Agile Manifesto: Principle #7
In honour of the 20 year anniversary of the Agile Manifesto, each monthly blog this year will focus on one of the twelve principles.
"Working software is the primary measure of progress."
It seems that this principle often comes into question but in a more subtle way. In general, everybody is in agreement that we need to release software to receive value. However, the demands of regulatory compliance (for example) can impose documentation requirements that become a higher priority than writing code.
Nobody is suggesting that we ignore regulatory requirements. Doing so could be met with extraordinary fines and potential damage to an organization's reputation. In many cases, regulatory compliance can be met by taking an Agile approach as well. These requirements should be treated as backlog items and sized appropriately. In some cases, these requirements can be proven by supporting automated tests. Furthermore, it is likely that much of the documentation side of things can be automated as well.
While this approach seems to make sense, the common push back is that no one wants to slow down. While it does take time to put these automation pieces in place, it saves a lot of time. It will enable you to go faster, later.
Treat everything as if it's code.