Agile and DevOps: Synergies and Strategies for Project Managers
In the ever-evolving landscape of software development and project management, two methodologies stand out, not just for their efficiency but for their transformative power: Agile and DevOps. They are not just methodologies; they are movements, revolutions that question the status quo and challenge us to think differently about how we work.
Agile, with its iterative cycles and emphasis on customer collaboration, brought a breath of fresh air to teams tired of the cumbersome waterfall model. It said, “You don’t have to wait until the end to create something great. You can start now, and you can adjust as you go.”
DevOps, on the other hand, took a look at the wall between development and operations and said, “What if we knocked this down? What if we worked together, not just in the spirit of cooperation, but in the spirit of mutual benefit and shared responsibility?”
For project managers, these methodologies offer not just tools and practices, but a new way to see the world. A world where change is not just expected but embraced; where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow; where the journey is just as important as the destination.
In this article, we will delve into the synergies between Agile and DevOps, exploring how they complement each other and how project managers can harness their combined power. We will look at strategies for integrating these methodologies into your workflows, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, and ultimately, delivering value to your customers like never before.
Now, this is where the real journey begins. As we navigate through the principles, practices, and real-life applications of Agile and DevOps, keep in mind that this is not just about process improvement; it’s about mindset transformation. It’s about breaking down the silos that limit our potential and building bridges to a future where collaboration, innovation, and excellence are not just encouraged but expected.
Understanding Agile and DevOps
In a world voraciously demanding faster, better, and more innovative solutions, Agile and DevOps emerge not just as methodologies, but as beacons of change, transformation, and relentless improvement. Let’s embark on a journey, not of step-by-step instructions, but of understanding, alignment, and symbiosis between these two powerful forces.
Agile: A Symphony of Flexibility and Customer Centricity
Agile isn’t just a software development process; it’s a dance. A dance between planning and action, between structure and flexibility. Born out of a need to break free from the rigidity of traditional methodologies, Agile invites us to embrace change, to prioritize individuals and interactions over processes and tools. It’s a call to look our customers in the eye, to understand their needs, and to build solutions that resonate, solutions that matter.
Agile is iterative, incremental, and unequivocally human-centric. It’s about delivering value, not just at the end, but at every step of the journey. User stories, sprints, product backlogs, and retrospectives aren’t just tools; they’re instruments in an orchestra, each playing a vital role in creating a symphony of continuous delivery and customer satisfaction.
DevOps: Tearing Down Walls and Building Bridges
Enter DevOps, the revolutionary. Where Agile dances, DevOps builds bridges. It looks at the longstanding wall between development and operations and sees not just an obstacle, but an opportunity. An opportunity to collaborate, to share responsibility, and to create something greater together than we ever could apart.
DevOps is about tearing down silos and building pipelines. It’s about automating the mundane, so we can focus on the extraordinary. Continuous integration, continuous delivery, infrastructure as code – these are not just practices; they’re pillars of a culture that values speed, reliability, and innovation.
The Symbiotic Dance: Agile and DevOps Together
Now, imagine a world where Agile and DevOps don’t just coexist, but thrive together. This is the sweet spot, the harmonious rhythm where principles align and practices intertwine.
Agile says, “Respond to change.” DevOps replies, “Automate for consistency and speed.” Together, they create an environment where change is not just anticipated but celebrated, where failures become stepping stones to improvement, and where the journey to delivery is as smooth as it is swift.
The alignment is almost poetic. Agile’s emphasis on customer collaboration resonates with DevOps’ focus on cross-functional teams. Agile’s iterative development finds a companion in DevOps’ continuous delivery. And as Agile breaks down the tasks, DevOps ensures the pipeline is clear, ready to turn ideas into reality, code into customer value.
Embracing the Chaos, Finding the Rhythm
In this dance of methodologies, chaos is inevitable. But in chaos, there is opportunity. Opportunity to learn, to adapt, and to find the rhythm that works for your team, your product, and your customers.
The alignment of Agile and DevOps is not a destination; it’s a journey. A journey of transformation, of breaking old habits and forming new connections. It requires a mindset shift, a willingness to embrace the unknown and to see the potential in the chaos.
