Friday, January 21, 2011

How to beat the competition by being more agile

Over at Forbes there's a discussion about how Facebook beat MySpace. The simple solution I got out of that was Facebook is more agile, but that they also priotise customer input. Enough users want something, Facebook gives it to them (and one would assume as fast as possible). That's responding to change, obviously a key Agile principle.

Makes me think about how doing business might continue to change over the years. The suits and the bean counters may want to do one thing (lots of Powerpoint presos with forecasts), and the techs on the ground might only be thinking three months ahead - getting the latest feature out the door. There's something to be said for long term vision but do short term sprints take precedence? After all the company has to make money to keep the suits in a job.

One thing Facebook does need to do is focus on quality. To much of it breaks (and often non deterministically). The fact that I can't invite friends to an event now for three days means something's going dreadfully wrong. Since you listen to customers Facebook, can you please fix your defective parts as well as push out the latest and greatest features?