The various threads, notions, theologies in improving the Probability of Project Success (PoPS) have all addressed the writing of software, production of value from that software - all the motherhood and apple pie statements we know and love around agile.
But none of these approaches can definitively state they come in contact with what DONE looks like in any unit of measure meaningful to the decision maker. And those decision makers are not the developers, they are the people with the money.
Every approach has merit - OK has some merit. But when discussing one approach to developing value over another, several critical success factors must be in place.
- Does the development team actually know what done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the customer. These are usually Measures of Effectiveness?
- Does the development understand that the dollars they are spending are used in the denominator of the Return on Investment calculation the CFO or CIO or CEO uses when she is explaining to the Board of Directors what she is doing with their money - the stock holders money?
- Does the development team realize that someone, somewhere in the company is interested in the Estimate at Completion (EAC) and the Estimate to Complete (ETC), even though they have convinced themselves that would be considered a waste of time in their own private little world?
The point of view of the business, the mission planner, the CFO/CIO/CEO, the share holders, the venture capitalist, the private equity holders, even the brother-in-law who invested in his family's business, is that cost is king. Knowing the cost and the date on which that cost is accrued is how business works. Knowing these numbers to some level of confidence is all that can happen. Every number on a project is a random number, so statistics and probability are needed to have a credible conversation about anything project related.
I pre-applogise to Hugh for editing his picture. Please buy is work for your office, it is inspiring.