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Right First Time (TQM) Vs Fail early (Agile)


As one who believes both in the solid principles of TQM as well as agility of Agile, wanted to share my perceptions about Right First Time, Every Time principle of TQM along side of fail early view Agile methodologies of software development

In order to get it right first time, there need to be lots of wrongs that should have happened early in the evolution of product development. This is true everywhere, be it in industry, theatre, art, paint  or sports, et all. Any aspiring champion will have to put in enormous effort to be aware, learn, practice and perfect his own endeavour. So may be the intent by saying Right First Time can be taken as applying the mindset to the current priorities, it may be practice, rehearsal or any work in progress to remain focused on the present. It will help them to achieve the ‘future Right’ whenever that will come.  Any activity be it product development, theatre play, music or sports will involve series of preparatory steps and each of the steps will be important to get the final desired outcome. Each of these steps individually has sub goals and those need to be ‘got right’. A step’s objective may also involve learning, as far as the learning is obtained  by the pursuer, she got it right. When all the individual steps got what they wanted as outcomes, end outcome is it Right, and indeed Right first time, because for that nth step, what has been achieved is first time event.

While Agile focussing on adaptability and quicker ROI for all stakeholders understands and is flexible in admitting that first 2/3 sprints there will be missed deliveries of few features. Also there might me lessons learnt from review and retrospective phase of sprints. These lessons learnt are indeed one of the sub goal of the sprint that meets the criteria ‘Right first time and every time’ too. Ultimately during the last sprint if all the lessons of the earlier sprints are effectively applied along the way Product delivered will be right first time. Individual sprints looked at the perspective of each sprint goal accomplished their objectives Right. As well they have contributed to ‘fail early’ part of Agile, due to the evolving nature of Product backlog and in the same time helped the overall Product Development Vision by solid lessons learnt practices.

True to ‘embracing the change’ nature of Agile, It will good to consider Right First Time and fail early as truly complimentary principles.

Agile TQM!

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