You Ain't Gonna Need That, but More Legos Never Hurt

The Last Responsible Moment

Posted by Dave Anderson on January 23, 2018

Often a theme that we joke about as we come up with ideas for episodes for The Rabbit Hole podcast, we finally recorded an episode about The Last Responsible Moment.

In the context of the podcast, we have a large backlog of ideas that we could possibly pick up but we often decide very late in the process which episode we’ll record. This helps us only commit to ideas that seem the most important, relevant, and energizing for discussion as we’re setting up to record.

Not just a fancy term for procrastination, The Last Responsbile Moment is a key concept for an Agile team to master as committing to too much work too early can add risk to a project: risk that you’re not working on the most important thing for right now, risk that you’ve added more complexity to the system that will make more important changes hard to do later, risk that you’ve built a Cool Feature that will not be of use to application users as you thought.

This in itself is closely related to the concept of YAGNI (You Ain’t Gonna Need It), where a Minimum Viable Product or even Prototype (maybe even one that doesn’t involve software at all, GASP) is the best course of action right now to see what things are most important to work on.

pairs-of-lego-blocks Prototyping the Minimum Viable Product should involve Lego more often.

One such example that we chatted about on the episode was, rather than spending a big chunk of time prototyping a website for tracking Pairs of Programmers working together with the capability matching random of pairs, a friend suggested that we could just use a bag filled with Legos of matching pairs of colors and shapes. That’s a solution so much easier than using code, it almost seems silly that I even considered writing a new tool as the first step!

What do you think? Have you had any compelling YAGNI or Last Responsbile Moment life experiences? If you have any more excuses to use Legos in my professional career, please tell me.

You can listen to this episode using the fancy widgit above, read the transcripts on our podcast site or subscribe to our feed on iTunes or Google Play. Feel free to reach out to Mike, William and myself on twitter or leave some feedback on iTunes.