Why We Don't Vote In The Agile Canvas Process

One of the more risk producing and option limiting practices in any idea generating and planning effort is voting. Priorities are based on opinions that wear the masks of confidence in the face of a whole boatload of open questions. Voting divides the group into winners and losers, and the resulting erosion of trust makes the group measurably slower and duller together.

In voting, we naively ask what people like and dislike. In the Agile Canvas process, we instead work with a richer set of questions. We ask questions like:

  • Can you add or alter options to solve any downsides presented by any of the given options? 
  • Which options functionally need to follow and precede others? 
  • Are there other options that aren't here that need to follow and precede the options here? 
  • What questions do we need to close before we act on any of these options? 
  • Should we invite anyone else into the conversation to make it better? 

Questions like these make the process far smarter and more connecting. Voting is never needed and the effort is more enjoyable and productive.