Excerpt from the book
The only possible reason why a person is not a Bill Murray fan is that the person has not seen any Bill Murray movie. He is a savant when it comes to landing comic moments. One of the most exceptional examples of his craft is a 1993 comedy titled Groundhog Day which is considered to be one of the finest comedies ever made. Yours truly is one of the fans.
Groundhog Day is a story of Phil Connors; a bitter weather reporter asked to cover Groundhog Day festivities in a small town in Pennsylvania. What happens to him was something sort of extraordinary. He is supposed to remain there in the town for one day, but he gets caught in a time loop. Every morning he wakes up in the same bed, to the same song and the day is Groundhog Day. Initially, he reacts the way any reasonable person would react by trying to break the loop and escape. Over time, he makes peace with it. He starts enjoying little things, slowly gains expertise over new skills, and finds love.
While the movie is a fun ride, it highlights a few things. Phil learns to sculpt ice to the point where he makes a sculpture of the girl he tries to woo. He learns to play the piano. He learns to speak French. On a usual resume, all these three are very impressive extra-curricular feats. He gains these skills by practicing every day, iteratively, improving with every passing Groundhog Day. Here is the keyword – ‘iteratively.’
By working on something crude, regularly, and iteratively, a person can improve the product into a desirable one. Phil knew nothing about the piano. He started with few keys and improved on what he knew until he became fluent in the skill. This skill was his final product. Agile Software Development works on the same principle.
Agile focus on evolving a solution through efforts of a self-organizing cross-functional team by implementing inputs from different stakeholders in each iteration until the desired product is in place. Agile improves the product in each iteration with a larger goal in perspective and draws from learnings in each phase. Initial blueprint and the final product might diverge on many points; the final product is closer to the user expectation because it incorporates changing user requirements.
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