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How far do you go when developing against a story (Easy mistakes to make)


This cartoon illustrates the general problem and is especially relevant to teams new to agile methods.

the general problem

What it underlines is the fact that we tend to go further than we really need to. (developers are after all frustrated artists). What I need now to provide me with immediate benefit/value is the salt. I dont need anything else. when I need more, I will ask for more, but until then, all I want is the salt and nothing but the salt.

I hear screams and shouts of 'but that is just not efficient'. Again all I say is, that is not where the immediate benefit is. This is what we want to do using Agile methods, deliver what we need, when we need it and no more.
The principle 'Simplicity, The art of maximising the work not done is essential'.
Keep talking to the customer, tease out exactly what it is they need, create the best technical solution to satisfy that need and nothing more. Then spend the time you have free to go and address another valuable need.
Nobody has said that Agile is the most efficient method, but it is definitely the most effective method for delivering business benefit/value when it is needed. Provided we only build what is needed, when it is needed, and no more!