Saturday, September 30, 2023

Software and Projects

How can we simplify things, to add value as early as possible?

Software Projects is a misconception within Software Development. When organizing work into Projects, one might think that there also is a need to estimate the things to be done. Because the Project itself is by definition something that will end, or more likely be delayed.

From my experience, estimation is only adding anxiety and sometimes actually delaying value. I have experienced the same thing with Projects and fixed release dates.

Instead, we could flip it: how can we simplify, to add value for our users as early as possible?

Flip it!

In a team that I was part of some time ago, the Product Managers challenged us by asking those kind of questions. We (the Developers) were at the beginning intimidated, because we had the idea of building the perfect kind of feature and usually we spent time on figuring out & cover as many scenarios as we could imagine. The not-great thing with that approach is that it will likely increase the cost, because it would take longer time and more effort to deliver value for the users of the product.

Think Different

The Product Management folks kept challenging us to think different, and we begun to find ways of delivering smaller parts of the product within days (instead of months). We wouldn't be able to release an entire feature, of course. Far from it. Instead, it would be something - sometimes just a tiny addition - that people could use to simplify their daily work life. They actually did that, we saw it ourselves. There was value added, within a couple of days of development!

Smaller parts

There was no need for us (the Dev Team) to put any Fibonacci numbers or estimating hours to the tasks we identified should be developed. We stopped doing those stressful Big Bang Releases of huge chunks of code. Instead, we found ways to simplify tasks - splitting them out into several smaller parts - to make it possible to push the work to production within days. In my opinion, Projects, Estimation and Deadlines are rarely adding value. Why are there so many Organizations out there still doing that?

Top photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

No comments: