The ever elusive Continuous Planning

What does the term Continuous Planning even mean? Or is it dual track planning/agile or is it parallel tracks?

Hugo Froes
2 min readFeb 8, 2023

Trying a different format for this newsletter.

Whatever you call it, I’m talking about all the work that is continuously happening in parallel in the product development lifecycle.

  • Most people have a hard time accomplishing a good balance.
  • Teams feel pressured to NOT use waterfall
  • But as a baseline, we feel comfortable working waterfall
  • A big fallacy around Agile is that it will do away with sequential work
  • Work still needs to happen sequentially
  • Teams need to get comfortable with more than just 2 parallel tracks
  • All work goes through 4 stages
  • Idea — Just a concept yet to be explored
  • Discovery — When we build up context and knowledge around the idea
  • Build — What has been matured, validated and prioritised as the right thing(s) to work on
  • Post launch — Gone live and we need to monitor and adapt if needed
  • This doesn’t even touch on the details of the process
  • We often get lost between Discovery and Build, and forget Post Launch
  • We take on more than we can do because we focus mostly on the Build phase
  • We will potentially have something on all 4 phases at the same time throughout the product management process
  • Being Agile doesn’t mean jumping between all 4 constantly
  • It’s a muscle that needs to be developed. Potentially the most important muscle
  • If planning is done, only on a certain date, it won’t work
  • When we are defining what to work on in the next quarter or sprint, it should be fully defined already. We should just need to prioritise.
  • Often teams wait until the time to plan to mature many of the ideas
  • This also happens because we’ve bogged down with many other tasks
  • Should we be doing all those other tasks?
  • What would happen if we didn’t do them? Would someone else step up? Would we discover it wasn’t important? Maybe

This issues was literally a brain dump of a train of thoughts and I’d be happy to dig into specific points on the topic if you, the reader feel it’s worthwhile. (Let me know)

Originally published at https://hugofroes.substack.com on February 8, 2023.

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Hugo Froes

// Leading Product Operations at OLX Motors EU // Helping to make better products — Co-founder of @uxdiscuss with @whitingx