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SOFTWARE
PROJECT
EXCELLENCETATHAGAT VARMA
KNOWLEDGEPRENEUR
HTTP://THOUGHTLEADERSHIP.IN
A $7 Billion Disaster…
doesn’t happen by accident!
http://youtu.be/0_O5bcq1dBw
When failures are routine…
Success seems like an exception!
Failed

19%
Challenged

52%
Successful

29%
CHAOS Report 2015 ...
Overruns are normal…
and might perhaps be sign of life, after all!
http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-tec...
Happily struggling.
At least since 1994 :)
CHAOS Report Data, 1994-2015
How does a project
get to be a year
late?
Fred Brooks,
The Mythical Man-Month, 1975
…One day at a time!
Projects die slow death…
Day-to-day decline is often invisible!
“…When one hears of disastrous
schedule slippage in a proj...
Imagine a project…
Pretty much anything can be seen as one!
Scope:
whatever
you can
implement
Time:
whenever
you are
ready...
Iron Triangle of PM
Constraints facilitate success criteria!
Cost
Time
Scope
Holy Grail of Software
Faster, Better, Cheaper
Increase Scope

Decrease Time

Decrease Cost
Reality…?
You can choose only two at a time!
Increase Scope
Keep time fixed => Costs Go Up!

Keep cost fixed => Time Goes Up...
Case Study: Delhi Metro
Modern day wonder…from India!
https://youtu.be/eYLQbPaQpnM
Delhi Metro
Timeline and Achievements
1995: Planning began

1998: Construction started

2002: First trains ran

2016: 2.6m...
Case Study: Medtronic
Timeline
1949: $8 revenue in first month of operation!

1962: Revenue $500,000. Losses $144,000. On t...
Medtronic
The original Roadmap
The Art of Business: In the Footsteps of Giants - Raymond Tzuu Yeh, et all
Reinventing Medtronic
Increased R&D budget from 9% to 12%

Initiated 12 radical innovations that challenged traditional bu...
15 Keys to R&D Success
Art Colins, 2016
1. While organizational structure and process count, creative and
motivated people...
6. Since every new product has a defined life cycle and endpoint, time to market is critical for
overall success.

7. Inclu...
Any hope for
software ?
Success Factors
Executive Sponsorship
Emotional Maturity
User Involvement
Optimization
Skilled Resources
Standard Architec...
Waterfall vs. Agile
15%
30%
45%
60%
Waterfall Agile
18%
3%
27%
7%
58%
44%
Small Size Projects Medium Size Projects Large S...
Agile Manifesto, 2001
agilemanifesto.org
Benefits from Agile
VersionOne 10th State of Agile Report, 2016
Recap
Projects are vehicles of progress. The higher the risk,
the larger its impact. However, high risk often invites
fail...
References
The Mythical Man-Month - Fred Brooks

Interview: Jim Johnson of the Standish Group, https://
www.infoq.com/arti...
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Software Project Excellence

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My talk at Stryker on their Project Management Day in Gurgaon, Sep 21

Published in: Software
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Software Project Excellence