So, as we navigate the principles and practices of Agile and DevOps, remember that this is not just about efficiency or speed; it’s about creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and relentless improvement. It’s about building bridges, tearing down walls, and finding the rhythm that propels us forward, together.
In this dance, in this symphony of change, we find not just the future of project management, but the future of how we work, how we create, and how we deliver value to the world. And in this future, Agile and DevOps are not just methodologies; they are the heartbeat, the rhythm, the guiding lights on our journey to excellence.
The Synergies between Agile and DevOps
In the intricate ballet of project development and management, Agile and DevOps are not mere participants; they are lead dancers, each bringing their unique moves, rhythms, and strengths to the stage. When they dance together, something magical happens. They create a symbiotic relationship, a harmonious performance that elevates the entire production. Let’s explore this natural alignment, this dance of complementarity, where Agile and DevOps intertwine to create a masterpiece.
Agile: Setting the Pace, DevOps: Perfecting the Flow
Agile, with its iterative sprints and relentless focus on customer value, sets a pace that is both challenging and exhilarating. It says, “Let’s break it down, let’s make it manageable, and let’s deliver value consistently.” It’s like a choreographer, breaking down the complex routine into manageable steps, ensuring that every move contributes to the final performance.
DevOps, on the other hand, perfects the flow. It ensures that the transition from one move to the next is seamless, that the stage is set, and the props are in place. It’s the stage manager, ensuring that every light cue is hit, every set change is smooth, and every performer is ready. With DevOps, the production doesn’t just move; it flows.
A Partnership of Speed and Stability
In this dance, speed and stability are not at odds; they are partners. Agile, with its rapid sprints and continuous feedback, brings speed to the table. It says, “Let’s not wait. Let’s build, test, and deliver now.” It’s a call to action, a push towards momentum and progress.
DevOps, with its emphasis on automation and continuous integration, brings stability. It ensures that as we move quickly, we do not stumble. It’s the safety net, ensuring that every code commit is tested, every deployment is smooth, and every update is stable. Together, Agile and DevOps create a performance that is both breathtakingly fast and remarkably stable.
Collaboration: The Heart of the Performance
At the heart of this dance is collaboration. Agile breaks down the silos within teams, fostering communication, transparency, and collective ownership. It says, “We are in this together. Let’s collaborate, let’s communicate, and let’s create something extraordinary.”
DevOps extends this collaboration to the entire pipeline, from development to operations. It breaks down the walls, creating a continuous loop of feedback, improvement, and delivery. It says, “Let’s not just work together; let’s be in sync, let’s share the responsibility, and let’s own the entire process.”
Continuous Improvement: The Never-Ending Dance
And then, there’s the spirit of continuous improvement, the rhythm that keeps the dance alive. Agile, with its retrospectives and adaptive planning, instills a mindset of learning and improvement. It asks, “What worked? What didn’t? How can we do better next time?”
DevOps, with its monitoring and performance optimization, ensures that this improvement is not just theoretical, but practical. It provides the data, the insights, and the tools to turn reflection into action, to turn lessons learned into performance improved.
The Synergy: More Than the Sum of Parts
Together, Agile and DevOps create a performance that is more than the sum of its parts. They complement each other, filling in the gaps, enhancing the strengths, and creating a symphony of efficiency, innovation, and value delivery.
This is not just a partnership; it’s a fusion, a melding of principles and practices, of cultures and mindsets. It’s a dance of synergies, where Agile and DevOps move together, learn from each other, and create something truly extraordinary.
So, let’s celebrate this dance, this partnership of Agile and DevOps. Let’s embrace the synergies, harness the strengths, and create a performance that leaves a lasting impact, not just on our projects, but on our teams, our organizations, and the customers we serve. In this dance, we find not just a methodology, but a movement, a call to action, and a path to excellence.
Strategies for Integration
In the grand tapestry of project management and software delivery, integrating Agile and DevOps isn’t about finding a magic formula or a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about weaving these methodologies into the fabric of your work, creating a masterpiece that is as robust as it is nimble, as innovative as it is reliable. Let’s dive into practical strategies and best practices to help you intertwine Agile and DevOps, transforming not just your workflow, but your mindset.
