SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Beyond Projects 
Or The End of Projects 
and what happens next 
Allan Kelly 
allan@softwarestrategy.co.uk 
http://www.softwarestrategy.co.uk 
Twitter: @allankelly.net 
#BeyondProjects 
Agile Tour London, October 2014
Allan Kelly… 
 Provide advice on software 
development & business strategy 
 Training in Agile, Coaching, 
Consulting 
Author 
– Xanpan: Team Centric Agile Software 
Development https://leanpub.com/xanpan 
– Business Patterns for Software Developers 
(2012, Wiley - ISBN: 978-1119999249) 
– Changing Software Development: Learning 
to be Agile (2008, Wiley)
Problem #1 - Benefit 
Project Success Criteria 
• On Schedule 
• On Budget 
• On Quality (Features) 
Where’s the 
value? 
£ $ €
Project Model Assumptions 
1. Value is knowable 
And is known before start 
2. There is no value in flexibility 
i.e. Options are valueless
Pre-defined outcome? 
Requirements change 
The world changes 
Compound to 
~27% per annum 
The observed rate of change 
in the US is about 2% per 
calendar month 
Capers Jones, 2008
IT/IS & Business Manager survey 
70% believe they are failing to identify and 
quantify the benefits adequately 
38% openly admit they overstate the benefits in 
order to obtain funding 
80% report that the review and evaluation of 
completed projects is also inadequate 
due to the focus on [achieving] cost, time and quality 
objectives and not on whether the intended benefits 
were realized. 
Delivering value from IS and IT investments, John Ward, Cranfield School of Management, 
2006 – survey of UK & Benelux managers http://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamic-content/ 
research/documents/deliveringvaluereport.pdf
The Project 
model leads 
to… 
Conflict and…. 
Goal displacement 
– Chasing date over benefit 
– Chasing time over benefit 
– Chasing cost over benefit 
– Chasing features over benefit
Solution
Focus on Benefit not The End 
Ask not, “When will the 
software be done?” 
Do ask: “When will the 
software deliver value next?” 
Think: Stream of Value 
(which might stop one day) 
Not: An end date
Change Governance 
• Base Governance on actual 
delivered benefits 
– Not milestones completed 
– Not documents 
– Not budgets 
Picture from Picasa - Creative Commons License 
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:House_of_Parliment_6_201 
2-07-08.jpg 
What have 
you delivered 
for me lately?
Governance based on results 
• Experiment friendly 
– Failure tolerant 
– Fail fast, fail cheap (salvage) 
• Align with strategy 
• Governance through Iterative Portfolio 
Management
Iterative Portfolio Management 
• Fixed schedule for gate reviews 
• Review what is ready on a date 
– Benefit delivered to date 
– Potential benefit if continued
Problem #2 – The End 
Software isn’t temporary
Successful software doesn’t stop 
Successful software continues to change 
Only dead software has an end-date
Successful 
software? 
Moodle 
Weekly downloads: 23,239 
Last update: 3 days (16 Jan) 
Web Torrent 
Weekly downloads: 0 
Last update: 17 April 2013 (9mths) 
PerlLORD 
Weekly downloads: 0 
Last update: 25 May 2013 (8mths) 
1) If they use it, 
it will change 
2) Only Dead 
Software Stops 
changing 
Data from SourceForge search 
for “WebBrowser” 19 Jan 2014
End dates damage quality 
• Short term thinking leads to… 
– Corner cutting 
– Known & unfixed bugs 
– Residual technical debt 
– Knowledge lost
End Date considered harmful 
Late requirements considered inferior
A Project is… 
“A temporary organization that is needed to 
produce a unique and predefined outcome 
or result at a pre-specified time using 
predetermined resources.” 
PRINCE2 definition 
of project
A project is…. 
"PMI defines a project by its two key 
characteristics: 
• it is temporary and 
• undertaken to create a product, service, or 
result that is unique." 
Project Management Institute - http://pm4id.org/1/2/
Software 
Development 
Project 
Management 
A Match Made in Hell 
Project Management is for TEMPORARY 
Software is FOREVER
Rational end dates? 