  1. 1. SOFTWARE PROJECT EXCELLENCETATHAGAT VARMA KNOWLEDGEPRENEUR HTTP://THOUGHTLEADERSHIP.IN
  2. 2. A $7 Billion Disaster… doesn’t happen by accident! http://youtu.be/0_O5bcq1dBw
  3. 3. When failures are routine… Success seems like an exception! Failed 19% Challenged 52% Successful 29% CHAOS Report 2015 studied 50,000 projects, https://www.infoq.com/articles/standish-chaos-2015
  4. 4. Overruns are normal… and might perhaps be sign of life, after all! http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value
  5. 5. Happily struggling. At least since 1994 :) CHAOS Report Data, 1994-2015
  6. 6. How does a project get to be a year late? Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, 1975 …One day at a time!
  7. 7. Projects die slow death… Day-to-day decline is often invisible! “…When one hears of disastrous schedule slippage in a project, he imagines that a series of major calamities must have befallen it. Usually, however, the disaster is due to termites, not tornadoes; and the schedule has slipped imperceptibly but inexorably.” Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, 1975
  8. 8. Imagine a project… Pretty much anything can be seen as one! Scope: whatever you can implement Time: whenever you are ready Cost: whatever it costs
  9. 9. Iron Triangle of PM Constraints facilitate success criteria! Cost Time Scope
  10. 10. Holy Grail of Software Faster, Better, Cheaper Increase Scope Decrease Time Decrease Cost
  11. 11. Reality…? You can choose only two at a time! Increase Scope Keep time fixed => Costs Go Up! Keep cost fixed => Time Goes Up! Decrease Time Keep Scope fixed => Costs Go Up! Keep Cost fixed => Scope Must Come Down! Decrease Cost Keep Scope fixed => Time Goes Up! Keep Time fixed => Scope Must Come Down!
  12. 12. Case Study: Delhi Metro Modern day wonder…from India! https://youtu.be/eYLQbPaQpnM
  13. 13. Delhi Metro Timeline and Achievements 1995: Planning began 1998: Construction started 2002: First trains ran 2016: 2.6m passengers a day 2021: To carry 6m passengers a day. Will be bigger than London Metro Credentials: Every stage completed on time, within budget 99.97% trains arrive within a minute of schedule They are clean, cool and safe It is profitable! http://www.smh.com.au/comment/delhis-metro-success-a-lesson-for-australia-20130401-2h2w8.html
  14. 14. Case Study: Medtronic Timeline 1949: $8 revenue in first month of operation! 1962: Revenue $500,000. Losses $144,000. On the edge of bankruptcy 1963: Revenue $985,000. Profits $73,000. 1980-90s: Enjoyed 18%+ y-o-y growth 1989: 2 year old products accounted for 40% revenues, up from 14% just 6 years back Company 53,000 Patents Employees with good ideas given $50k initial funding More than 2/3rd revenue come from products introduced in last two years http://www.medtronic.com.au/about-medtronic/our-story/index.htm
  15. 15. Medtronic The original Roadmap The Art of Business: In the Footsteps of Giants - Raymond Tzuu Yeh, et all
  16. 16. Reinventing Medtronic Increased R&D budget from 9% to 12% Initiated 12 radical innovations that challenged traditional businesses Organised around small venture units, incubating them separately (and far away) from existing businesses, with full support from execs. Had independent budgets and greater freedom to deploy these “small bets” Examples: reinvention of mainstream coronary artery bypass surgery. Now accounts for 20% of heart surgeries! Super low-cost pacemaker that reduced production costs by 80%. but never became a big seller, but its ideas led to 40% cost reduction across the product lines. https://hbr.org/2012/11/this-article-led-to-10-years-of-growth
  17. 17. 15 Keys to R&D Success Art Colins, 2016 1. While organizational structure and process count, creative and motivated people ultimately make the difference. 2. The popular concept of “Too Big Too Fail” that has been used to describe some mega banks can be modified to read “Too Big Will Fail” for most R&D organizations. 3. Beware of excess layers of bureaucracy and unnecessary meetings—if an activity or structure adds value, streamline it; if not, get rid of it. 4. Listen to your customer, and ALWAYS clearly define what problem you are solving for BEFORE commencing any R&D project. 5. Only invent what is required: greater invention (both amount and magnitude) = greater complexity and risk. http://acorn-advisors.com/fifteen-keys-to-research-and-development-success/
  18. 18. 6. Since every new product has a defined life cycle and endpoint, time to market is critical for overall success. 7. Include early input from those who will eventually bring the product to market (e.g., clinical & regulatory, manufacturing & distribution, marketing & sales, etc.). 8. Clearly define objectives, assign authority and responsibility for key activities and decision- making, and always focus on the critical path items. 9. Be aggressively realistic with schedules—create a sense of urgency, but remember that “all green lights” scenarios hardly ever happen. 10.Don’t be afraid to go outside for expertise if it is needed, continually guarding against the “not invented here” syndrome. 11.Killing a project that will never be successful does not equate to failure; R&D teams should be rewarded rather than punished if they recommend this course of action. 12.Attempting too many projects at once generally ensures that none of the projects will be successfully concluded. 13.Encourage people to attack ideas, but never each other—this is very easy to say, but hard to put into practice. 14.ALWAYS comply with existing laws and regulatory requirements, and NEVER sacrifice safety. 15.Don’t forget to celebrate individual and team victories (both large and small) as they occur —and while you should take what you do very seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously!
  19. 19. Any hope for software ?
  20. 20. Success Factors Executive Sponsorship Emotional Maturity User Involvement Optimization Skilled Resources Standard Architecture Agile Process Modest Execution Project Management Expertize Clear Business Objectives 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 10% 15% 15% 15% 15% CHAOS Report 2015, https://www.infoq.com/articles/standish-chaos-2015
  21. 21. Waterfall vs. Agile 15% 30% 45% 60% Waterfall Agile 18% 3% 27% 7% 58% 44% Small Size Projects Medium Size Projects Large Size Projects
  22. 22. Agile Manifesto, 2001 agilemanifesto.org
  23. 23. Benefits from Agile VersionOne 10th State of Agile Report, 2016
  24. 24. Recap Projects are vehicles of progress. The higher the risk, the larger its impact. However, high risk often invites failures! However, projects by themselves are fairly useless! It is the people who plan, execute and deliver them. In software, agile has better success rate than traditional waterfall-driven methods. Agile is more of mindset and culture than method, process and tools
  25. 25. References The Mythical Man-Month - Fred Brooks Interview: Jim Johnson of the Standish Group, https:// www.infoq.com/articles/Interview-Johnson-Standish- CHAOS Standish Group 2015 Chaos Report - Q&A with Jennifer Lynch, https://www.infoq.com/articles/standish-chaos-2015 The Idea that Led to 10 Years of Double-Digit Growth, https://hbr.org/2012/11/this-article-led-to-10-years-of- growth

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