in a forthcoming article.

Last updated on 26 Aug 2023
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