Radical Kludge

An Audacious Aspiration requires us to think differently and re-imagine an entirely new solution. That is why it is so important to define them. If not, we will try to solve a problem with our existing mindset - making only incremental improvements.

As Albert Einstein prophetically once said: > We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

One of the most powerful Agile practices we use is called the Radical Kludge. This is the first step in a three-step process for radical transformation.

In the Radical Kludge, you start by envisioning the experience of being in the place where the Audacious Aspiration exists, something that others have called Collective IdeaSpaces.

The Radical Kludge takes easily available tools to quickly make an experience of this new reality. It is, crude, held together with tape, twine and looks like a mess - a kludge - but it creates a new experience that is core to this re-imagined solution.

>A kludge is a workaround or quick-and-dirty solution that is clumsy, inelegant, inefficient, difficult to extend and hard to maintain. This term is used in diverse fields such as computer science, aerospace engineering, Internet slang, evolutionary neuroscience, and government. A software kludge (often called "spaghetti code") is frequently the result of hacking source

It is done quickly. It is ugly. By once it is completed, it provides a deep insight into the architectural structure of the new solution. Once this structure is revealed, a second development round begins, to properly build the solution based on that architecture. Once completed, a third development round begins, to create all of the elements needing to support the core solution so that it can be scaled.

When launching Innovate Oregon, we commonly work in 6 weeks development sprints, typically, the first being a radical kludge. We have found that 6 weeks was long enough that we could do something audacious, but short enough that we had a Compelling Urgency that forced us to walk courageously into the unknown.