Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A False Measure of Success …. Revisited

Today I received an unexpected email:

Hi Richard,

Not sure if you will remember me, but we spoke during the agile 2005 experience report selection process about your experience report. We ended up selecting your submission and you went on to write a paper ... and I am currently using the paper in a masters level course on agile methods at Oxford. The students are expected to analyse the case, and I know some of them might be keen to ask you some additional questions. Would you be open to that? I don't expect it will be too time-consuming, and it might be kind of interesting.

Anyway, I do hope that all is well in your world.


Angela Martin

Lecturer, Department of Computer Science The University of Waikato, New Zealand

I am quite honored to have Angela choose my paper as part of her master’s level course at Oxford (assuming the topic is not “Examples of poorly written articles”). I am also happy to hear that there is a master’s level course on agile methods at Oxford.

The article, titled A False Measure of Success, was something I wrote in 2005 for an experience report and was the basis for a presentation at the Agile 2005 Conference. In re-reading my article, the general message of the article is still pretty good. The heart of the article is really about a disconnect within a company in recognizing business needs and technology goals. Though technology goals were met, it came at a cost to the business needs. Instead of being partners in a solution, technology dictated the solution to business. Interesting stuff.

On the downside, also in re-reading the article, I realized that I might have gone into a bit of a tangent when I started addressing some Agile specific thoughts. I also realize that the longer development timeline does not quite look that bad compared to other projects I have worked since the article was written. But worst of all, who let all those grammatical errors through on a published paper (I blame my two editors .... myself and my wife). ARGHHHHH!!!!!!!


  1. It will definitely ease your work of handling a big project. As a project manager I use scrum in my projects. One of my friends referred me to use the Guide to Scrum Body of Knowledge by I like the concepts of sprints, daily standup meetings, etc. the SBOK Helped me alot in Understanding how Agile Project Management works.

  2. I also took my PMP Classes from PMstudy. You can have a look at their offerings.