Scott Ambler



People Prefer Agile Over Traditional Success Criteria

March 12, 2014


When people define success criteria for software development projects, and when given the choice, they clearly lean towards agile philosophies:


• It’s better to build something that meets stakeholder needs over conforming to a requirements specification

• It’s better to spend the money wisely over focusing on a budget

• It’s better to produce quality work over coming in on time and budget

• It’s better to ship something when it’s ready over shipping “on schedule”



How do we know this?  Our 2013 IT Project Success Rates Survey explored how people define success for software development teams.  We did this by asking a series of questions in the format of “When it comes to X, do you value A, B, Both, or Neither”.  For example, to explore how people value schedule-related issues, the choices were (A) ”deliver when the solution is ready to be shipped” and (B) “deliver on schedule”.  The following infographic summarizes the success criteria that people value when given such choices:

2013 Project Success Rates Survey Results Image

In most cases when given the choice people certainly didn’t value the “on time, on budget, to specification” definition which is often touted for IT teams. More on this in a future SA+A Insight.

© 2015 Scott Ambler + Associates