Cancel Successful Projects

I recently stumbled across Mark Schwartz again as Jude is reading two of his books that I highly recommend for anyone working in IT and Agile, The Art of Business Value and A Seat at the Table. His writing challenges whether we know what we really mean when we say that Agile delivers more business value than waterfall. Sure people say it all the time, but what does it mean, and how do we know?

Challenging ourselves and looking a bit deeper at common assumptions is a great way to know that you know something. Take for example this blog post by Mark saying you should cancel successful projects not failing ones. He covers this idea more completely in one of his books and it’s a great way to think about delivering business value.

At what point does the ROI for a successful project no longer make sense? Have you even every asked that question? At some point in a project there is a diminishing return on the time and effort put into it. This may even come at a time when everyone wants to get on board the winning idea to be with a winner.

Diminishing Returns Image

As beautifully illustrated in the above graph, we do not get out of projects early enough. We hang on to projects, often still putting in as much work but for an ever reducing return on that effort and investment. Only when most see things declining do they stop working on the project. We are flawed beings and need to be reminded of this and that is why I liked reading Marks books.

Written on September 26, 2018
[ DevOps  Mark-Schwartz  ]