In the US more than half of the large 
projects … predetermined end date is 
selected, and it is forced on the project 
by arbitrary decree. 
Capers Jones, 2008
Solution 
• Work to the business deadline 
– Do what you can in the time 
– Do good work
Deadlines Good 
End dates Bad
Temporary organizations 
The most destructive idea known to software 
development
Temporary Organization? 
• Storming 
• Norming 
• Forming 
• Performing 
• Destroying 
}Takes time & 
money! 
Why destroy performing teams? 
Why spend that money? 
Why loose knowledge?
Temporary organizations 
The most destructive idea known to software 
Disbanding teams destroys 
– Knowledge 
– Capability 
– Performance 
development
Corporate Psychopathy 
Process by which corporations 
disband performing teams and 
release staff
Solution 
Base work around stable 
– Teams 
Aim for continuity
Continuous flow 
Continuous improvement 
Continuous delivery 
Continuous benefit 
Continuous not Temporary
No Projects - Beyond Projects (Refreshed version)
Organize by business stream & team 
Stream #1 Dev Team 
• Aim for stable teams & continuity 
• Close to business 
• Manage queues within capacity
What to do about it… 
• Keep teams together 
• Flow work to the teams 
• Work in the small 
• Work continually 
• Demonstrate value
Problem #4 – Projects are Big 
• Project model is optimized for big 
• Used on small pieces of work it inefficient 
• Projects push big decisions up 
– to big men 
– with big cheque books 
– top-down authority
Software development… 
• Does NOT have economies of Scale 
• Development has DISECONOMIES of scale
Milk is cheapest 
in BIG cartons 
Software is 
cheapest in 
lots of small 
cartons 
And small cartons 
of software 
reduce risk
Big increases 
risk
Solution
Software development… 
• Does NOT have economies of Scale 
• Development has DISECONOMIES of scale 
Therefore 
• Stop thinking BIG 
• Start thinking SMALL
Project A: Risk = 30% Value at risk = £1m 
Therefore risk weighted value = £300,000 
Consider a large project 
Against several small 
projects 
Prj B: Risk = 15% 
Value @ risk = £½m 
Therefore … = £75,000 
Prj C: Risk = 15% 
Value @risk = £½m 
Therefore … = £75,000 
E: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k 
F: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k 
G: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k 
H: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k 
I: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k 
J: Risk = 6% 
@risk = £200k 
Therefore = £12k
Big Batch Size 
Wait Wait 
Build this! Deliver this! Make lots of this!
Small Batch Size 
… and keep going
The End of Projects 
• Projects are accounting codes 
• Finished Software is Dead Software 
– Living software changes 
– Dead software doesn’t 
– Living software doesn’t end 
• Project thinking kills software
Wait a minute…. 
Project 
Manager 
Not fair! 
You misrepresent us! 
So what is “A project”? 
Why does Prince 2 
contain this definition? 
And what does a “Project 
Manager” actually Manage? 
We don’t 
- Break up teams 
- Stick doggedly to 
requirements 
We do 
- Allow change 
- Consider value 
- Work continually
Problem #3: Language
“False Projects” 
When the language of projects is used to 
discuss work which is not a project 
Confusion! 
Stop confusing people 
Stop misleading 
yourselves
Beyond Projects 
A new model….
Waterfall 2.0 
Continuous Flow 
Jonathon’s Run Fall, Pennsylvania by Hubert Stoffels (http://flickr.com/photos/22195940@N00) 
Creative Commons License
Continuous flow 
• Work in the small 
• Get good at doing small things 
– Deliver small increments of value 
– And evaluate results 
• Go fast 
• Value seeking 
• Repeat, don’t stop
Organize for… 
Work management optimized for small 
– Lots of small decisions 
– Devolved authority 
Base work around stable 
– Teams 
Aim for continuity
Could this ever work? 
• Governance by results? 
• Fail fast, fail cheap? 
