On the locations of the bullet holes on bombers that land successfully

Ken Kocienda (unwrapped twitter thread, link to first tweet):

I see so many tweets about agile, epics, scrums, story points, etc. and none of it matters. We didn’t use any of that to ship the best products years ago at Apple.

Exactly none of the most common approaches I see tweeted about all the time helped us to make the original iPhone. Oh, and we didn’t even have product managers.

Do you know what worked?

A clear vision. Design-led development. Weekly demos to deciders who always made the call on what to do next. Clear communication between cross functional teams. Honest feedback. Managing risk as a function of the rate of actual progress toward goals.

I guess it’s tempting to lard on all sorts of processes on top of these simple ideas. My advice: don’t. Simple processes can work. The goal is to ship great products, not build the most complex processes. /end

We can talk about the good and the bad advice in this thread, and what we do or don’t want to take away, but it’s fundamentally not backed up by strong argument. Apple did not do this thing that is talked about now back in the day, and Apple is by-our-lady Apple, so you don’t need to do this thing that is talked about now.

There is lots that I can say here, but my secondary thing is to ask how much your organisation and problem look like Apple’s organisation and problem before adopting their solutions, technological or organisational.

My primary thing is that pets.com didn’t use epics, scrums, story points, etc. either. Pick your case studies carefully.

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