People are always searching for a silver bullet to create products, and there is always a willing industry—ready and waiting to serve with books, coaching, training, and consulting. But there is no silver bullet, and inevitably people figure this out. That's when the backlash begins. As I write this, it's in vogue to criticize both Lean and Agile.
I have no doubt that many people and teams are in some measure disappointed with the results from their adoption of both Lean and Agile. And I understand the reasons for this. That said, I am convinced that Lean and Agile values and principles are here to stay. Not so much the particular manifestations of these methods that many teams use today, but the core principles behind them. I would argue that they both represent meaningful progress, and I would never want to go backward on those two fronts.
But as I said, they are not silver bullets either, and as with any tool, you have to be smart about how you use it. I meet countless teams that claim to be following Lean principles; yet, they work for months on what they call an MVP, and they really don't know what they have and whether it will sell until they've spent substantial time and money—hardly in the spirit of Lean. Or they go way overboard and think they have to test and validate everything, so they go nowhere fast.
And, as I just pointed out, the way Agile is practiced in most product companies is hardly Agile in any meaningful sense.
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