Beyond Deadlines

Posted in By waelouf 0 comments

There has to be more to success than meeting deadlines... but what?

When I was a kid, I was happy just to play around. I loved the challenge of programming. When I got a program to work, it was a major victory. Back then, even a program that didn’t work was a success of some sort, as long as I had fun writing it. My definition of success centered on personal rewards.

As I gained experience, my software became more complicated and I often lost track of how it worked.
I had to abandon some programs before they were finished. I began to believe that maintainability was the key to success—an idea that was confirmed as I entered the workforce and began working with teams of other programmers. I prided myself on producing elegant, maintainable code. Success meant technical excellence.

Despite good code, some projects flopped. Even impeccably executed projects could elicit yawns from users. I came to realize that my project teams were part of a larger ecosystem involving dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people. My projects needed to satisfy those people ... particularly the ones signing my paycheck. In fact, for the people funding the work, the value of the software had to exceed its cost. Success meant delivering value to the organization.

These definitions aren’t incompatible. All three types of success are important . Without personal success, you’ll have trouble motivating yourself and employees. Without technical success, your source code will eventually collapse under its own weight. Without organizational success, your team may find that they’re no longer wanted in the company.

The art of agile development
By James Shore, Shane Warden