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GROWS stages

“One size does not fit all,” and one of the major differences in people and teams is their level skill and experience at some particular skill area.

We all start off as beginners, and move through several learning stages as we gain experience and greater skill at some task. With this basic progression in mind, and borrowing ideas from the classic Dreyfus Model of skill acquisition, The GROWS™ Method emphasizes different things at different stages:

  • Stage 0: Not Ready. GROWS demands open-minded commitment and a willingness to experiment. If that’s not the case, then the organization is not ready to start yet. See the core concept Agree to Try for more details.
  • Stage 1: Safety & Hygiene. Once you’re ready to begin, the emphasis at this beginner stage is on practices geared to producing software the Right Way, using modern software engineering principles to reduce risk and technical debt.
  • Stage 2: Checklist-Driven. With a solid technical underpinning, everyone can proceed to work together producing the Right Thing to the Right Rhythm using simple, concrete checklists.
  • Stage 3: Fully Working Recipes. With enough experience at the simpler Checklist level, you can move on the more advanced Recipe level, where more judgment and critical thinking is required.
  • Stage 4: Smooth Adaptations. At this advanced level, everything works smoothly, with a custom fit and local adaptations to your organization, users, and way of working.
  • Stage 5: Replicate, Teach, Invent. Finally, at the “expert” level, you can look to teach and scale beyond your immediate environment, and replicate your success.

See the Practices By Stage Map for more detailed information on practices at each skill stage.

Learn More: Tracer Bullet Development

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