- 32% of all projects succeed
- 44% of all projects were challenged
- 24% of all projects failed
I teach my Scrum students about 5 perspectives on success, depending on who you are:
- As a developer: success is fun and learning. A good working climate and personal development.
- As a PL: satisfy the constraints of the Iron Triangle
- As the line manager: business units are happy - line management gets to deal with escalations. (Or for a programming shop: the salesperson who is happy when the customers are happy).
- As the user: "the product helps me do important things better and easier than before. I am thrilled and want to use the product."
- As the investor/sponsor/paying customer: a good ROI (however defined
Which of these is most overrated? My vote: Satisfying the Iron Triangle. Why do I say this? So many participants in my Product Owner courses, when asked what was their worst professional disaster, responded 'We built the product, but no one wanted it. The whole effort in time and money was for nothing.' Focusing on the project leaders definition of success misses the user and sponsor's view of success completely.
Want your project to be a success?
- Figure out who your customers and users are. Make sure they will be thrilled with what you build.
- Figure what what the product should earn for the company and what it should cost.
- Assume it will produce half of what you estimate and cost twice as much. Is it still profitable? If not, think twice about doing the project.
- Figure out what is the minimum set of functionality to get your customers excited about your product. Build that (more or less - you are probably going to learn more about/from your customers and your product along the way, which will change your understanding of what you need to build)
- Stay focused on delivering value to your customer. Do Scrum.