Agile Planning

While reading Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained 2nd Edition, I found the quote:

A plan in XP is an example of what could happen, not a prediction of what will happen.

So in XP, a plan is not a prediction, but a scenario. If I apply the Cynefin model here, XP assumes you’re in the Knowable space, not in the Known space (in the Known space, a plan can be a prediction).

Using a single scenario is a bit limited. Why not use several scenarios, or, in other words, apply scenario planning to software projects? Scenario planning means you work out a small number of possible futures. The future doesn’t necessarily work out according to one of these scenarios, but by having made several scenarios, you’re much better prepared to ride the future as it unfolds itself.

I’m also wondering, how would you do planning for a software project situated in the Complex space? Plans as prediction don’t work, scenario planning doesn’t work either, but what practices do work in that space?

For more information about the Cynefin model see e.g. Martin Roell’s Unternehmen Gründen und das Cynefin Model (in German) and Ton Zijlstra’s Every Signal Starts Out As Noise .