Delivery Is Not The Goal

As AlistairCockburn points out, there are games within games within games. This may well present a subtle danger to those of us who would apply or promote ExtremeProgramming.

XP focuses on rapid delivery of high quality software. That's great, but we should be aware that, as is hinted at on CthreeProjectTerminated, sometimes delivery is immaterial to the goals of the games being played by the rest of the organization. Sometimes DeliveryIsNotTheGoal (but TerminationCanBeSuccess). And we should be aware that, sometimes, the health and well-being of our project relies on the benevolence of someone who is playing one of those other games.

Consider what goals other than delivery the various roles described on WhoIsTheCustomer have in their various games.

We may suspect that XP's very strong focus on delivery might expose an XP project to these effects to a greater extent than a project based on some less focussed process.

There is some truth in that Keith. At its most negative a "more transparent process" makes an inconvenient project easier to kill off by that senior manager figure so well known to Wiki, NiccoloMachiavelli (see TheGamesContinue). But if Adam Smith ever gets the better of Niccolo (and remember it's your choice that makes the difference) he would presumably view this as a temporary, local inefficiency in the market. In the end enough good people will take MartinFowler's advice to ChangeYourOrganization and the better businesses that result will ... do some real good for real people in the real world.

Yours optimistically -- RichardDrake

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