This evening I attending the monthly Agile Leadership Network event. I noticed a very familiar slide on Waste In Software Projects. It looks familiar because I have it in my training deck as well! Yes, my Introduction to Agile class has a slide that credits the Standish Group Study reported at XP2002 by Jim Johnson, Chairman. In reviewing software systems, Jim Johnston, Chairman of the Standish Group, determined that in systems defined and delivered using a traditional / waterfall style approach almost half of all features developed and paid for are never used. The question this evening was, for the 45% of the features that were never used, what was the cost incurred? Well, I can tell you it’s probably a lot more than 45% of the budget! What if the features that were never used were actually the most costly as well? The rule we should learn here is we should eliminate the waste at the source, before it makes it all the way to the Production environment. If a feature or product is never used, it’s waste. But, since XP2002, have we learned our lessons?
Are we still delivering features that customers will never use? I figured I would create a quick Google Doc that would collect some data. After giving it some thought, I decided to remove the link to the Google Doc. The collection of data was just a distraction from the actual blog post. Thank you to those to participated.