Adaptive (aka iterative, non-linear, or agile) project management is an approach which focuses on releasing a simple, functional product in a short time frame, testing, then making incremental improvements based on feedback.
- Define your abstract goal.
- Choose a minimal starting point based on top priorities
- Test, reassess, and improve iteratively
Rewiring civilization is a large, dynamic project, fraught with unforeseen obstacles. Formulating a detailed master plan, to be completed in stages, like a car being assembled on a factory floor, would be a recipe for failure. To succeed, we must set small, realistic targets which can be rapidly attained; evaluate the results, and improve iteratively. This approach can be referred to as adaptive action.
Adaptive action begins with defining an abstract goal. An abstract goal is like a journey’s final destination.
A long journey is best broken down into segments. A minimal starting point is akin to choosing the first place to make camp along the way. This initial target should be simple yet useful, based on the project’s top priorities.
Once that minimal starting point is attained, the result is tested, priorities are reevaluated, and a new target is set. This is the equivalent of checking one’s current position, and charting the next leg.
Each journey is relative to its point of departure. Start where you are. Work with what you have. A small success is better than a large failure.