1. Cultivate a Culture of Collaboration and Continuous Learning
Start by building a culture that celebrates collaboration, openness, and continuous learning. Encourage your teams to break down the silos, to share their knowledge, and to learn from one another. Agile and DevOps are not just about processes and tools; they are about people, relationships, and a shared commitment to excellence. Foster an environment where learning is constant, feedback is invaluable, and improvement is the North Star.
2. Align Objectives and Share Responsibility
Ensure that your teams are not just working together, but working towards a shared goal. Align the objectives of your development, operations, and project management teams. Create a sense of shared responsibility, where everyone is invested in the success of the project, from code commit to production deployment. This alignment creates a sense of unity and purpose, driving your teams to strive for excellence at every step.
3. Implement Agile and DevOps Practices Incrementally
Do not try to overhaul your entire workflow overnight. Implement Agile and DevOps practices incrementally, starting small and scaling up. Begin with a pilot project, adopt Agile sprints, and integrate continuous integration and delivery practices. Learn from this pilot, adjust your practices, and scale up. This incremental approach reduces resistance, allows for learning and adaptation, and ensures a smoother integration of Agile and DevOps practices.
4. Emphasize Communication and Transparency
Create channels for open, transparent communication between your development, operations, and project management teams. Use tools that facilitate this communication, ensuring that everyone is on the same page, and that knowledge is shared freely. Transparency builds trust, reduces misunderstandings, and ensures that everyone is aware of the goals, challenges, and progress of the project.
5. Automate for Consistency and Efficiency
Leverage automation to eliminate manual, error-prone processes, ensuring consistency and efficiency. Automate code integration, testing, and deployment processes, freeing up your teams to focus on innovation and problem-solving. Automation not only speeds up the delivery process but also ensures that every step is repeatable, reliable, and efficient.
6. Focus on Continuous Feedback and Improvement
Incorporate continuous feedback mechanisms at every stage of your workflow. Use Agile retrospectives to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and use DevOps monitoring and analytics to gather performance data. Use this feedback to continuously improve your processes, practices, and performance. This culture of continuous feedback and improvement ensures that your teams are always learning, adapting, and striving for excellence.
7. Empower Your Teams
Empower your teams to take ownership of their work, to make decisions, and to drive innovation. Provide them with the tools, resources, and support they need, and trust them to deliver. Empowered teams are more engaged, more motivated, and more likely to go above and beyond to deliver excellence.
8. Measure and Celebrate Success
Define clear metrics for success, measure your performance against these metrics, and celebrate your successes. Whether it’s faster delivery times, improved system reliability, or increased customer satisfaction, make sure you recognize and celebrate the achievements of your teams. This not only reinforces the value of Agile and DevOps practices but also boosts morale and motivation.
9. Stay Agile, Embrace Change
Remember, integrating Agile and DevOps is an ongoing journey, not a destination. Stay agile, be prepared to adapt your practices as your needs evolve, and always be on the lookout for ways to improve. Embrace change, learn from failures, and keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
10. Lead by Example
Finally, lead by example. As a project manager, embody the principles of Agile and DevOps, demonstrate the value of collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement. Be the change you want to see, inspire your teams, and create a legacy of excellence.
In this dance of integration, Agile and DevOps are not just methodologies to be implemented; they are philosophies to be lived. By weaving these practices into the fabric of your work, you create a tapestry of innovation, efficiency, and excellence. So, embrace the strategies, celebrate the journey, and let’s create something extraordinary together.
Fostering a Culture of Continuous Improvement
In the world we inhabit, where change is the only constant, fostering a culture of continuous improvement isn’t just a strategy; it’s a lifeline. It’s about creating a workplace that doesn’t just adapt to change but thrives on it. This is where Agile and DevOps transcend from being methodologies to becoming catalysts for a cultural revolution. Let’s delve into the art of cultivating a workplace that breathes the principles of Agile and DevOps.
1. Embrace Failure as a Stepping Stone
In this culture of continuous improvement, failure is not the enemy; it’s the teacher. Encourage your teams to take risks, to experiment, and to learn from their missteps. Create a safe space where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate. Agile and DevOps are not about perfection; they are about progression, about learning from each sprint, each deployment, and each challenge.
