6.5 Chapter summary
It is important to understand all of the five targets that underpin the thinking behind flexing what is being delivered. The five targets do not operate in isolation: they are interwoven and together they provide a lot of the reasoning behind the agile way of working.
It could be said that flexing what is being delivered represents an ‘alternative deal’ to the way people have traditionally worked. In its simplest form this new arrangement asks the customer a question: namely, ‘If you want your project delivered on time, the level of quality protected and changes at the detailed level to be handled dynamically and at no extra cost ... are you happy to forgo some of your lower-priority requirements or lower-priority acceptance/quality criteria, if necessary?’ (see Figure 6.2).
Getting an appropriate balance of what is essential and what is not essential becomes important when working this way. If the balance is not conducive to flexing what is being delivered (e.g. there is very little that can be described as not essential) then this creates a risk to this way of working and in extreme situations (e.g. where practically everything is essential), it may make the use of agile on a project inadvisable.
A lot of the understanding of agile falls into place when the thinking behind flexing what is being delivered is understood correctly. One of the reasons that agile is often misunderstood or hard to understand at times is that these concepts are a mixture of common sense (e.g. being on time) and ideas that are counterintuitive (e.g. seeing change in a positive light).
In order for a customer to understand that this is for their benefit, they need to see the holistic view that is supported by flexing what is being delivered. If this is not achieved then the customer may feel that flexing will not deliver everything they want. It would be unlikely that this will be seen as an attractive proposition.
To deliver more, deliver less!