Project Myopia
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Project Myopia

About the Book

Update: Project Myopia is now on Amazon.

Project Myopia is no long available on LeanPub.

Electronic and physical version of Project Myopia are now on Amazon. (That link is to Amazon UK, Project Myopia is also available on Amazon USA, Germany, Japan, etc. etc.)

About Project Myopia #NoProjects

Consider the well known success troika for projects:

- On schedule delivery

- On budget delivery

- On quality delivery

Think about this list of criteria, can you see identify a problem with these criteria?

This particular project success troika dominates project thinking. But something is missing: value. These “success” criteria do not consider the importance of the value created by the project.

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About the Author

Allan Kelly
Allan Kelly

Allan Kelly calls himself an Agile Guide. He helps software professionals enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying work by improving the way work is organised and requests are made. Happier people and better ways of working make for more effective companies, greater value and competitive advantage.

His wide experience of the challenges faced in software development underpins his advice, coaching, training and writing. He is the author of seven books including "Xanpan - team centric Agile Software Development", "Business Patterns for Software Developers" and "Continuous Digital". He has pioneered techniques such as Value Poker, Time-Value Profiles and Retrospective Dialogue Sheets. His blog is at

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Table of Contents

  • Listen to Project Myopia
  • Project Myopia
  • Prologue
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Agile project tension
  • 3. Project problems
    • 3.1 Why critique?
    • 3.2 Projects exist
  • 4. Defining a project
    • 4.1 Developers’ definition
    • 4.2 Dictionary definition
    • 4.3 PMI definition
    • 4.4 PRINCE2 definition
    • 4.5 The defining feature
    • 4.6 Counter-argument
    • 4.7 Definitions of success
    • 4.8 In conclusion
  • 5. Diseconomies of scale
    • 5.1 Milk is cheaper in large cartons
    • 5.2 Evidence of diseconomies
    • 5.3 Think diseconomies, think small
    • 5.4 Economies of scale thinking prevails
    • 5.5 And projects…
    • 5.6 Making small decisions
    • 5.7 Optimize for small
    • 5.8 Kelly’s Laws
  • 6. Software isn’t temporary
  • 7. If they use it, it will change
    • 7.1 Counter-argument
    • 7.2 Conclusion
  • 8. False projects
  • 9. The problem with project success
    • 9.1 Project assumptions
    • 9.2 Goal displacement
  • 10. Multiple projects
    • 10.1 A model
    • 10.2 Project A
    • 10.3 Project B
    • 10.4 Interleave A and B
    • 10.5 Split the team
    • 10.6 Enter Project C
    • 10.7 What does this illustrate?
    • 10.8 Assumptions
  • 11. Increasing value
    • 11.1 Value-seeking
    • 11.2 Reducing risk
  • 12. Debt thinking
    • 12.1 Debt is good
    • 12.2 Why pay back debt?
    • 12.3 Payday loans
    • 12.4 Technical liabilities
  • 13. The quality problem
    • 13.1 Rethinking the quality tradeoff
    • 13.2 The cost of poor quality
    • 13.3 Who pays?
    • 13.4 External costs
    • 13.5 There’s no such thing as quick and dirty
  • 14. Programmes not projects
    • 14.1 What does a Programme Manager do?
    • 14.2 The Programme Management Office
    • 14.3 So what is a programme?
  • 15. Personal changes
    • 15.1 Stop saying “project”
    • 15.2 Collections of small things
    • 15.3 Public success criteria
    • 15.4 Value estimates
    • 15.5 More than agile
    • 15.6 Stronger together
    • 15.7 Continuous Digital
  • Continuous Digital
  • Evolution of a meme
  • About the author
    • Also by Allan Kelly
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes

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