2. Encourage Open, Honest Communication
Communication is the heartbeat of this cultural transformation. Foster an environment where dialogue flows freely, where questions are encouraged, and where feedback is candid and constructive. Utilize tools and practices that enhance communication, making sure that everyone, from developers to operations to project managers, is on the same page. Transparency breeds trust, and trust is the foundation of a culture of continuous improvement.
3. Promote Collaboration Across All Levels
Break down the walls, dismantle the silos, and promote collaboration across all levels and departments. Agile and DevOps are not just for developers or operations; they are for everyone. Encourage cross-functional teams, foster a sense of shared responsibility, and create opportunities for diverse perspectives to converge and create. In this collaborative space, innovation thrives, and improvement is constant.
4. Prioritize Customer-Centricity
Put the customer at the center of your universe. Use Agile methodologies to constantly seek customer feedback, to understand their needs, and to deliver value at every step. Utilize DevOps practices to ensure that the delivery pipeline is always aligned with customer expectations. When the customer is the focus, continuous improvement becomes second nature.
5. Invest in Training and Development
Equip your teams with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to embrace Agile and DevOps principles. Invest in training, workshops, and learning resources. Encourage continuous learning, provide opportunities for professional development, and create a culture where growth is expected and supported. Knowledge is the fuel for improvement, and investment in learning pays dividends in innovation and excellence.
6. Celebrate Progress, Not Just Outcomes
In this journey of continuous improvement, progress is the true north. Celebrate the small wins, the incremental improvements, and the steps forward. Recognize the effort, the learning, and the growth, not just the outcomes. This shift in focus creates a positive, motivating environment where improvement is celebrated, and excellence is a shared journey.
7. Lead by Example
As leaders, be the embodiment of Agile and DevOps principles. Demonstrate commitment to continuous learning, open communication, and relentless improvement. Lead by example, showing that this cultural transformation is not just expected, but lived. Leadership sets the tone, and a leader committed to continuous improvement inspires a culture that follows suit.
8. Build Resilience and Adaptability
Foster resilience and adaptability in your teams. Create a culture that is not just reactive to change, but proactive in anticipating and embracing it. Utilize Agile and DevOps practices to build systems and workflows that are robust yet flexible, capable of weathering the storms of change and emerging stronger.
9. Focus on Value, Not Just Velocity
In the rush to deliver, focus on value, not just velocity. Use Agile to prioritize work that delivers real, tangible value to the customer. Utilize DevOps to ensure that this value is delivered consistently and reliably. In a culture of continuous improvement, value is the ultimate metric, and every effort, every sprint, every deployment is a step towards delivering more of it.
10. Celebrate the Culture, Live the Change
Finally, celebrate this culture of continuous improvement. Make it visible, make it tangible, and make it a part of your organizational identity. Live the change, breathe the principles, and create a legacy of a workplace that is always learning, always improving, and always moving forward.
In fostering a culture of continuous improvement, we create a workplace that is not just productive, but transformative. It’s a space where Agile and DevOps are not just practices, but principles that guide, inspire, and propel us towards excellence. So, embrace the journey, live the change, and let’s create a culture that is as resilient as it is innovative, as continuous as it is improving.
Overcoming Common Challenges
In the symphony of progress that is Agile and DevOps, challenges are not anomalies; they are the norm. Every transformation, every shift in culture and practice, brings with it hurdles to overcome and pitfalls to navigate. But remember, challenges are merely opportunities in disguise, chances to learn, grow, and redefine what’s possible. Let’s explore how we can address and overcome the common challenges that come with implementing Agile and DevOps.
1. Resistance to Change: The Silent Saboteur
Change is unsettling. It disrupts our routines, challenges our beliefs, and pushes us out of our comfort zones. The introduction of Agile and DevOps is no different. Expect resistance, but meet it with empathy, education, and engagement. Show the value, demystify the practices, and involve your teams in the journey. Turn resistance into curiosity, and curiosity into commitment.
2. Siloed Teams: Breaking Down Invisible Walls
Silos are the arch-nemesis of Agile and DevOps. They create barriers, hinder communication, and stifle collaboration. To overcome this, cultivate a culture of openness and shared responsibility. Encourage cross-functional teams, promote knowledge sharing, and create opportunities for collaboration. Break down the walls, and watch as the silos crumble.
