A typical beginner’s mistake is to start writing features without seeing the big picture — the big picture is a product of synthesis after research.
So it is critical to know the big picture first. It is like playing chess…you just don’t start moving a piece without scanning the board first… the whole board…and understanding the position on hand… before you can even formulate a strategy… and the tactic or series of tactics to achieve the strategy.
Once you have the big picture…you then can start looking for the most important piece of the puzzle to work on. Then progressively work on the next important…and so on an so forth. Do not focus on big up front design… you plan and work as you go…keeping in mind two things: Prioritize the work…and sequence the work in right order and time. Be strategic in thinking. First things first.
I know… it is not a science…it is an art, from my perspective. To me, this approach is much like playing chess…have a strategic and tactical mind…with a view of the whole board… grounded by the current realities on the board…planning for the most important move first…then the next…inching strategically and tactically towards achieving the objective.
Big upfront design (BUFD) has no place in lean-agile; BUFD-Lean-Agile is oxymoron. Lean-Agile is ‘Plan as you go’… assuming variability and keeping options open (SAFe Principle #5).
Remember — you do not want to tighten up the features too much in “Continuous Exploration”… leave some work with the team and cross-domain teams for the PI Planning.