Agile Principle 4 – Working software is the principal measure of progress.

The fourth Agile principle is “Working software is the principal measure of progress”. Shouldn’t that be obvious! Well you’d have thought so.

But the KPIs we use to measure progress on a project so often miss the point. How often do we count number of lines of code, man hours allocated to the build, number of defects raised or time spent on creating documentation etc. The list goes on and on.

In a fast moving sprint environment pretty much all of these measures become irrelevant. All that matters is what is ready for use by the business.

The lesson here is actually less is more. Forget all of your other measures and focus on the final outcome.

Often I’ve seen project managers waste many hours producing colourful weekly reports to present to the exec on progress, when you cut to the chase often these reports are mainly a waste of effort. Concentrate on what matters project management shouldn’t be about being a statistical reporting genius.

What software is ready, what isn’t. Enough said!

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