Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finding the value

What is the most valuable goal of  a project?  A software project is usually about getting the users features that they will enjoy and that will make them more productive, getting it out on time, and making it work well.  But what is more important:
  • making users happy
  • getting more users to use the application (but not necessarily elated)
  • hitting the deadline
  • never making a mistake
  • being able to trace and correct every single mistake on the back end
  • ... lots of other choices?
"All of the above" is never a good answer, because time and expertise are limited resources.

Sometimes an organization will have a clear preference, based on its overall culture and nature of the project.  For example, some systems are deadline-driven, such as software that supports Mother's day or Christmas sales season, systems used in elections, tax-preparation applications.  In others, being able to trace and correct an error is essential, for example, in software dealing with money.

However, in a lot of cases the project owner faces a choice, and being aware and deliberate in making that choice can make or break a project.

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