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 Agile and Deliverable Quality  Agile and Deliverable Quality   Agile and Identifying Waste   Agile and Identifying Waste

We are told from studies taken in the last 10 years that between 40-50% of features and functions inside software applications are never used. So this means that around half of the time spent on features and functions, understanding data and processes needed, analysing them, designing them, developing them, unit testing them, link testing them, system testing them, assessing & acceptance testing them, performance testing them, penetration testing them, installation testing them and training the people to use them was and there is frankly no careful and delicate way to say this: wasted. 100s of millions of hard earned cash wasted on unused features.


It would be understandable and not too remarkable to ask: why did professional business people ask for these features then decide not to use them? There are of course a series of reasons why. Firstly, for that project, the features may not be critical but may have been developed for reasons of long term cost saving. Such features as these need advertising and selling to the user. If they do not get told this feature does not get used.

Often the business rules have changed between the start of a project and the time it takes to develop and deliver the final functionality. Here, the feature is surplus to requirements. The Toolkit stops this happening too by allowing the business to halt development of a specific feature and divert resources to features that will be used. Implementation solutions can be somewhat different to development or assessment solutions.

Sometimes they appear to run slower or do not provide the results at the speed or with the swiftness the user expected. So the feature falls out of favour and an alternative, sometimes a manual workaround, is deployed and used instead.

Again, the Toolkit has a method to halt this. Environments are the key. They are chosen and designed to be as near production-like as possible. When assessments are conducted by user personnel they can elect to improve the performance or not adjusting the money and effort spent on this feature as they deem suitable. Rarer are those circumstances where duplicate features are developed. This scenario is created intentionally, for valid operational reasons, but also occurs accidentally in large project teams where careless management missed the duplication. An alternative method is created for a function and this is available to the user of the solution. One method gains favour over another and the unused portion of the solution falls into disuse.

Occasionally on projects a series of features are developed that do not get their final level of acceptance testing, often due to project overruns, and so the full depth of their functionality does not get operationally released. Again, the user and the business are in control of the timeline. The Daily Forum is the location of project appraisal and acceptance.

One thing is for certain; such wasteful projects did not utilise this Toolkit. If they did, the business people would define their requirements and business people would validate that they needed all their requirements. They would be estimated and before they are placed inside shipments for deployment, they are worked on in priority order. This way the important elements of the project are definitely delivered and the lower priority work is deferred to last place. Furthermore, they would be risk managed every day, quality reviewed and demonstrated every week and be documented on a project requirements list. But possibly most importantly the phasing of the work in this type of project favours less waste. Before we explain this though we will explain the way phasing on traditional projects regularly delivers waste.
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