Explore, Expand, Extract Pattern

You want to do things right and love the feeling of well structured code, spreadsheets, wiki pages, or other works.


Things are slow: The pursuit of quality is giving you the reputation of slowing down the organisation.

Or things are messy: Ignoring tasks that are not on the path has left you with Lava Architecture or similar.

Or both and this is a prioritisation problem.


Explore, Expand, Extract is a framework explained by Kent Beck.

"Fit the punishment to the crime. Neither over- nor under-do rigor, creativity, safety, planning, and reaction." --Kent Beck, 2022. Source

Choosing quality for everything is like boiling the ocean when all you want is a cup of tea. Use this categorisation to prioritise what to work on.


Review your Fleeting Notes and classify each task. Use 1 Pomodoro on exploration, 2 on expansion, or 4 for expansion.

Review your Projects and classify them as explore, expand or extract. Prioritise them with the same ratios.


I think Ian Cooper might support this too.

I think Sandi Metz would support this too.

See Patterns List for the complete list of all patterns on this wiki.