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Re: [XP] Defining IT Project Success

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  • John Roth
    Quite interesting. A few things jump out at me: 1. All three groups defined importance in the same order: scope, time, money, with staff floating depending on
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 2, 2007
      Quite interesting. A few things jump out at me:

      1. All three groups defined importance in the
      same order: scope, time, money, with staff
      floating depending on the group. I'm mulling the
      notion of running the rankings through a Condorcet
      filter to see what comes out.

      2. There is, as noted, a preponderance of IT
      staff, and a dearth of actual stakeholders. It
      would be really interesting to see a major consultancy
      redo the survey.

      One interesting point is that XP defines time
      as more important than scope; maybe we should
      think about this?

      John Roth


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Scott Ambler" <scottwambler@...>
      To: <ambysoft@yahoogroups.com>; <agilemodeling@yahoogroups.com>;
      <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 6:53 AM
      Subject: [XP] Defining IT Project Success


      > My December column, "Defining Success", is now posted
      > at
      > http://www.ddj.com/architect/202800777?cid=Ambysoft.
      > It summarizes the results of an August survey that we
      > did at Dr. Dobb's Journal which explored how people
      > actually define success for IT projects and what the
      > actual success rates are. Some of the findings:
      > 1. Agile projects have a 71.5% success rate,
      > traditional projects a 62.8% success rate, and
      > offshoring a 42.7% success rate.
      > 2. 61.3% of respondents believe that delivering when
      > the system is ready to be shipped is more important
      > than delivering on schedule.
      > 3. 79.6% of respondents believe that providing the
      > best ROI is more important than delivering under
      > budget.
      > 4. 87.3% of respondents believe that meeting actual
      > needs of stakeholders is more important than building
      > the system to specification.
      > 5. 87.3% of respondents believe that delivering high
      > quality is more important than delivering on time and
      > on budget.
      > 6. 75.8% of respondents believe that having a healthy
      > workplace is more important than delivering on time
      > and on budget.
      >
      > The survey measures success as defined by the
      > respondent, it does not force a definition of success
      > on them. As a result these figures vary significantly
      > from those of the Standish Group's Chaos Report which
      > reports a 34% success rate and a 51% "challenged"
      > rate. Standish defines success as "on time, on
      > budget, meeting the spec", but that definition doesn't
      > seem to hold when we ask people what they actually
      > value. I'm not convinced that it's appropriate to
      > force a definition of success on people, regardless of
      > how easy it would be to process the resulting data.
      >
      > It's interesting to note that people's definition of
      > success, including business stakeholders, is much more
      > closely aligned to agile values and principles than it
      > is towards traditional ones.
      >
      > As usual the full source data (without identifying
      > information), the questions as they were asked of
      > people, and a summary slide deck is posted is posted
      > at http://www.ambysoft.com/surveys/success2007.html .
      > I'm a firm believer in opening up work such as this as
      > much as possible. We've potentially been misled as an
      > industry for quite awhile by the results of a closed
      > survey, and I suspect that it's harmed our reputation
      > as professionals. Enough is enough.
      >
      > - Scott
      >
      > Scott W. Ambler
      > Practice Leader Agile Development, IBM Methods Group
      > http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/bios/ambler.html
      > Agility at Scale: http://www.ibm.com/rational/agile/
      >
      >
      > Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk email
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    • Ron Jeffries
      Hello, John. On Friday, November 2, 2007, at 11:40:30 AM, you ... I suggest strongly that the scope time notion is a developer one. I think we d find that
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 2, 2007
        Hello, John. On Friday, November 2, 2007, at 11:40:30 AM, you
        wrote:

        > One interesting point is that XP defines time
        > as more important than scope; maybe we should
        > think about this?

        I suggest strongly that the scope > time notion is a developer one.
        I think we'd find that the business side people need things soon,
        and that if they knew how to ask for things incrementally they would
        ship sooner, not later, and would likely drop a bunch of stuff.

        Most would-be Agile teams that I visit are not yet good at the
        done=done thing, and the results of this include:

        - not ready to ship until [much] later;
        - system not readily demonstrable to business;
        - system certainly not usable by business;
        - reduced value of scope control by business,
        because it doesn't really run anyway.

        If the above state of affairs holds on a project -- and as I say, it
        does hold on most of the projects I see -- that project isn't even
        doing Scrum, much less real Agile, much much less even an
        approximation to XP.

        I've done a lot of projects and taken a lot of heat. In future, I
        would automatically hit the date with whatever highest priority
        functionality I could glean. And I'd work iteratively, so that the
        gleaning would be done by the business side people, not the techies.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        I could be wrong, but I'm not. --Eagles, Victim of Love
        (this one wasn't random)
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