3. Lack of Alignment: Finding the Common Beat
Agile and DevOps require alignment – of goals, of values, and of practices. Misalignment leads to confusion, inefficiency, and a dilution of efforts. To overcome this, ensure that everyone, from the C-suite to the front lines, understands and buys into the Agile and DevOps philosophies. Create shared goals, align objectives, and ensure that every effort is a step towards a common destination.
4. Inadequate Training: Bridging the Knowledge Gap
Agile and DevOps bring with them new practices, tools, and terminologies. Without adequate training, your teams can be left feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. Address this by investing in training and development, providing resources and learning opportunities, and creating a culture that values and supports continuous learning.
5. Fear of Failure: Cultivating a Safe Space
The path of Agile and DevOps is paved with experimentation, risk-taking, and yes, failure. But in a culture that fears failure, innovation is stifled. Overcome this by creating a safe space for experimentation, celebrating the lessons learned from failures, and encouraging a mindset of continuous improvement.
6. Overemphasis on Tools: It’s About Culture, Not Just Tools
While tools are an essential part of Agile and DevOps, they are not the end-all-be-all. A common pitfall is overemphasizing tools at the expense of culture and practices. Address this by focusing on building a culture of collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement. Remember, tools enable practices, but culture sustains change.
7. Scaling Challenges: Growing Pains are Real
As you scale Agile and DevOps practices across teams and departments, growing pains are inevitable. Complexity increases, communication becomes more challenging, and maintaining alignment becomes a herculean task. Overcome this by implementing scalable frameworks, fostering a culture of consistency and collaboration, and ensuring that practices are adaptable and resilient.
8. Insufficient Feedback Loops: Closing the Loop
Feedback is the lifeblood of Agile and DevOps. Without sufficient feedback loops, improvement is stunted, and issues go unresolved. Address this by creating mechanisms for continuous feedback, from retrospectives and reviews to monitoring and analytics. Use feedback as a tool for learning, adaptation, and continuous improvement.
9. Lack of Ownership: Empowering Your Teams
Agile and DevOps require a sense of ownership and accountability. Without it, tasks fall through the cracks, and responsibility is diffused. Cultivate ownership by empowering your teams, giving them the autonomy to make decisions, and holding them accountable for their work. When teams own their work, they are more engaged, more committed, and more likely to deliver excellence.
10. Inertia of the Status Quo: The Comfort of the Known
The comfort of the known is a powerful force, one that keeps us tethered to the status quo. Overcoming this inertia requires a clear vision, relentless communication, and a demonstration of the value of Agile and DevOps. Show the benefits, share the successes, and inspire a desire for something better, something more.
In addressing these challenges, remember that Agile and DevOps are not just methodologies; they are catalysts for change, tools for transformation. Embrace the challenges, learn from the hurdles, and use them as stepping stones towards a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and excellence. So, navigate the labyrinth, overcome the challenges, and let’s create a future that is as resilient as it is remarkable.
The Role of the Project Manager in an Agile-DevOps World
In a realm steeped in change, teeming with uncertainty, and brimming with potential, the role of the project manager is on the brink of a transformative journey. Agile and DevOps, these two beacons of innovation and efficiency, are rewriting the rules of the game, and in doing so, they’re inviting project managers to evolve, to adapt, and to step into a new world of possibilities.
The Project Manager as a Visionary Guide
In the traditional waterfall world, the project manager stood as the planner, the overseer, and the enforcer of timelines and deliverables. But in this Agile-DevOps dance, the project manager transforms into a visionary guide, navigating through complexity with a clear vision and a steady hand. It’s no longer about managing tasks; it’s about leading with purpose, clarity, and inspiration.
Facilitating Collaboration and Communication
Silos crumble, walls fall, and collaboration becomes the heartbeat of success. The project manager in this new world fosters communication, encourages openness, and creates a space where dialogue flows freely and ideas thrive. They become the architects of connections, bridging gaps between teams, ensuring that everyone speaks the same language, and that the symphony of collaboration plays on harmoniously.
Empowering Teams and Cultivating Autonomy
The days of micromanagement are behind us. In the Agile-DevOps environment, project managers empower their teams, giving them the autonomy to make decisions, take ownership of their work, and drive their projects forward. It’s about trusting your teams, providing them with the tools and support they need, and then stepping back, letting them shine.
