Perhaps Congress should be more agile

We have found Agile to be an effective framework for more than just developing software. We also use Agile to start new businesses, manage projects, and plan vacations. Indeed, Agile is a methodology, philosophy, and framework for almost anything in your life. So, the thought occurred to me that if Congress were just more agile, it might get more things done.

Politics aside, the value of agile is that it helps break down complex projects into smaller, simpler tasks. Moreover, it helps ensure that whatever we are doing is the most important and valuable thing we could be doing at any given time. Finally, it ensures that we are always shipping, always getting stuff done, always ticking things off the list, and always in accomplishment mode.

Whenever I hear, “comprehensive … reform,” I cringe. Anything that is comprehensive and deals with reform is going to be a huge, overwhelming, lengthy, and controversial feat. Comprehensive reform of anything is so huge that little is likely to get done. Nobody is served well.

On the other hand, if we can break things down into smaller chunks, prioritize those smaller chunks, break those chunks into even smaller chunks, and then deal with little things one at a time, we are more likely to find agreement and get stuff done.

While we are living in a very divided country right now, there are some things that share a majority agreement, that we can wrap our heads around, and is minimal and incremental. That would be the Fix NICS bill. This is simply tightening a loophole and helping to enforce existing laws. No new laws, just improving and enforcing an existing law. If passed, Fix NICS would be a great example of how Congress could work together, succeed in a bi-partisan way, and get stuff done using an agile methodology.

We will see what happens. But, I hope in the future that the young, up-and-coming Senators and Congressmen are open to doing things in a more agile way, which has proven itself to us to be an effective way of consistently making progress and getting things done, even when not everybody agrees on everything we do around here.

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