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Jeff Patton on learning the ‘game’ of Agility and building the right thing

"With a lot of companies I work with, when they start really being deliberate about measuring whether this stuff actually achieves anything they intended, what you find is that there is failure but that failure is not what we think it was. Maybe there is 20% or a small amount of things that when you ship it, people say “Things went bad. People reacted poorly. They hate it. They did not like it”. A number of companies I worked with have released whole new versions of website only to find that sales dropped significantly. It hurts, it costs them money. The outcomes were awful. Then there is a small number of things that are really successful. But there is this big – 60% - kind of in the middle, when we release it and nothing happens. Some people use it, some people don’t, noone really cares. It doesn’t hurt us, it doesn’t help us. But, at the end of the day, if we had not spent that money, if we had not built anything at all, nothing would have happened also. I would find an awful lot of the time, what we built is crap we should not have built. So, with product companies, you become very aware of it. You build the stuff and the metrics you are watching for don’t change, they don't go up. It is a little harder to detect in IT centric organizations."

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