Championing Continuous Improvement and Innovation
Resting on laurels is not an option in this ever-evolving landscape. The project manager becomes a champion of continuous improvement and innovation. They encourage experimentation, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and instill a relentless pursuit of excellence in their teams. It’s about creating a culture where better is always possible, and the journey of improvement never ends.
Navigating Complexity with Agility
The world of Agile and DevOps is complex, uncertain, and fast-paced. Project managers navigate this complexity with agility, adaptability, and resilience. They embrace change, anticipate challenges, and pivot with precision when the need arises. It’s about being agile in mindset, not just in methodology, and leading with confidence, even in the face of uncertainty.
Focusing on Value, Not Just Delivery
Delivery is important, but value is paramount. The project manager in this Agile-DevOps world focuses on delivering value at every step, ensuring that every effort, every sprint, and every deployment is aligned with the customer’s needs and expectations. It’s about seeing the bigger picture, understanding the end goal, and steering the ship towards delivering real, tangible value.
Mastering the Art of Balance
In the delicate dance of Agile and DevOps, balance is key. The project manager masters the art of balance, juggling the need for speed and innovation with the need for stability and reliability. They understand that the race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running, steadily, reliably, and efficiently.
In Conclusion: A Call to Evolution
In this Agile-DevOps world, the role of the project manager is more critical than ever. It’s a role that requires vision, leadership, and a deep understanding of the nuances of both Agile and DevOps. It’s about stepping up, stepping in, and embracing the transformative journey that lies ahead.
So, to the project managers of the world, this is your call to evolution. Embrace the change, lead with purpose, and step into your new role with confidence and clarity. The world of Agile and DevOps awaits, and your journey of transformation is just beginning. Let’s lead, let’s innovate, and let’s create a future that is as dynamic as it is brilliant.
Embracing the Dance: A Journey into Agile and DevOps
As we stand at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, of the known and the unknown, we reflect on the journey we’ve embarked upon – exploring the realms of Agile and DevOps. This exploration has not just been about understanding methodologies and practices; it’s been a voyage into the very heart of transformation, innovation, and excellence.
Agile and DevOps, when combined, are not just methodologies. They are a revolution, a paradigm shift that breaks down walls, fosters collaboration, and creates a rhythmic dance of continuous improvement. We’ve uncovered the synergies, the natural alignment that exists between Agile and DevOps, revealing a symbiotic relationship that, when embraced, leads to unparalleled excellence.
To the project managers navigating these waters, the message is clear: the world is changing, and so must we. It’s time to shift our mindsets, to embrace the transformative power of Agile and DevOps. The silos of the past, the barriers that once hindered collaboration and innovation, are crumbling. In their place, a new culture is emerging, one that values openness, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of improvement.
The role of the project manager is evolving, transforming into a beacon of leadership, vision, and empowerment. The call to action is unequivocal: integrate Agile and DevOps practices into your workflows, break down the walls, and foster a culture that thrives on collaboration and continuous improvement. Be the change-makers in your organizations, the catalysts for transformation, and the leaders of the new age.
The benefits are clear. When we break down silos, we open up new avenues for communication and collaboration. When we foster a culture of continuous improvement, we create an environment where innovation thrives and excellence is the norm. And when we embrace Agile and DevOps, we unlock the potential to deliver value faster, more efficiently, and with greater impact.
So, to the project managers standing at the frontier of this new world, this is your moment. Embrace the transformative power of Agile and DevOps, lead with vision and purpose, and create a legacy of excellence. The future is ours to shape, and the journey of transformation is just beginning.
Let’s be the architects of change, the champions of collaboration, and the catalysts for continuous improvement. Let’s embrace Agile and DevOps, and let’s create a future that is as brilliant as it is boundless. The time is now. Let’s dance.
Remember, the journey to integrating Agile and DevOps is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Unless, of course, your referring to one of the actual Agile sprints. It requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to question the status quo. But for those who are brave enough to take the first step, the rewards are immeasurable. So, embrace the change, lead with courage, and let’s build a future where excellence is not just the goal, but the standard.