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”.

What?!?

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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Comments

  1. This reminds me of the argument against test driven education results. If we are teaching our kids to simply take a test then we are missing the point. They’ll pass the test because they memorize what is taught.

    But the better way is teach them to think. Then they’ll consistently pass all the tests. Kinda like you said to produce results year after year.

    • Bob, I agree. One of the other hats I wear is that of adjunct professor at the University of Washington, or as we say around here, U-dub. I have to give the students some tests, but mostly I try to teach them some practical things, like how to build a web site and drive traffic to it (in my course on e-marketing).

  2. This reminds me of the argument against test driven education results. If we are teaching our kids to simply take a test then we are missing the point. They’ll pass the test because they memorize what is taught.

    But the better way is teach them to think. Then they’ll consistently pass all the tests. Kinda like you said to produce results year after year.

    • Bob, I agree. One of the other hats I wear is that of adjunct professor at the University of Washington, or as we say around here, U-dub. I have to give the students some tests, but mostly I try to teach them some practical things, like how to build a web site and drive traffic to it (in my course on e-marketing).

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