Seems to work 
well on Sand 
Hill Road …
Xanpan 
Beyond Projects 
• It ain’t ever over 
• BAU is not a dirty work 
allan kelly 
allan@allankelly.net 
www.softwarestrategy.co.uk 
Twitter: @allankellynet 
eBook https://leanpub.com/xanpan 
Print http://tinyurl.com/nnu7hom 
Discount code AgileTour14 $8 (1 week)

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No Projects - Beyond Projects (Refreshed version)

  • 1. Beyond Projects Or The End of Projects and what happens next Allan Kelly allan@softwarestrategy.co.uk http://www.softwarestrategy.co.uk Twitter: @allankelly.net #BeyondProjects Agile Tour London, October 2014
  • 2. Allan Kelly…  Provide advice on software development & business strategy  Training in Agile, Coaching, Consulting Author – Xanpan: Team Centric Agile Software Development https://leanpub.com/xanpan – Business Patterns for Software Developers (2012, Wiley - ISBN: 978-1119999249) – Changing Software Development: Learning to be Agile (2008, Wiley)
  • 3. Problem #1 - Benefit Project Success Criteria • On Schedule • On Budget • On Quality (Features) Where’s the value? £ $ €
  • 4. Project Model Assumptions 1. Value is knowable And is known before start 2. There is no value in flexibility i.e. Options are valueless
  • 5. Pre-defined outcome? Requirements change The world changes Compound to ~27% per annum The observed rate of change in the US is about 2% per calendar month Capers Jones, 2008
  • 6. IT/IS & Business Manager survey 70% believe they are failing to identify and quantify the benefits adequately 38% openly admit they overstate the benefits in order to obtain funding 80% report that the review and evaluation of completed projects is also inadequate due to the focus on [achieving] cost, time and quality objectives and not on whether the intended benefits were realized. Delivering value from IS and IT investments, John Ward, Cranfield School of Management, 2006 – survey of UK & Benelux managers http://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamic-content/ research/documents/deliveringvaluereport.pdf
  • 7. The Project model leads to… Conflict and…. Goal displacement – Chasing date over benefit – Chasing time over benefit – Chasing cost over benefit – Chasing features over benefit
  • 9. Focus on Benefit not The End Ask not, “When will the software be done?” Do ask: “When will the software deliver value next?” Think: Stream of Value (which might stop one day) Not: An end date
  • 10. Change Governance • Base Governance on actual delivered benefits – Not milestones completed – Not documents – Not budgets Picture from Picasa - Creative Commons License http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:House_of_Parliment_6_201 2-07-08.jpg What have you delivered for me lately?
  • 11. Governance based on results • Experiment friendly – Failure tolerant – Fail fast, fail cheap (salvage) • Align with strategy • Governance through Iterative Portfolio Management
  • 12. Iterative Portfolio Management • Fixed schedule for gate reviews • Review what is ready on a date – Benefit delivered to date – Potential benefit if continued
  • 13. Problem #2 – The End Software isn’t temporary
  • 14. Successful software doesn’t stop Successful software continues to change Only dead software has an end-date
  • 15. Successful software? Moodle Weekly downloads: 23,239 Last update: 3 days (16 Jan) Web Torrent Weekly downloads: 0 Last update: 17 April 2013 (9mths) PerlLORD Weekly downloads: 0 Last update: 25 May 2013 (8mths) 1) If they use it, it will change 2) Only Dead Software Stops changing Data from SourceForge search for “WebBrowser” 19 Jan 2014
  • 16. End dates damage quality • Short term thinking leads to… – Corner cutting – Known & unfixed bugs – Residual technical debt – Knowledge lost
  • 17. End Date considered harmful Late requirements considered inferior
  • 18. A Project is… “A temporary organization that is needed to produce a unique and predefined outcome or result at a pre-specified time using predetermined resources.” PRINCE2 definition of project
  • 19. A project is…. "PMI defines a project by its two key characteristics: • it is temporary and • undertaken to create a product, service, or result that is unique." Project Management Institute - http://pm4id.org/1/2/
  • 20. Software Development Project Management A Match Made in Hell Project Management is for TEMPORARY Software is FOREVER
  • 21. Rational end dates? In the US more than half of the large projects … predetermined end date is selected, and it is forced on the project by arbitrary decree. Capers Jones, 2008
  • 22. Solution • Work to the business deadline – Do what you can in the time – Do good work
  • 23. Deadlines Good End dates Bad
  • 24. Temporary organizations The most destructive idea known to software development
  • 25. Temporary Organization? • Storming • Norming • Forming • Performing • Destroying }Takes time & money! Why destroy performing teams? Why spend that money? Why loose knowledge?
