Editable Google Slide (CC-BY-4.0)
Ray Bradbury famously said: “Life is like underwear, should be changed twice a day.”
We think he exaggerated.
In general, there are three things one can do about life (and other projects):
- not change it;
- change it constantly;
- change it one step at a time and learn from the results of the change before doing the next change
We believe that the first option, “not changing” is an illusion. Because no project is an island. And even if nothing else changes, you get changed.
Changing something constantly and too many things at a time is not a good idea either. Because then changes are not meaningful. They can lead you somewhere, but chances are low that you even notice what has changed and how it affected the big picture, because you’re too busy doing the next change.
We think the right thing to do is to change to learn. What we mean by this is not going further to the next cycle of changes, before the learnings from the previous change are clear.
How many things should we change during one “change to learn” cycle?
There can be many strategies. One can go for short cycles with very little change and quick learning. Or one can start with applying a “binary search” strategy and hope that radical changes will help quickly narrow down the search space.
We don’t think there is one universal dominant strategy here. It depends on the project, its stage, circumstances and what kind of person you are.
It’s the time to learn how to change things to learn things.