Your Product Is Done

June 13, 2010 CollabNet VersionOne

Some people much wiser than me have made comments such as ‘The cost of   version 3 of software is exponentially greater than version 2.’

Think   about that.  We may never see a ‘version 3’ of ebay or amazon. And   maybe we don’t need to.  The cost of such an endeavor, to replicate what   those applications are providing, would not be trivial and the return   on such an investment may very well never be realized.

In   enterprise software development projects, we see plenty of high version numbers.    Some of this is valid – we learn more about our customers and we  create  solutions to help solve their problems.  If we can say ‘Here is  how  this functionality helps save me time / solve a problem’ – then the   software could be worth writing.  If instead it is ‘It would be cool  if  the software did this’ or the famous ‘we need to re-architect the   solution’ – then we should take a hard look in the mirror.  How many   applications out there have some AJAX functionality just for the glamour   of it?

Software development is a sunk cost.  Understand that and   accept it.  While I am not trying to put people out of work,  understand  that at some point your software is as complete as it needs  to be.   Instead of allowing agile teams to work collaboratively on solving  the next  problem, too often we create work to keep people employed  (more to come  on ‘Resource Planning’).  The changes requested for this  software don’t  create any large tangible benefits, but it will keep the  delivery team  busy for a few months.  Its ok to not have delivery teams trying to  deliver all the time.  Its actually probably cheaper.

Please   don’t focus on keeping people busy to keep them busy.  Instead focus  on  having your teams research and understand what your consumer wants  and  deliver upon that. Not only will you end up with a better offering  and a  competitive advantage, you will find that you now have a highly engaged agile team solving problems and not just going through the   motions.

Read more by Joel Tosi @

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