This is the third of six posts detailing leadership lessons drawn from Agile by a recovering conventional manager – me!

In conventional planning, leaders are called on to set major goals far in advance and then stake their reputations on achieving those goals. In Agile planning, a direction is still set. A vision of the future is clearly articulated, often in the form of a simple, brief narrative or “epic,” but that commitment is held lightly.

In the first instance, the organisation commits only to small incremental steps toward the vision. The effectiveness of each of these steps in the market is continuously evaluated, and then the next small step is committed. This approach keeps more options open and allows for constant learning and adjustment — responding both to changing circumstances and also to organisational learning about those circumstances.