  • 26. Temporary organizations The most destructive idea known to software Disbanding teams destroys – Knowledge – Capability – Performance development
  • 27. Corporate Psychopathy Process by which corporations disband performing teams and release staff
  • 28. Solution Base work around stable – Teams Aim for continuity
  • 29. Continuous flow Continuous improvement Continuous delivery Continuous benefit Continuous not Temporary
  • 31. Organize by business stream & team Stream #1 Dev Team • Aim for stable teams & continuity • Close to business • Manage queues within capacity
  • 32. What to do about it… • Keep teams together • Flow work to the teams • Work in the small • Work continually • Demonstrate value
  • 33. Problem #4 – Projects are Big • Project model is optimized for big • Used on small pieces of work it inefficient • Projects push big decisions up – to big men – with big cheque books – top-down authority
  • 34. Software development… • Does NOT have economies of Scale • Development has DISECONOMIES of scale
  • 35. Milk is cheapest in BIG cartons Software is cheapest in lots of small cartons And small cartons of software reduce risk
  • 38. Software development… • Does NOT have economies of Scale • Development has DISECONOMIES of scale Therefore • Stop thinking BIG • Start thinking SMALL
  • 39. Project A: Risk = 30% Value at risk = £1m Therefore risk weighted value = £300,000 Consider a large project Against several small projects Prj B: Risk = 15% Value @ risk = £½m Therefore … = £75,000 Prj C: Risk = 15% Value @risk = £½m Therefore … = £75,000 E: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k F: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k G: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k H: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k I: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k J: Risk = 6% @risk = £200k Therefore = £12k
  • 40. Big Batch Size Wait Wait Build this! Deliver this! Make lots of this!
  • 41. Small Batch Size … and keep going
  • 42. The End of Projects • Projects are accounting codes • Finished Software is Dead Software – Living software changes – Dead software doesn’t – Living software doesn’t end • Project thinking kills software
  • 43. Wait a minute…. Project Manager Not fair! You misrepresent us! So what is “A project”? Why does Prince 2 contain this definition? And what does a “Project Manager” actually Manage? We don’t - Break up teams - Stick doggedly to requirements We do - Allow change - Consider value - Work continually
  • 45. “False Projects” When the language of projects is used to discuss work which is not a project Confusion! Stop confusing people Stop misleading yourselves
  • 46. Beyond Projects A new model….
  • 47. Waterfall 2.0 Continuous Flow Jonathon’s Run Fall, Pennsylvania by Hubert Stoffels (http://flickr.com/photos/22195940@N00) Creative Commons License
  • 48. Continuous flow • Work in the small • Get good at doing small things – Deliver small increments of value – And evaluate results • Go fast • Value seeking • Repeat, don’t stop
  • 49. Organize for… Work management optimized for small – Lots of small decisions – Devolved authority Base work around stable – Teams Aim for continuity
  • 50. Could this ever work? • Governance by results? • Fail fast, fail cheap? Seems to work well on Sand Hill Road …
  • 51. Xanpan Beyond Projects • It ain’t ever over • BAU is not a dirty work allan kelly allan@allankelly.net www.softwarestrategy.co.uk Twitter: @allankellynet eBook https://leanpub.com/xanpan Print http://tinyurl.com/nnu7hom Discount code AgileTour14 $8 (1 week)

Editor's Notes

  1. Public domain image, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sausage_making-H-3.JPG