Results Are Not the Point

Results Are Not the Point

Photo courtesy of An Honorable German

I was recently doing some research on Lean Software development, and came across the work of Mary and Tom Poppendieck, including their latest book Leading Lean Software Development. But it was the sub-title of their book that caught my attention: “Results are not the point”.


Results are the whole point. If we don’t produce results, and preferably measurable results, then what’s the point?

I was about to dismiss the book and the Poppendiecks altogether when I read the rest of the sentence.

Results are not the point – the point is to develop the people and the systems capable of delivering results.

Oh . . .

They’re correct of course. It reminds me of the disclaimer issued by any money manager: “past results are not indicative of future performance”. The trick in money management, and in any endeavor, is not to produce one time results, but to develop the people and the systems that can produce results year after year, in good markets and bad.

That’s something worth striving for.

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Quit Hiding Your Purple Cow!

Purple CowI visited the web sites of two vendors in unrelated industries today, and both web sites suffered from the same problem. The marketers devoted the primary real estate of their site to covering the mandatories – the characteristics that are true of every vendor in their industry. I understand this. The CEO says, “Competitor A says that they do X, make sure that we say that we do X as well.”  Sales says, “Competitor B says that they do Y, make sure that we say that we do Y.”

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What AFLAC’s Duck Teaches Us About Agile Marketing


Aflac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story of AFLAC’s duck is a great story. AFLAC’s CEO takes a chance on a crazy advertising idea: a duck that quacks the name of his company. Company name recognition goes from about 2% to higher than 90%, revenues go through the roof, he adapts the idea to a different culture, and achieves the same business success in Japan. In many ways, it’s a story that illustrates the basic principles of traditional marketing: customers have to be aware of your product before you have a chance to sell to them, and brand matters. A lot.

But the story also illustrates some of the basic tenants of Agile Marketing. [Read more…]