The importance of deadlines and full scope
There are three things to consider to any given IT project: scope, time and quality. You can only fix two of them and the third one need to be able to scale to allow for the others. You can run out of scope, out of time or end up with dirty code. Your choice. That’s why we want to use agile methodologies like Scrum.
Most of the time quality will be the loser..
In the publishing industry that I work for our current main business model is advertising. We don’t sell magazine or news websites instead we attract an audience to then attract advertisers. We build websites and produce content but we sell reach.
With that in mind I tell you the following scenario that neatly explains why sometimes you will have to draw on quality.
Whenever we make some bigger changes to our portfolio – like a new website or a relaunch or a new app – we inform our marketer so he can go and tell a story on the advertising market. Advertiser like to be part of a new story if it sounds interesting to them. They hope to participate from the buzz around this story – the change.
Currently we work on a little face lift of one of our websites and of course our marketer already knows who now is out and about to find an advertiser who wants to be a launch partner.
In case he finds one – which is great monetarily – we have a date. Advertiser want to know an exact date when they spend their money.
So when this happens – which is highly desirable – we can no longer scale in time without penalty. We can also no longer scale in scope too much since we sold the story already.
And what happens if we tell development it has to be all features by that exact date? The code will be rubbish most likely.
Yes there are ways to deal with that so that things get a little smoother but the problem remains and this scenario explains why sometimes agile methods like Scrum can be just as corrupted as any waterfall or other methodology.