From the Introduction:

What is The GROWS Method®?

Since 2015 or so, we’ve struggled to come up with a neat and tidy response to that question. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Your authors have well over 100 combined years in the software industry and we still wonder, “What makes software development difficult?” Interestingly, our difficulty finding an answer for this question lies at the heart of the GROWS philosophy.

The first problem is the “neat and tidy” part. Dave Snowden, the inventor of the Cynefin sense-making framework, makes the following critical observation:

“The premature codification of complex issues into neat and tidy solutions is a large consultancy disease and a fertile field for snake oil sales people and charlatans”—Dave Snowden

Let’s be clear on one thing: we don’t have the answer. Actually, we have all the answers. That’s the easy part. The hard part is knowing which answer to use in what context, to solve what problem and answer which question.

The disease which afflicts software development management insists on fixed answers: practices to follow, workflow tied to a specific vendor and product, certifications to obtain, that sort of thing. We want our answers to be simple, applicable, neat and tidy.

That isn’t going to happen.

The key is to move beyond the fixed mindset that requires a solution to every problem, and to realize that everything grows. Problems grow over time. Solutions grow over time. You grow. Everything grows. And that’s at the heart of our philosophy:

“A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.”—John Anthony Ciardi, Poet and Educator.

The GROWS Method® is a set of ideas to help you grow cognitive capability and effectiveness in your organization, based on research from adult learning, complexity theory, and systems thinking, combined with effective software development and reliable engineering. These methods will help you grow your organization’s and your own personal capability and ability to deliver software in a steady, robust and responsive manner.

Volunteers Needed

We’re looking for a few dedicated, curious people.

The GROWS Method® Book is currently available as a draft for reviewers. If you are interested in reading and giving us feedback, please contact us at book at growsmethod dot com.


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