5. Why are Plays Better than a Plan?

Some leaders in the agile community believe that writing an implementation plan is a good way to guide an agile transformation. So, it’s reasonable to ask, why are plays better than plans?

Using an agile approach combined with a playbook, we can tailor our transformation on-the-fly, mix-and-match approaches, and adapt as we progress. We can also give participants many opportunities to provide input, helping us to prioritize change and adjust course. This is much better than a comprehensive, long-term plan.

Let’s talk a little more about the playbook. Playbooks are a set of known plays, or patterns, that can be called based on the current situation.

Playbooks are beneficial because…

  • They balance simplicity and agility. A playbook provide general guidelines for a play in simple, straightforward language. At the same time, a play can be called AT ANY TIME, so they’re agile. You don’t need to know they are needed months before, like you do with a plan.
  • The team can more easily understand them and learn them. Because the plays are both simple and repeatable, transformation leaders and participants can easily understand how to use them.
  • They can be further adjusted to suit the current need. Because plays are patterns, they can be further adjusted to suit an organization’s particular needs. In fact, some of the plays in this playbook were created by coaches adjusting existing plays, creating new ones.

At this point, you’re starting to see how the agile transformation playbook can be used, but you probably don’t have a complete picture yet.  We’ll explain how to use the Agile Transformation Playbook next.